Correct Your Body Balance For Improved Swing Results, Senior Golf Tip

As senior golfers advance in years, maintaining control of body balance is important to achieve the best combination of distance and shot direction.

The best golfers use a motion common to all striking and throwing sports. They wind up power by loading weight on to the rear foot before moving forward on to the front foot in delivering the blow. In balance terms, the motion a boxer uses in rocking on to the back foot before striking through with a punch is the same basic movement that Tiger uses when hammering a drive.

During the swing, the golfer draws their power from the ground up, the feet are a golfer's anchor and all the force needed to generate power during the golf swing is drawn from the ground. In sports science, this is known as the 'kinetic chain' through which force is transferred from one part of the body to the next (feet to knees, knees to hips, etc).

One way senior golfers can improve balance (and therefore distance and direction) is to concentrate on controlling their leg movement. During the backswing the feet and legs must support the body (trunk - hips, torso, arms, etc) as is rotates away from the ball. As the club swings upwards, many senior golfers 'lock out the legs', which causes the legs to become rigid and hamper a correct body turn. Senior golfers should feel some 'bounce' in the knees which will help the backswing coil on to the right side (for a right handed golfer). This bounce in the legs will also help the senior golfer transfer weight on to the front foot during the through swing, delivering that punch to the ball.

To practice and improve balance during the swing, senior golfers can use the following drill.

1. Pick up a ball in your throwing hand and assume a golf posture.

2. Whilst maintaining your posture, rock back on to the rear foot coiling up your arm for a long throw.

3. Then move your weight forwards and throw the ball, still maintaining your posture.

4. Finish with the body weight balanced on the front foot with the eyes, chest and belt buckle facing the target.

5. The back foot should have eased off the ground and be balanced toe down into the ground.

6. Pick up a club and try to repeat the same motion during the swing.

This drill will allow the senior golfer to understand the feeling of maintaining balance in a golf posture.

Correct Your Body Balance for Improved Swing Results

Correct Your Body Balance for Improved Swing Results

Balance is the most important part of your golf swing. There are a variety of elements that need to come together successfully for you to play good golf, but balance is right at the top of the chart. If you can build your swing on a base of good balance, you will be headed in the right direction. Once you understand how to stay balanced while the club swings around you, it will be much easier to strike solid shots. In this article, we are going to discuss how you can improve your balance, and we'll offer a drill to help make that happen.

Unfortunately, most golfers ignore balance while practicing their swings. Instead of balance, they focus on things like swing plane and body rotation. Make no mistake – those are still important topics, but they should be addressed after the matter of balance has been handled successfully. It isn't going to do you any good to have a collection of solid fundamentals in your swing if you don't have balance as well. You can think of balance as a prerequisite for playing quality golf. Without it, you'll always be facing an uphill battle.

Still not convinced that balance is an important part of your swing? You can look to the PGA Tour for proof. Watch a professional golf tournament on TV sometime and take note of how many players you can find with poor balance. Most likely, you won't be able to find one. While there are a variety of different types of swings used on the tour, each and every player starts out with impressive balance. If balance is required to play at the highest level of the game, it only makes sense that you should focus on balance as well.

It doesn't matter what kind of shot you are playing, balance is always an important piece of the puzzle. Whether you are trying to hit a 300-yard drive or a three-foot putt, you want to stay balanced during your swing. It isn't always easy to work on your balance, as there are a number of factors which need to come together properly for you to stay balanced, but stick with it until you start to see some progress.

All of the content below is based on a right-handed golfer. If you happen to play left-handed, please take a moment to reverse the directions as necessary.

The Many Benefits of Balance

The Many Benefits of Balance

In this section, we want to get specific with the benefits of staying balanced during your golf swing. This is important, because there is likely to come a time where you consider giving up on balance and moving on to other parts of the swing. By making it perfectly clear why you need to be balanced in the swing, you will be less likely to give up on this important fundamental.

The list below highlights a few of the major benefits to be enjoyed by golfers who stay balanced during the swing. By the time you finish this list, you should have all the motivation you need to master your balance once and for all.

