Tuition

Build your swing around balance

By Dan Frost

“For so many golfers balance is the forgotten fundamental of the swing – and, critically, one that plays a pivotal part in every aspect of the movement.”

Swing plane, spine angle, 'smash factor', 'late hit', 'X-Factor', 'V-Gap' – and so the list goes on. Common phrases you may have heard banded about in reference to the swing. And while this may all sound rather sexy, the one key area of the golf swing generally overlooked as players go in search of extra speed and distance is balance. I see so many players tied up with complicated theory that they neglect this critical fundamental of motion. If only they focused on improving their dynamic balance all of these things would slot into place a lot more naturally.

Build your swing around balance

So, over the following pages, let me share with you some of the drills I use in my everyday coaching that really bring about immediate improvement not only in your overall sense of balance but in the 'sequencing' of your swing as you build stability from the ground up.

Part 1 - Foundation - Sound leg action keeps you 'grounded'
Part 2 - 'Set'… 'Load'… 'Store'… 'Explode'
Part 3 - Focus on your spine angle
Part 4 - Improve your swing awareness with a weighted ball...
Part 5 - Awaken your athletic instinct: simple step towards a flowing swing...
Part 6 - Sequence training

Part 1 - Foundation

Sound leg action keeps you 'grounded'

Show me a golfer who displays excessive movement in the lower half of the body and I'll show you a player who finds it incredibly difficult to enjoy any sort of consistency when it comes to winding and unwinding the body in the golf swing.

With poor 'sequencing' and a limited wind-up in the backswing, the downswing is then devoid of that automatic recoil that characterises a dynamic movement. The forward motion, drive and release has to be manufactured (as opposed to being reactionary) – and is all the poorer for it.

This simple resistance band exercise is designed to improve the very foundation of your golf swing. All you have to do is loop the band just above your knees and make it tight enough so that when you are in a good address position, knees flexed, your leg muscles feel 'engaged'.

Focus on feeling the weight balanced in the middle of your feet, not biased towards the heels or toes. With the band around your legs you will be encouraged to maintain a solid base to your swing, improving your balance dramatically, keeping your feet very quiet and 'heavy'.

With improved sequencing in the backswing (i.e. a much better working relationship between your arms and rotating upper body) you will develop a more efficient coil and reap the benefit of then unwinding the spring with real gusto – more speed, more distance and more accuracy. For starters, that's a pretty good combination!

Build your swing around balance

With a small resistance band in place, your leg muscles should feel 'engaged' at the set up as you flex your knees and take your regular stance.

The key is then to maintain that sense of athletic stability in the legs as you initiate your backswing – feel the resistance in the knees as you turn and coil the upper body.

This supportive leg action provides you with a terrific sense of balance – and this compact three-quarter swing with a full coil is more effective than a longer, looser alternative (inset)