Mishits and errant shots could be the product of bad balance. Team Canada Head Physiotherapist and Strength Coach Greg Redman is here to help you improve your balance.
Balance, or kinesthetic awareness, is critical to a smooth, co-ordinated and efficient swing. Why? Because each golf swing requires millions of neurons to communicate effectively and with minimal error in the blink of an eye.
The accuracy and speed of this communication plays an important role in your optimal swing. The better your balance and kinesthetic awareness, the better your weight shift from setup to backswing to impact. As your balance improves, you reduce the need for unwanted compensatory movements, which inevitably lead to swing faults and errant shots.
Additionally as your kinesthetic awareness improves, the more likely each body part will accelerate and decelerate with optimal timing. For example, the pelvis accelerates and decelerates before the thoracic spine, which is before the shoulders and before the wrists.
These two exercises, as shown by Team Canada’s Hugo Bernard, will improve your balance and body awareness during the swing.
With your arms reached out to your sides, stand on one foot, balance yourself and flex forward at the hip while lifting the opposite leg into extension. Try holding this airplane-like position and balance for 30 seconds. For a progression of this exercise, close your eyes and try to balance for 20 seconds without leaning to one side or flapping your arms around like a bird.
While holding an iron out in front of your chest at shoulder height, balance on one leg. Begin by rotating from side to side, first slowly and not through the full range. Then, as you improve, progress to a full range of hip and trunk rotation. Finally, do so with increased speed until you reach the pace of your ideal tempo swing.
Completing these exercises three to four times a week for three to five minutes per day will provide the benefits of a smoother and more co-ordinated swing.