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 4 - Improve your swing awareness with a weighted ball...

Anyone who has taken a golf lesson will be aware of the fact that when you stand there with a club in your hands it is easy to get anxious and you end up over-controlling your movement in an attempt to get the ball up into the air. You lose your natural flow and rhythm. So, here's a a perfect drill to work on developing your swing motion without holding a golf club. Using instead a weighted training ball you can very quickly improve your instincts for repeating a natural swinging motion with balance and flow. Furthermore, these exercises make for a terrific work-out for your body 'core'.

Drill 1: Momentum training – swing and hold

Take your address position with your hands positioned either side of the medicine ball. The ball must be heavy enough to force you to engage your leg muscles to balance in your address position. I'm holding a 10lb ball, but anything above 2 or 3lbs is fine. From here rotate your arms and torso together supporting the ball in the backswing and then simply let momentum create a down and through movement into a finish. Hold this end pose for several seconds to improve your awareness as to the way balance supports the ball.

Build your swing around balance

With your lower body stabilising the movement of your body core, and the ball held between the palms of your hands, start off with this basic rotation back and through to the target

Drill 2: For speed, swing and release

Having worked for several minutes on the swing and hold exercise opposite, I want you then to introduce the element of release into the equation. Once again, focus on getting good balance in your address position, holding the ball in both hands, and from here use the turning motion of the body to support the swinging of the arms. Only this time I want you to fling the ball as far as you can just to the left of your target line.

This introduces the vital element of timing as you rotate your torso towards the target and generate as much speed as possible with the arms and hands. Note how my arms have rotated in the through swing., just like passing a rugby ball to another player. For those of you who slice, this is exactly the feeling you are looking for.

Build your swing around balance