Transition Timing explained
Ready for the big shift?
What transition means and how transition timing helps you shoot longer
If you are after longer shots, more solid and consistent contact, and thus a more satisfying game, transition is your space to watch. Essentially, it means transferring your pressure skillfully, forcefully, and at the right time.
In this context, it might be useful to establish two terms that are still a bit new even to ambitious golfers: lead and trail side. The lead side is the one close to your target, whereas the trail side faces away from your target. So, if you are a right-handed golfer, your right leg is your trail leg and your left leg your lead leg.
How to practice transition timing
To make good use of transition timing, do the following: get into a balanced set-up, with about 55% pressure on the lead leg and roughly 45% on the trail leg. During backswing, move a good 70% of pressure to the trail leg. Keep it there. Just when the backswing is about to end, unweight (to this, see our article on pressure), then conduct a fast and wide pressure shift towards the lead leg. Get maximum pressure onto the lead leg!
During training, focus on the tiny time bracket between end of backswing to shortly before downswing. The better you pinpoint the shift, the faster your center moves, the greater the gain in overall speed and the longer your shot.
Transition timing felt from the inside
The good news is that explosive pressure shifting is apt to concentrate your muscle work on legs and trunk. Often players concerned about increasing clubhead speed are lured towards the arms and shoulder muscles first. That can cause excess rigidity and actually slow their swing down.
However, consciously training for transition can turn into a laborious trek. It is usually not part of your introduction to golf. Few other sports prepare you for the move. The first attempts feel weird. Even though the idea “fast and wide pressure shift” ought to be in your head, it doesn’t feel wide – your center moves maybe 30–40 cm tops. As golfworx.com points out, “Transition might be THE toughest motion in golf to master.”
It's worth it, though. There is a good reason why we chose transition timing as one of our swing metrics and provide specific drills to train for it within the BAL.ON app: It will help you shoot the darn ball wider down the fairway. It will improve your swing. And improve your game.