Any day that I am on the lesson tee, balance is an issue that gets discussed. Balance is not only one of the most important parts of the golf swing; it is also one of the most important functions of the brain. Think of it this way, there are three things that come before all else as far as the brain is concerned.
• Keep the heart pumping
• Keep the lungs functioning
• Remain standing
You will notice that hitting a golf ball solidly is not on that list. Therefore, unless you make a golf swing that allows you to remain in balance throughout, the brain will become much more concerned with regaining balance than it will in hitting a solid shot.
When the club and your arms move around your body in a golf swing centrifugal force is created. This is an outward pulling which will pull your body in simple terms, towards the golf ball. Unless this is counter-balanced, you will be off balance and the brain will kick in its corrective motions to keep you upright. These corrections include but are not limited to; straightening the spine angle, moving the shoulders away from the golf ball or even taking a step forward. None of these are particularly helpful to hitting a great shot.
How do we counter-balance this centrifugal force? The lower body needs to be working in an opposite direction from where the club is pulling you. As the lower body rotates around the axis of the target side leg, your body weight will get pulled in the opposite direction that the club is pulling you. Only if these two actions happen in the proper sequence, can you maintain balance.
I like players to have “balance” as a swing thought. Keep in mind that balance is a bundle not a singular item. You have to do a number of things correctly in order to be balanced at the end of the swing.
When it comes to defining balance there is no gray area. You are either in perfect balance or you are not in balance at all. The slightest threat to balance will result in the brain reacting.
George Connor is the Director of Instruction at The Academy of Golf at Gillette Ridge
in Bloomfield, CT.