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Making a Good Weight Shift

In most good golf swings, you will see a proper weight shift back and through to a balanced finish. This is a very import way to make solid contact with the golf ball, and a key to maximizing distance. Like many other sports, golfers should move slightly back, and then fully shift their weight as their body turns toward the target.

A pitcher in baseball or a football quarterback will both load up weight in their back foot. As they start the throwing motion, their lower body leads the way with the turning of hips and legs toward the target (home plate or a wide receiver). This is a great sequence of motion for ideal speed, but also the best way to have a consistent and accurate release of the ball.

In a golf set-up, your weight should be evenly balanced with your right and left foot. As you start the backswing, the turning of your upper body will move weight into your back foot. It is very common for players to think they should make a huge turn in their backswing. However in doing so, their back leg straightens and pushes their head (and weight) forward. As they start the downswing, their weight falls backwards causing a variety of miss hits. This is commonly known as a “reverse pivot”.

When making your backswing, try to keep a little flex in your back knee as you move your weight into that foot. As you start the downswing, your lower body (legs and hips) will lead the way by turning and moving weight to your front foot. The arms and club will follow, moving through the ball together, then the arms will continue turning and extending around your body to a balanced finish.

Typical miss hits from a poor weight shift are “topping” or “chunking” the ball. It can also produce high fades, big slices, or flip hooks among others. This weight shift can be an important way to improve your impact position and produce much more powerful, accurate golf shots.

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