Being Balanced In Your Golf Swing

I recently heard Dr Paul Hurrion speaking at the British Golf Teaching conference. Dr Hurrion is Padraig Harrinton’s putting coach – only this time he wasn’t talking about putting. He was telling us that for golf pro’s to compete on the tour these days they need to drive the ball at least 300 yards. To do this they need to generate a lot of power in their golf swings.

“YOU CANNOT FIRE A CANNON FROM A CANOE!”

This was another quote from Dr Hurrion and how true it is – you need a stable and balanced platform (such as the ground) to fire a cannon from. The golf swing is just the same..

  • You need to use the ground to hit the ball a long way
  • You must use the ground to create a strong platform

If you are not balanced in your golf swing you will not be able to:

  • Generate any power
  • Swing your golf club on plane
  • Strike the ball sweetly
  • Have smooth rhythm and timing

Why is it that so few people practice good balance?

Balance in the golf swing is a very overlooked area and most people look for more complicated solutions to their golf swing problems. Improving your balance will not only allow you to hit the ball better generating more distance, but it will also enable you to hit the ball straighter.

Some simple exercises will improve your balance

On the PGA Tour they do a balance test called the single leg balance test. To do this test start by standing on one leg – that sounds easy enough doesn’t it?

But now try closing your eyes – now it is a whole new ball game because it is extremely difficult to stand on one leg with your eyes closed for any length of time.

Try it and see how long you can do it for. As you repeat it you should find you can do it for longer and longer.

The average time for a PGA Tour player to perform the single leg balance test is 28 seconds.

Here are some further variations you can do to improve your balance:

  • Swap legs – many people find it harder to balance on the other leg
  • Try brushing your teeth while standing on one leg
  • Hit some (short) golf shots while standing on one leg

To take this exercise to the next level you need to buy a pair of stability discs. These should cost around $20 (£15) for a pair.

Start by hitting some putts while standing on the stability discs and then move onto a full golf swing while standing on them. You will find it virtually impossible to start with, but stick with it and you’ll see some huge improvements in your balance… I can do it and so can any golfer with good balance. If you can’t, you need to improve your balance. You will never be able to create any power unless you can do it.

All of these exercises are improving your PROPRIOCEPTION

Proprioception is your brains ability to know where your body parts are and working with stability discs improves proprioception and improves your balance.

I taught a gentleman today who had extremely poor balance and he wanted to hit the ball further. I had to tell him the truth regarding power and balance and he now needs to spend some time working on the things that help improve balance and proprioception.

Other ways to improve balance are improving flexibility and the body’s range of movement. For example if you have great neck flexibility it will mean you can turn your shoulders effectively which means you will not sway off the ball and also means you will stay centred. This all helps to improve your balance and your power.