golf Improvement

Weight Shift in the Golf Swing

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Wade Baynham

Original Three Guys Golf
Single-digit handicap, who learned golf in his early 20′s from my former father-in-law, a long time PGA tour and Champions tour player. I enjoy studying the golf swing and occasionally give golf lessons.

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All the great ball-strikers have shifted their weight during the golf swing, so I think it makes a lot of sense to follow their lead. Interestingly, amateurs struggle quite a bit with weight shift in golf, even though they don’t in other sports. Why is it that when we throw a ball, swing a baseball bat, or make any other athletic motion we have no problem shifting our weight, but when it comes to golf, we are a mess?

Jimmy Ballard teaches that the golf swing should be much like many other athletic motions. Therefore, by mimicking certain feels from other sports, including a proper weight shift, a lot of good things can happen.

For example, Ben Hogan noted that he felt like the right arm worked in the swing the way a short stop would step and throw the ball underhanded to the second basemen on a double play.

Three Guy Golf Tips

Ballard talks in his videos about the motion of the right hand also feeling like a boxer throwing a right uppercut, and the motion of the left hand feeling like you are trying to strike someone with the back of your left arm and hand-similar to a tennis backhand.

Power comes from the back, shoulder, and hip

My father-in-law, who played on the Tour for years, talked a lot about feeling his weight, at the top of his backswing, as pressure on his right heel. A quick test of weight transfer is to turn to the top of your backswing, and see if you can feel the weight in your right heel, and also easily lift your left heel off the ground. For many, including Nicklaus, the next move, to initiate the downswing, is to replant the left heel and step onto the left foot. If you have made a good move to your left side, you should be able to hold your finish with almost all of your weight being firmly on top of your left foot, and your right toe will be just lightly touching the ground.

Weight from back side to a balance finish

The only exception is with the short irons or scoring clubs like an 8 iron on down through your wedges, where the necessity of crisp contact and a more compact swing for greater accuracy dictates staying with the bulk of your weight on your left side throughout the swing. Ken Venturi was famous for placing a golf ball or two under the outside of his right shoe while hitting balls to not allow his weight to slide right on the takeaway, and to give him leverage off the ground to initiate the downswing.

Since leg interaction with the ground gives us the ability to turn our hips back toward the target and create swing speed in the downswing, make sure you don’t cheat yourself by trying to keep your weight too stationary through the swing.

So when thinking about weight shift, try to keep some of these sports analogies in mind as they can help you to feel the proper motion.

 

5 Comments

  1. Just came back from a lesson and this is exactly whatnI was working on. Your insights and tips are spot on.

  2. This is a tough one for me. I’m learning to shift my weight as we speak. I have a problem with arching my back and smacking the ball high on my follow-through. My weight just isn’t transitioning. Thanks for the tips!!

    • Kacy,

      Thanks for the comment. I have been working with Wade for about 3 months now and really feel like my swing is the most consistent it has ever been. I would encourage you to read and re-read his posts. Sometimes it seems like he is saying the same thing over and over, but actually that is a good thing. Look for lots more stuff from Wade as well.

  3. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was wondering what all is required to get setup? I’m assuming having
    a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very internet savvy so I’m not 100% sure. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

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