Tom’s Tip: Achieving better balance

by Dan M | Posted on Saturday, November 11th, 2017

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TOM WARD
TOMPWARD@SBCGLOBAL.NET

This weeks tip is how to battle inconsistencies in your golf
game. The drill may look and feel awkward initially, however the
overall payoff is well worth while if you spend some time practicin it.
In the accompanying photographs are two images of myself making a
swing with the right foot pulled back on my tippy toes. It appears to
be a trick shot…and very well could be, however, it showcases the
importance of staying balanced and having a good solid foundation on
which to support the swing.
When lifting your leg off the ground (left or right) it
activates the body to stabilize itself. When trying this exercise for
the first time it will become immediately apparent that you have too
much lateral motion in your swing or what is commonly called swaying.
You will probably lose balance going back and won’t be able to make a
completed swing. The beauty of this exercise is you can’t cheat it.
First, by raising your leg slightly off the ground (while
setting up) and allowing the club to go back on its natural inside
path on the takeaway…you will automatically maintain balance. You
are not fighting the laws of physics …the club head can make its way
on the correct swing plane.
Secondly, your left leg provides a solid fixed foundation,
staying flexed and braced, instead of locking or straightening up.
This is critical because if the left leg locks up it will throw your
whole body off kilter and result in loss of control. Having the left
leg flexed on your initial setup is one of the essential keys for
success in pulling off this drill.
Next, by hitting shots on one leg it will help to limit, or
slightly restrict, getting too long in the backswing or what’s called
over swinging. Over swinging is a chronic problem because it causes
breakdowns in the mechanics of your swing.
The downswing is where the dividends of this drill pay off. The
bottom photo is my follow-through. When done properly you should
finish in perfect balance long after the ball has left the clubface.
The shoulders will remain more passive which allows your arms to whip
the club head through the impact area.
You can alternate legs when practicing and will quickly notice
which leg is easier to stay balanced on throughout the entire swing. I
suggest spending more time practicing on the weaker leg to build
strength which will become a real asset long term.
It is common to top the ball or miss it completely when first
starting this drill…but don’t get discouraged, just relax and slow
down by making swings in slow motion without trying to hit the ball.
This will allow your natural athletic instincts to take over.
Swinging on one leg will help you feel how the arms must swing
around the body, instead of trying to lift the club up and down, as
the restrictive motion helps to understand how the arms work in unison
with the rest of the body.
Playing good golf requires feel and you learn feel through the
proper motion. Golf is a game of fluid movements, not a series of
abrupt actions.
I believe you will enjoy practicing this particular drill. In
time, every golfer will be faced with an assortment of awkward shots
on the course and forced to hit a shot using an off balance approach.
After putting in some time hitting balls on one leg, you will be
prepared for the challenge. Remember, motion without balance is a
wasted effort and will result in poor shot making.
Tom can be reached at www.teetimewithtom.com

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