“You can show a golfer all the techniques of a proper swing, whether it be for the driver, fairway woods, sand wedges, or putting, but without good balance, a golf swing will underperform. Balance is one of the major constants that is overlooked in the golf swing, says Buck Deibel, Director of Golf at The Club at Boca Pointe, a Boca country club, and one of the few Master Professionals in the area.
“For our younger members, balance is not as often an issue as for the older golfer. As we age, balance becomes much more difficult, whether or not we are playing golf. When golfers have good balance, the swing looks effortless.” he adds.
“A well-balanced golfer produces a swing that is graceful and pleasing to look at. Also, the well-balanced golfer can generate faster club-head speed and a better chance of squaring up the club-head. Hitting the ball squarely and solidly is often the payoff of a well-balanced swing,” Mr. Deibel explains.
This begs the question, how do I improve my balance? According to Mr. Deibel, it can be accomplished in a number of ways. For example, a wider stance where the heels are a least shoulder width apart gives the golfer good balance especially with the driver. Too narrow a stance with the driver could throw the golfer off-balance affecting the club face and path resulting in the club not being square at impact.
A golfer’s body weight should be set on the inside of the right foot at address and remain there during the backswing (for a right-handed golfer). “If you let your weight slide too far outside the right foot, you’re likely to sway, which will make it difficult to consistently return to the proper impact position.” asserts Mr. Deibel.
To anchor his right knee during the backswing, golf legend Jack Nicklaus slightly inclines the knee before he begins his swing and keeps the knee flexed as he completes the backswing. This creates torque, which results in a very powerful move through impact.
A golfer should also maximize swing arc while not over swinging. “To generate power, you want to make as full a shoulder turn as you can, but amateur golfers often lose their balance trying to achieve this goal. Your left heel should not come off the ground more than an inch as you reach the top of your backswing.” describes Mr. Deibel. “Private Lessons” advises that when your shoulders turn as far as they can, that should be at the top of your swing. Don’t bend your left arm trying to lengthen your swing — or strain to swing back so far that you move your head or let your torso tilt toward the target.
Lastly, it is important to achieve a balanced follow-through. After you complete your swing you should finish on your right toe with the large majority of you weight balanced on your left side (foot).
With a little practice, you will begin to see the benefits of a well-balance swing!