The Truth About Balance in the Golf Swing
Open any golf magazine or search the archives of any golf site and you’ll be likely to find a tip related to the importance of maintaining balance in the swing. After all, balance seems like a good thing in human movement, why wouldn’t it be a good thing in our golf swing.
Balance in golf can be a good thing, but that doesn’t mean that imbalance has to be a bad thing.
Here’s a clip of Dr. Sasho MacKenzie discussing how we approach “balance” in our updated Golf Ground Mechanics Certification.
In a sport like Long Drive, golfers prioritize speed over EVERYTHING, including balance and stability.
Do you think Justin James cares about his balance and stability here?
But we see it at the highest levels of tournament golf too. The objective is to hit the ball. If that isn’t compromised, balanced is quickly sacrificed.
Here’s Tiger at the Ryder Cup:
Executing a golf shot was the bigger priority than achieving a balanced finish. As Dr. Sasho MacKenzie explains, his imbalance didn’t negatively influence his shot, therefore it wasn’t a bad thing in the swing.
During this week’s LA Open, imbalance in the swing will be on full display as Hosung Choi makes his first start on the PGA TOUR.
Does he maximize balance? No. Does it work for him? Absolutely.
“It’s completely fine to fall over or take a step – to give the outward appearance of losing balance – as long as those motions don’t interfere with your golf swing.”Dr. Sasho MacKenzie
So if imbalance isn’t bad, is balance bad? As you might expect, no, balance isn’t bad.
Maximizing balance at the expense of power wouldn’t be productive.
Here’s Blackburn demonstrating the most stable posture he can. Difficult to swing a golf club like this, right?
But a balanced swing doesn’t mean you can’t play great golf or hit it far.
Take Luke List, for example.
“You can lose balance, but where it can get bad is if you have some kind of reflex reaction where during the swing you do something with your limbs that instead of being directed at improving the motion of the club, that limb motion is trying to prevent you from taking a step.”Dr. Sasho MacKenzie
In summary, like many concepts in golf, balance is often misunderstood. You don’t need to be as balanced as Luke List, but you want enough stability to avoid reflex reactions. One of the goals of our Golf Ground Mechanics Certification is to help define common terms and principles like balance. The better our understanding, the better our instruction.