On or Off Balance? Either Way, Use It to Your Advantage!

By Bob Duncan

Bob-Duncan-4cIf you are off balance in your swing there is probably nothing more important to consider than balance, balance, balance…  Just walk on any driving range and you’ll see quite a few players who are off balance in their finish.  But, as a player you can actually use being slightly off balance to your advantage!

We’re all taught to be in balance at the finish of our swings.  It makes sense:  Regardless of your swing speed, being off balance should result in off-line shots.  In fact, we can learn from being off balance in order to diagnose and correct some errant ball flights – or, to help produce them.

Many players are taught to start with their weight on the balls of their feet, and to swing to a balanced finish.  Swinging from a balanced, athletic set-up to a balanced finish is one of the best ways to produce straight shots and evaluate performance.  This is a great place to start, and by watching tour players we can learn from their impeccably balanced swings.

So what are the effects of swinging off balance?  Simply put, being off balance on the balls of your feet has the influence of reducing body rotation, makes your swing plane more vertical, and therefore inhibits clubface rotation causing the ball to fade, push, or slice.  Ever finish falling severely off balance toward impact?  If so you probably saw your ball slicing severely.

Alternatively, being off balance slightly on your heels can have the influence of increasing body rotation, flattening your swing plane, and increasing clubface rotation causing the ball to draw, pull, or hook.  It is far less common to see players falling off balance away from the ball, and consequently there are fewer who hook the ball.

TK9mWHJTnZgBbiYyQXsnX0x8mfxMtnkG6voTOFT5W24-001To illustrate this, try a slow motion practice swing with a 6- or 7-iron while being slightly off balance on the balls of your feet, stopping at waist-high after impact.  Notice how difficult it is to turn the club over?  Next try the opposite, being slightly off balance on your heels while stopping the club at waist-high after impact and you’ll notice how much easier it is to turn the clubhead over.  Be careful of how far off balance you are as severely off balance swings can be very unpredictable…

You’ll also notice that when you are on balance at waist-high after impact the clubhead will naturally settle into a nearly vertical or neutral position, which would generally result in a straight shot.  Regardless of where we think your balance should start at set-up, if you place your balance on or lose it to the balls or heels of your feet it generally results in a loss of direction.  Balance on the balls:  fade, push, or slice.  Balance on the heels:  draw, pull, or hook.  (Certainly your grip and set-up play an important part of the process as well.)

Here’s the fun part:  Now try to hit a few balls at about 2/3 to 3/4 of your normal speed while being slightly on the balls of your feet, and match your intent to produce a fade (inhibit clubface rotation) with your balance.  Then try a few balls at these reduced speeds with your weight slightly on your heels matching your intent to produce a draw (increase clubface rotation) with your balance. As explained in this sports betting sites for players from USA you can find that in the website for details sports betting usa sites.

Here’s where golf can become much more predictable:  If you are off balance the ball should not go straight, and balance becomes a great diagnostic tool.  And, if you match your intended draw or fade with being slightly off balance you will have a better chance of predicting and achieving that ball flight.  Want to fade or draw the ball?  Try being a little off balance and start using it to your advantage!

Bob Duncan is a PGA Life Member, a Master Clubfitter, and developer of the Golfer Positioning System.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply