Three reasons why balance is crucial for your golf swing
Humans find balance an issue. At times we might even suspect the many four, six or eight legged coinhabitants of this planet in an unfair advantage position: our two legged existence looks like a walking accident by comparison. Balance plays a role in the entire game – putting from imbalance can ruin an otherwise promising streak – but it is particularly important for the golf swing. Here are three reasons why:
You can generate more power from a balanced position.
The human body is geared to compensate for lost balance. If during your swing, you get ever so slightly out of balance, the brain reassigns muscle power to regain it. That means fewer muscle power can get behind the swing. The rule of thumb is to have 35% of your weight on the toes of the supporting leg and 65% of it on your heel. In doubt?
Try hitting a heavy bag while on your toes: the momentum of your punch will collapse your stance and leave the bag almost unmoved. Bring the heel down, and you will see that old bag swing...
Balance informs your stance.
Balance and stance are interrelated. That’s hardly a secret, and yet, developing a good stance is an underrated task for golfers. Much of the improvement of any golfer’s technique, regardless of their level, happens while improving their stance – long before any golf club goes into action. Learn to assume a stance that allows a good body balance, and stick with it, literally through thick and thin.
Stance work is a bit like eating healthy food for children. It is not exciting, but it builds the foundation. Food that’s exciting for children ruins that foundation – so forget about yummy and build!
It is hard to do anything correct if you start from imbalance.
The golf swing is a complex movement, nearly every joint in the human body plays a role in it. When you start it unbalanced, there is a good chance that everything following up is slightly incorrect, too. For instance, it is very hard to hit the golf ball with the clubface square at impact, if your body is skewed to begin with.
The trouble is that you often don’t see these points or notice them otherwise. You need outside help, either from the keenly trained eye of a coach or from capable technical gear, ideally both, to make the balance work tangible for you. Only then can you address it in your future training.
”The golf swing”, in the immortal words of American writer John Updike, “is like a suitcase into which we are trying to pack too many things.” – for your enjoyment of the game, be sure to pack balance into it!