Learning how to manage and control your body weight in the golf swing
– September 21, 2023
I’m going to show you one simple drill that literally can transform your golf swing. Now, I know that’s a bold statement but, in this article, I am going to share with you what might be considered the ‘holy grail’ of golf swing technique, and that is learning to manage and control your body weight in the golf swing.
When you can do this, you create a solid foundation for your structure and then everything else follows from there.
When you learn to manage and control your body weight well, you will eliminate so many other things that you used to worry about or were trying to fix. You can achieve so much with this one drill.
It really is one of my favourite exercises. So, let’s get straight into it.
If you have an alignment stick, that would be great. If not, simply lay a shaft or a similar thin object on the ground (make sure the ground is flat). You just want something to give you a little bit of awareness.
Stand on the stick so it goes through the centre of your foot, where your arch is. (Image 1) This simple little stick might make you aware that you are either favouring the front of your feet or the back, when in fact you should feel both your forefoot and heel are connected to the ground. Your toes should be nice and relaxed and be able to wiggle on the ground; in other words, don’t grip the ground with your toes.
I want you to find this starting position (image 2).
Now, because the golf swing is effectively a circle, your hands, arms and golf club will start in front of your body and then, as you swing, they will travel to the side of your body and go around slightly behind you (image 3), and then, of course, they come back out in front on the way back to the ball.
In order to manage your body weight correctly, you want it to mirror, to some extent, the shape of your golf swing, which means that the pressure your feet create against the ground will change from the original starting position, where your weight is spread evenly, i.e., 50-50 front to back and 50-50 right to left, to where in the back swing you feel more pressure build up towards the back of your rear foot, behind the alignment stick, at the same time as some pressure building towards the front of your lead foot, in front of the alignment stick (Image 4).
In this image (image 5), I am using a second alignment stick to show how the pressure under my feet has shifted in the backswing. Can you see how the direction of pressure under my feet is mirroring the general shape of my swing? It’s very subtle, but it happens.
You can practice this move at home. You don’t even need to hit balls to get some good changes.
Go slowly to feel the subtle shift in pressure as you move through your swing. It’s a good idea to practise the move with the club across your chest (image 6). This helps you forget about your arms and just concentrate on the movement of your lower half and to control your body weight.
Of course, so far, I am only referring to the backswing, but the golf swing is a chain reaction, so if you can move more effectively on the way back, you have a greater chance of moving well on the downswing. But, rest assured, improve your movement on the way back and you will hit the ball more solidly and straighter.
Practise these movements and next month I will help you understand the movements on the way down back to the ball.
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By Scott Cranfield
Scott Cranfield is a PGA Master Coach. For over 30 years, he has dedicated his life to helping golfers achieve their goals through a natural approach that embraces the true laws of how the human mind and body work. Scott’s unique approach has led to the creation of multiple training programmes, and the experience of coaching every standard of golfer from complete beginners through to Ryder Cup players. As well as enjoying a long TV career with Sky Sports and Setanta TV, in 2011 Scott was honoured with the award of PGA Master Professional & Coach.