There are many ways you can lose power during the golf swing, but nothing drains power faster than a loss of balance. A stable base, your legs and hips, allow for an efficient movement of weight from center of the feet at address, to the inside of the rear foot during the backswing and then fully onto the front foot in the follow through. It is this weight transfer which contributes to generating maximum club head speed and consistency.
At address the weight is evenly distributed between both feet, and is slightly towards the balls of the feet. We call this an athletic ready position. You are ready to rotate your body and swing the golf club at about 100 miles per hour. As the body rotates into the backswing there is a resultant transfer of weight into the inside of the rear foot. Many players interpret this weight transfer as a lateral shift or slide, and their weight moves onto the outside of the rear foot. This position is out of balance and thus very weak.
The rotation of the body into the backswing should not result in the rear hip sliding, rather the hips will rotate to accommodate the rotation of the upper body. The result will be a loading on the rear thigh and hip, and added pressure on the inside of the rear foot. From here it is possible to push into the downswing using the feet to start that motion. The lower body unwinds ahead of the upper and this rotation will transfer maximum energy to the golf club.
This shadow drill will help you practice loading into your backswing correctly. Place a club on the ground so that it runs along the shadow created by your rear leg. Place a second club on the ground perpendicular to your feet line and thus outside the shadow of your lead leg. Turn into your backswing making sure that the shadow of your rear leg stays on the club on the ground. Your shadow should not cross the club or move away from the club.
At the top of the backswing you should feel loaded with weight on the inside of the rear foot. When you swing through to the finish, the shadow of your lead leg should not cross the other club on the ground.
Work on this drill slowly at first and you will find that as you add speed, if you can keep your shadow inside the clubs, you will have far better balance, hit that ball farther and with more consistency.
Derek Hooper is the Director of Instruction at the Hank Haney Golf Academy at Lake of Isles. Derek has a college degree in teaching and over 14 years experience conducting lesson programs in Australia, Japan and Taiwan. He specializes in personalized, improvement programs that cover the technical and physical components required to play your best golf.
Derek can be contacted at 1.888.475.3746 or firstname.lastname@example.org