Top 3 Tips on Weight Shift Takeaway to Follow Through
The Weight Shift during the golf swing is one of the primary sources for power. When done correctly and in the proper sequence, it can dramatically affect the distance of your shots. However, when done incorrectly you will find the game frustrating as you struggle to find consistency.
Your Weight shift starts from the ground up and is the foundation to proper biomechanics in the swing. The two major swing flaws with improper weight shift is a Sway or Slide and in some cases we see both.
A Sway in the golf swing is when the hips and weight travel outside the right foot in the backswing (left foot for left handed golfers). The hips fail to rotate and the player’s head moves well off the golf ball. A Sway can seriously injure golfers. Over time it’s common to see back injuries and knee or hip pain.
A Slide is the exact opposite of the Sway. This flaw happens when the hips, knees and weight move laterally outside the left foot (right foot for left handed golfers) through impact. The hips slide laterally and rotate very late resulting in a loss of power. The arms and hands hold off the club release and we often see a wide variety of shots pushed or in some cases a snap hook occurs. Like a Sway this flaw can cause injury to the lower back, hips and knees over time.
The following tips will help generate a proper weight shift from takeaway to follow through.
The Quarter Start Drill is likely the easiest exercise to perform and helps you understand weight shift in the golf swing. This drill can also be incorporated in both practice and the pre-shot routine while playing. You will perform this drill without a golf ball to start.
Take a club and get into your address position. Next, you will rotate the club a quarter way into the follow through and stop. Picture a clock around your body with address being 6 o’clock. In the quarter start position, the club should be set at 4 or 5 o’clock with at least 60% of your weight on your left side (right side left handed golfers). From there you will swing the club back to the top and through to the finish without pausing. You will repeat this swing five times and then hit a ball from the normal address position. During a round of golf, you can implement the drill by making it your practice swing. If you consistently perform the quarter start drill, you will quickly see better weight shift.
If you have a problem of Swaying or Sliding in the golf swing, you can perform the following drill to assist in decreasing the undesired movement. A Sway is more common in golfers, while a Slide is apparent in those more experienced.
During a practice session you can begin to correct a Sway by placing a golf ball under your right foot (left foot for left handed golfers) while keeping the inside of your shoe touching the ground. This will keep your weight on the inside of your foot at address. Take a swing that’s 50% of normal speed and you’ll feel an immediate difference on how your weight shifts. The idea is to eventually hit golf balls at full speed with a ball under your back foot. This will stop the Sway in your swing and you should see a dramatic difference in your ball striking.
To correct a Slide and have your hips rotating quicker in the follow through, you can place a golf ball under the left foot (right foot for left handed golfers). Making a slower golf swing than normal, the feeling you should have is where the front leg and knee straightens out just after impact. In a Slide, this knee will actually bow towards the target and rotate open. Once our knee and leg straighten, that’s a direct result of the hip rotating. This rotation will increase your club speed and help you compress golf shots resulting in more distance.
A nice tip to get your swing started and assist with weight shift, is developing a little waggle before you hit the ball. Many novice golfers stand very still before they start their swing. Whereas, golf professionals always have their body moving prior to striking the ball. A waggle is more than just moving your club to and from the ball. A waggle in this case is having your weight moving from foot to foot. We refer to this as “starting your engine”. Just before you hit the shot make sure the weight is slightly in your left foot (right foot for left handed golfers) and with very little time to think, start your swing and finish to the target. Creating a waggle keeps your mind in the present and allows you to swing the club free.