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 5 - Awaken your athletic instinct: take a simple step towards a flowing swing...

Build your swing around balance

See how the angle in the right wrist is maintained as the hands lead the clubhead

One of the phrases I use all the time when teaching is 'athletic instinct'. So many golfers get tied up with the technicalities of the swing, trying so hard not to make a bad movement that they restrict various parts of the body and become 'wooden'. For my final drill I am going to encourage you to improve your dynamic balance and reawaken some of the athletic ability that is in your system from other sports – in particular the footwork involved in cricket and tennis.

Picture the cricketer at the crease facing a quick ball – the first thing he does is move his lead foot to create balance and leverage in anticipation to strike. A similarity can be found in the movements of a tennis player taking a serve. The ball is tossed high into the air, the player loads onto his back foot and steps powerfully forward in his intended direction as he releases the racket to strike the ball. Momentum often makes the tennis player step in the same direction as the ball flies. You can learn a lot from these two natural motions. And the step-in drill will help you.

This drill will dramatically improve the sequence of your golf swing, awakening your natural athletic instinct and stretching you to make better dynamic balance throughout the swing.

Build your swing around balance

Start narrow, with your left foot drawn in towards the right...

...make your backswing turn in balance...

...and then re-plant your left foot to initiate the downswing...

...retain the angle in your wrists as you prepare to strike...

...and keep your head steady behind the ball as you make contact

Remember: narrow, load, step and flow. In no time at all your 'wooden' swing will disappear