The balance test

This is a bit elementary, but a good start in testing how good your balance is.

How good your swing, rhythm and alignment are…pale in comparison to the importance of good balance.

A good swing, good rhythm and proper alignment are very individual things, but balance is not.

There is a very simple test that a friend or just someone hitting balls next to you on the range can do.

Balance is all about keeping your feet under you in the setup, back swing, down swing and finish.

Obviously if you start out of balance, you will remain so, but the bad part is the direction where your imbalance points changes several times during the swing causing all sorts issues.

If your upper body moves too much from side to side, toward or away from the ball during your swing, your feet are not under you anymore and you are out of balance.

It doesn’t mean you have to be flat footed, nor does it mean you can’t have a lateral move.

What it means is your weight, center of gravity, whatever you want to call it needs to be over your feet the whole swing or you will be off balance.

Though I am not a huge fan of stack and tilt, this is one of the big positives. It’s goal is to keep you centered.

It’s hard to describe what that means in print, but here is a test.

Take a setup(position 1), take a back swing and stop(2), then make a finish and stop(3)…hard to do this test during the downswing, unless you find someone who is not too bright and needs a 5 iron to the noggin.

Have a friend stand see how much force it takes to push you off balance in all three of these swing positions from all four points of the compass.

That will tell you where your weak balance points are and just use common sense to fix it.

Example 1-if at the setup you have too much weight on your toes, if someone just nudges you on the back, you will fall on your face.

Example 2-if you stop at the top of the back swing and your upper body has made too big of a lateral move…your right shoulder is too far outside of your right foot and you can be easily knocked over so your right ear hits the dirt.

…and so on.

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5 Comments

  1. s.

    You write, “…nor does it mean you can’t have a lateral move.”

    My guess is that what most people call a lateral move is really a result of rotation.

    The usual frame of reference is what they call the “face-on” view, across the target line from the golfer. However, if there was a simultaneous top view, the rotation would be obvious.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNRsnz92bG8&fs=1&hl=en_US]

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  2. Bob34

    FWIW, Since it’s so cold here and I can’t get out to play or the range, I’ve been doing a simular drill at home for over a month now; I don’t have anyone to help me so I just try to feel the weight on my insteps. It’s OK for more weight or pressure to be felt in either foot; right in the backswing, left in the transition/downswing but I always want it to remain mostly in my insteps. I check it at the end of the take-away when the club is parrallel to the ground, at the top, at impact and at the finish.

    Mostly, if I’m balanced at the end of the take-away, the rest of the swing usually is as well. I’ve noticed that at impact, the heel of my right foot has now only slightly lifted off the ground where as before, I was very much on the toes of my right foot at impact. MY right foot kinda rolls in now & I keep my tush line much better instead of standing up through the shot. I think that’s pretty much in line with what Monte describes above but Monte, feel free to correct as neccessary. I’ve eaten crow before, I’m sure I’ll eat it again 🙂

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    • Bob34

      BTW: SInce this is about balance, I’m going to throw a theory I’ve come up with out there;

      The way my arms move in repsonce to my body turn as well as when and how my wrists move (which effects the plane the club goes back on) is totally controlled by the balance in my feet. If I move in such a way as to take the pressure of the insteps of my feet & it goes too much towards the ball or heel, it’s wrong. Same on the downswing. I’m now not so worried about what the plane looks like but totally focused on being balanced. Having said that, in the mirror the swing to include the plane looks pretty decent. But, this theory could be total crap so feedback would be appreciated…

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  3. wally

    Monte
    How about this for a balanced swing, Fred Funk, that’s right FRED FUNK 5’8″ tall 165lbs. 8 wins on the PGA 6 on the Champions. From where I stand that is not a bad swing to copy. His $21,000,000.00 in earnings’ on the PGA tour aren’t bad either. Last I heard 250yd drive down the middle was not a bad thing.

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    • Monte Scheinblum

      IMO, it’s “Fred’s swing.” I think there are some things in there that are a little unbalanced. He often leans during his finish because he is a little off balance.

      Reply

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