When Less is More
When Less is More
By Dr. T. J. Tomasi, Keiser University College of Golf Senior Faculty and Director of Research
Often golfers use too much conscious effort loading up their right side (left for lefties) during the backswing. Thus, they get out of position at the top of the swing, producing timing problems during the downswing. In other words, when it comes to transferring weight, real and feel aren’t the same.
Here’s a drill to help: Stand up straight with your arms hanging at your sides and 50/50 weight distribution on your feet. Now, without moving your lower body, simply rotate your chest to the right and note that a certain amount of weight automatically shifts to your right side. That’s exactly how much you should shift, with everybody having a slightly different optimal amount. Now assume your golf posture and do the same, i.e., turn your chest/arms, but keep your lower body still. This will produce your perfect balance point at the top of your swing.
Remember, we’re built for walking and running, so your body seeks balance automatically based on the soft trunk rotation and arm swing that propels us forward. Actually, walking and running involve an alternating but temporary loss of balance coupled with an immediate correction as adjustments are made for a changing center of gravity. Watch a toddler learning to walk as she/he copes with the “regaining of balance” part of walking – over time; they fall less and less until walking becomes second nature. This dynamic process operates during the golf swing even though your body is not translocating. The point is that when basic survival software is running, you need to comply by letting your body find the correct amount of weight shift and spine angle rather than forcing it into the configuration you hope produces the correct weight shift.
This young player is not thinking about weight shift but is none-the-less shifting her weight – a move triggered by her arm swing/chest turn. Her arm swing and upper-body turn have pulled just the correct amount of weight to her trail side. The best movements under pressure are those which are triggered by the unconscious, i.e., those that have been repeated so many times that they are automatic.
Note: Late sets like hers always appear more inside than they are.
With the club and her arms on the other side of her body, her weight is now on her left — again, just the correct amount. Perfect practice conditions the weight to go where it should produce perfect golf balance.
If you’d like to study with Dr. Tomasi and other PGA Master Professionals, contact The College of Golf today.