Play Consistent Golf Part 4: Athletic Balance
Let’s talk about Balance, and specifically Athletic Balance.
It would be hard for me to place too much emphasis on the importance of balance. Once you have defined your pre shot routine and mastered the fundamentals of GASP and you have a good set up, everything else in your swing starts with balance.
If you don’t start out in good balance it is almost impossible to end in good balance. If you are out of balance during your swing it doesn’t matter how good (or bad) your mechanics are: you won’t be hitting consistent shots.
An athletic posture or ready position has you in a posture with your knees slightly flexed and your center of mass positioned directly over the balls of your feet. In this position you are capable of moving in any direction. You are athletically “ready.” You have “centered balance.” Whether your club is on the ground or in the air, your balance is independent and remains unaffected by your club position.
If you are in the correct, athletically centered balance position at address and you were to hop, you should hop straight up and come straight down. And you should still be in balance when you land.
Grab a club and get in your address position. Then hop.
If you hop forward, do it again until you can hop straight up. Then maintain that balance position and swing.
I would estimate that 90% of the students who first come to me are out of balance in their set up. Generally, their center of mass is forward of their toes. Pay attention to any adjustments your body may be making when you get ready to hop. As a rule, you will probably find that you are moving your hips an inch or two back and straightening or lengthening your spine a bit. Once you find that position, you have found your athletic balance. You must get into athletic balance before every swing to hit consistent golf shots.
See you down the fairway!