Showing posts with label club head speed. Show all posts
Showing posts with label club head speed. Show all posts

The Effect of Balance in the Golf Swing

It is widely accepted that balance is essential in all sports, especially golf, but how well do you understand the details of balance and how to apply it? What is balance beyond your ability to stay upright, and what does it feel like in the golf swing? Most golfers who have played for years will tell you that balance is the key to the perfect, effortless swing.

Let us take a deeper look at balance and how to understand its effect on your swing. In any sport that involves rotary motion, an athletes' arms and legs influence balance as they move around the body. In golf the primary limbs in motion that have the most impact on your balance are the arms. The average human arm is roughly 5.3% of total body weight, meaning that your arms comprise over 10% of your body weight. So now imagine the weight of your arms, combined with the weight of the golf club, swinging around your body. This is similar in effect to the motion of holding a child by the hands and swinging them around in a circle; the faster you turn, the farther you have to lean back to counter balance the weight of the child. If you do not spin fast enough, the weight of the child will pull you forward and "off-balance." If you lean too far back, your own weight will pull you "off-balance." The complete motion becomes a delicate dance of counter balance and speed. The faster you spin in relation to how far you lean back, the farther you can move from your original center of gravity.

swinging a child demonstrates the counter-fall

The same can be said for the golf swing. We initially begin to throw ourselves off-balance in the back-swing, and then attempt to counter-act that motion through the down-swing and follow through. To the untrained body, this action often comes in the form of engaging tension in the arms in an attempt to shorten the distance between our body and the club head. This is our fatal error, almost inevitably applying the wrong amount of tension, and coming through the down-swing with the club head either above or below the proper impact point with the ball. Not to mention the decreased club-head-speed that is a direct result of that tension.

Imagine you could use the same principles of balancing a swinging child in your golf swing.  You can achieve this simply by moving your body deeper into the counter-fall, in relation to how fast you are moving through the down-swing. Instead of fighting nature with tension in your upper body, you can relax your upper body, and allow your lower body and core to maintain balance with a deeper counter-fall and faster follow through. This is a more natural movement for your body, and therefore makes the down swing less labor intensive. When you counter-fall properly, you'll attain full extension and rotation through impact, resulting in increased club-head-speed and a longer drive. Who doesn't want that?

So the next time you go out to practice, give your body a chance to do what nature designed it to do. Trust in the speed of your rotation and the depth of your counter-fall to bring the club to the proper point of impact. The club is merely an extension of your arms, and just like with the swinging child, adding tension will only exhaust your muscles and make the fight for balance more difficult.

Below is a video from the Gravity Golf YouTube Channel explaining the counter-fall. For more tools to help you understand the counter-fall, visit the Gravity Golf Store.

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