Today’s post is about where your weight should be distributed at the address position of the golf swing. We are not talking about between the right and left foot, but where on the bottom of your feet. Again, there is more than one theory in golf instruction. There are three ways that are advocated: 1. The weight should be on the balls of your feet at address. 2. The weight should feel like it is over the arches of the foot or just in front of the ankles. 3. The weight should be on the heels or towards the heels of your feet. There is only one thing that everyone is in agreement. Your weight should not be on your toes. One thing that you should be able to do at address is wiggle your toes. So now look at each one.
The proponents of having your weight on the balls of your feet like to say that this gets you into an athletic position and gets you ready to move and gives your body a lively feel. This is by far the most popular instruction. The big negative here is that the balls of your feet are not that far away from your toes. This instruction also likes you to shift your weight into the heels to try and prevent you from going on your toes during the swing. The inside of your right heel on the backswing and the outside of your left heel on the downswing.
Now lets go to having your weight toward the heels at the address position. You hear about this recommendation the least, but none other than Ken Venturi wrote this as one of the key fundamentals of the address position. With your weight on the heels, Mr. Venturi felt that this kept you from standing too far away from the ball, and allowed the body to make a turn a lot easier. The biggest negative of having the weight favoring the heels is sometimes keeping your balance during the swing could be a problem. It is by far the least given advice but obviously has it’s advocates.
Finally having your weight over the arches of your feet or just in front of the ankles, is real popular on the golf channel instruction. This, you could say is the compromise between the first two. Your arch is farther away from the toes and getting closer to the heels but you don’t put the weight on the heels. The big positive here is that you should have no problem keeping your balance during the swing. How much this frees your body up to turn is debatable but again shifting your weight into heels during the swing may help that.
Well hear are some rhetorical questions and you can give your own answers or just food for thought. Do we really need to be in an athletic position to make a golf swing if we really are not moving off the spot where we are starting? Do the heels really give us enough of a base to make a golf swing? Can you really feel pressure in your arch to feel that this is where you are putting most of your weight at address? Something to think about and we will cross that bridge later. Next up hip turn, do you or don’t you.
This week I am going to break down to the bare bones the best way to go about trying to hit a golf ball. Those of us who have played this game for a long time know there is so much more to this game than just making solid contact with the ball. Those of us that are just starting out this can be a formidable task. Even for us that have played the game for awhile, there can be times when this is difficult to do. As I go through the process I will reference the dates where I discuss each step in more detail.
The very first principle is that 85% of all bad shots are caused by what you do before you swing. This is not to imply that the golf swing is not important. Let’s say that all of a sudden you got 15% less of a paycheck or your car got 15% less gas mileage. You would be upset. The swing is still a factor but it’s not as important as many people think it is.
There are four things you have to do before you hit a golf ball. 1. Grip the club. 2. Create a stance in relationship to the ball. 3. Aim the clubhead. 4. Have a posture. The first two can very quite a bit according to personal preference, strength, and ability. Aim and Posture have to be done one particular correct way or hitting a golf ball will not become reality. (1-8-2012)
The Golf Swing. The swing is not the thing. (12-2-2011). There is only one principal of the golf swing: The belly button must pass the ball on the downswing before the arms (1-22-2012). The wrists are going to do whatever they are going to do, don’t think about them, just know what they are doing (1-6-2013). The shoulder turn is the controlling factor of the golf swing(1-13-2013, 1-20-2013, 3-9-2014, and 3-16-2014).
Two other things related to hitting the golf ball: Practice (3-10-2012 and 3-25-2012). and my take on Ben Hogan’s Five Fundementals of Golf, it will save you a lot of heartache (12-9-2012.
As I wrote at the top of the blog there is so much more to the game of golf than hitting the ball, but this is the first step. If you follow the principals above then you will be making solid contact in no time. See you next week.
This week I am going to review the last 2 years of my playing this goofy game. Why the last 2 years? There is quite a contrast between the years, which has led to the conclusions of trying to find the mind body connection. 2012 reinforced my belief that the key to the golf swing is, that it must be controled by the turn of the shoulders. That the enemy of the golf swing is the arms and the legs. I am going to discuss this more next week, as I review this concept, with some added information from the original post. This is not a method. This is not a swing change. This is just a different way to execute the swing that you have. By allowing the shoulders to control my swing, I hit the ball and scored the most consistant I ever have in some 50+ years of playing this game. There were two other interesting things that happened that year. I developed the chip yips and I finished the year on a down note by not breaking 80 on 7 out of the last 8 rounds I played. I had various excuses for this poor finish, and none of them were right. This poor finish did not affect my handicap as they were all after October 31, when we stop turning in scores. I considered the year a great succes and my handicap dropped from 5.1 to 3.2.
As I was heading into the 2013 golf season I was ready to tackle the mental side of this game full force, since I felt I had the physical side down. I have already written about some of the mental experiments I tried during the golf season, with some pretty disasterous results. I knew there was going to be some trial and error just like trying to find a key to the golf swing. Naturally my game suffered some, but at times it suffered greatly. Twice during the season, once in a tournament, I did not break 90. If someone would have wanted to bet me that I would do that once let alone twice, I would have lost everything I owned. My handicap went up to a season ending 4.3 but it was even higher, back into the 5’s at times during the year. However, this year I finished stronger by shooting my last 7 out of 8 rounds in the 70’s. Nothing spectacular but the consistancy came back and I started playing much better, in less than ideal conditions. I was able to do this by paying more attention to the physical side of the game. In other words I got closer to getting the mind and the body connected and to the conclusion that even for a good player the game is 50% mental and 50% physical.
As I head into the 2014 golf season that will be the concept that I hope to prove or disprove. Again this will be a trial and error procedure. What is great about golf is that the numbers will tell the story. See you next week.