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.
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 6 - Sequence training
A balanced turn in the backswing creates good reaction in the downswing, leading to a better swing sequence and more consistent ball striking. That's the crux of the message I wanted to get across in the course of this article, and one that I hope you will find improves your own golf very quickly.
This exercise quickly wakes you up to the dynamics involved as you turn and rotate your upper body against the resistance of a strong leg action to get 'loaded' at the top of the backswing. To get started, tie one end of a resistance band just above your left knee, knotting it in place, and wrap the other end around the upper part of your left arm to the shoulder. Adjust the band so that it is nicely taut when you assume your set-up position – get your left shoulder up a little as you create a natural spine tilt.
A good posture pre-sets good motion: all you need to do is resist from the knee and stretch the band as you turn your left shoulder under your chin. You will feel a fantastic coiling up of the big muscles in your torso as you reach the top.
Although this is primarily a backswing drill, make sure you maximise the benefits of this exercise by swinging through to a full finish. The great thing about this resistance band drill is it's not just designed for making practice swings – you can actually hit shots wearing the band.