  • Consistent ball striking. Perhaps the most important reason to focus on your balance is the opportunity to improve the consistency of your play. Experienced golfers know all too well that it is extremely difficult to play at a consistent level. It seems that you will hit great shots for a few holes, only to have your performance fall off over the next few holes. While some ups and downs are an inevitable part of the game, the best golfers are those who can iron out the rough patches and play well for long periods of time. If you are on balance swing after swing, your ball striking is sure to level out. There will still be poor shots from time to time, of course, but they should be few and far between.
  • Added distance. This is a point that many golfers would not immediately associate with improved balance. When you are able to create and maintain a stable base during your swing, you are likely to add distance to your shots. This is due to the fact that you'll be able to turn the club loose without any reservations. If your balance is questionable, you will always need to hold something back just in case you need to make an adjustment at the last moment. With great balance, no adjustments are necessary, and you are free to give the swing everything you've got through the hitting area. Rather than just trying to swing harder and harder in order to gain yardage, consider focusing on your balance as a way to pick up much needed distance.
  • Flexibility in your game. It is true that some golfers are able to produce decent results despite a lack of balance. However, those players tend to be rather one-dimensional in their performance. In other words, they are only able to produce one kind of shot. For example, if you tend to lean to the left in your downswing, you may be able to cut across the ball in a way that produces a playable fade. It is possible to get around the course with this shot, but that is probably the only shot you'll have in the bag. When a situation comes up where you need to hit a draw, it will be nearly impossible to do so. On the other hand, if you are a balanced golfer, it should be much easier to alter your flights on command. By making just a subtle tweak or two to your swing mechanics, you'll be able to turn a fade into a draw, or vice versa. Flexibility is extremely valuable in golf, and you can improve dramatically in this area just by learning how to stay balanced.
  • A feeling of control. It can be hard to feel in control while on the golf course. There are a variety of factors working against you, including the weather, the design of the course, the pressure you feel, and more. Anything you can do to gain a sense of control and calm on the course should be welcomed with open arms. One such way to get control over your game is to be well-balanced during the swing. With great balance, you will always feel like you are capable of striking a solid shot. Even when facing a tough shot, or when playing in tough conditions, you will be able to take comfort in knowing that your balance is going to help carry you through. In a game that places such steep demands on your mind, having the advantage of reliable balance is a big step in the right direction.
  • Reliable short game. You probably think first about your full swing when talking about balance, but it is just as important to be balanced in the short game. By learning great balance when making a full swing, it is very likely that this skill will carry over to your shorter shots. Putting becomes far easier when you are balanced throughout the stroke, and chipping with good balance is going to lead to plenty of clean strikes from a variety of lies. As you may know already, the short game is just as important as the long game, if not more so. Build your short game on a balanced platform and watch your results quickly improve.

Your game is going to benefit across the board from improved balance. It is hard to get golf teachers to agree on just about anything, as they all have their own favorite methods for teaching this game. On the point of balance, however, there is complete agreement. Every golf teacher will sign off on the importance of balance, which should be all you need to know about how crucial this piece of the puzzle is in your game. Take the time to become a more balanced player and your scores are sure to fall.

Three Signs of a Balanced Swing

Three Signs of a Balanced Swing

It is all well and good to say that you need to stay balanced during the golf swing, but what does that mean? What does a balanced swing look like? To some point, you could make the argument that any swing which ends with the golfer still standing upright is a 'balanced' swing. Of course, we are going to set standards which are a little tighter than that. If you can hit on the three points listed below, you can confidently claim that you have made a balanced swing of your own.

  • Hold the finish. This is the best way to determine whether or not you have made a balanced swing. Basically, you should be able to hold your finish and watch the ball fly all the way to the target. If you are still holding your finish comfortably when the ball comes back down to the ground, you can feel good about your balance. As you swing through impact, your weight should wind up stacked on top of your left foot, with your left leg standing straight up and down. Your right toe should be on the ground, with the bottom of your right foot visible to anyone standing behind you. This is the classic golf finish position, and you will see it repeated over and over again when you watch a professional golf tournament. Learn how to hold yourself in this position when your swing is finished and any balance problems you've had should be a thing of the past.
  • No last-second adjustments. Another good sign that you are doing a nice job with your balance is the lack of any last-second adjustments as you swing into impact. Golfers with poor balance usually have to make an adjustment or two at the final moment in order to save the swing. This might mean leaning back away from the target in order to make clean contact, or it may mean coming up onto their toes to avoid a fat shot. Whatever the case, these last-moment adjustments are hard to perform consistently. You might be able to use this kind of move from time to time with okay results, but a swing that relies on adjustments on-the-fly will never to reliable under pressure. If you notice that you are having to 'save' your swing at the final moment, work your way through your technique until you can figure out where the underlying problem may be hiding.
  • A free release. We touched on this topic earlier, but it is worth highlighting again here. As the club moves through impact, you want to feel free to release the club with everything you've got. That means you aren't holding back because you are worried about falling off balance – you're just turning the club loose and letting it rip. A balanced golfer will feel comfortable putting everything they have into the moment of impact. A golfer who has lost his or her balance, however, will be too worried about staying upright to actually fire the club through the ball. If you always feel like you are having to hold something back at impact, it may be that your balance is getting in the way of optimal performance.

A golf swing which has a free release at the bottom, a lack of last-second adjustments, and a beautiful pose in the finish is one that you can be proud of. On some level, you probably don't even need these checkpoints to evaluate your balance, as balance is something that most people can naturally judge on their own. If you feel like you are off balance during your swing, something is wrong. On the other hand, if you feel grounded and comfortable, you should be in good shape. Trust your instincts, and get to work on your balance if something seems 'off' about your current technique.