We are back with part two in our series of golf tips by Gord Hayward designed to help you play better and get more enjoyment out of your golf game.
Now that we have established a good grip, we can move on to establishing good balance. You will hear me talk about balance many times from this week on. Balance is the number one most important factor required to hit consistently good golf shots.
There are many things that contribute to good balance. Today we are going to cover two of them, stance and posture.
As a general rule we want to stand with our feet about shoulder width apart (inside of our feet to the inside of our shoulders for a middle iron). We will want to have a slightly narrower stance with our short irons and a slightly wider stance with our longer irons, hybrids and woods. The widest stance will be with our driver (inside of our feet to the outside of our shoulders at most).
If our feet are too close together we will not have good balance and if our feet are too far apart we will have good balance but won’t be able to shift our weight properly. The proper width creates good balance while allowing us to shift our weight properly.
If you are right handed you will want to have your left foot turned slightly open (toward the target). This will help you to turn through the shot and finish the swing with your hips facing the target, your shoulders facing or even past the target.
You will want to have your right foot relatively straight. This will help in properly loading the right side.
If your normal stance and walk is one where both feet are naturally very open, you might want to stand with your feet a little more open at address.
Good posture at address gets you set up in a balanced athletic position. Good posture allows you to do the following:
· Take full advantage of the large muscle groups in your legs, back and shoulders.
· Efficiently take advantage of your legs, hips, shoulders, arms and hands.
· Take the club back properly and on plane at the start of the back swing.
· Make a complete balanced on plane golf swing from start to finish.
There are many ways to get yourself set up properly. One easy way is to stand up straight and bend from the hips until your fingertips touch the top of your knees, then flex your knees just enough for you to be in balance (weight on the balls of your feet). Like any sport you need to be in balance. Think of another sport you have played, take basketball for example if you are defending you have to be in a balanced position on the balls of your feet to stop the person trying to go around you. If you are off balance on your toes or back on your heels you will won’t be able to move from side to side to stop the person.
If set up properly you will be in a balanced position bent at the hips, small flex in the knees, hands hanging below your shoulders about one full hand span away from your legs (think of bending over to pick up a pail of water, if your arms are hanging below your shoulders you can use the big muscles in your back shoulders and legs to pick up the pail. If you are reaching and your hands/arms are out past your shoulders you don’t have the balance or use of the big muscles to pick up the pail. This same principle applies to hitting the golf ball.
In part three we will look at ball position, hand position and alignment.