Good Balance and Rhythm in Golf Swing Help You 'Swing Easy, Hit Hard'

Proper Balance in Various Positions of the Golf Swing
Clockwise from top left, the proper balance in golf swing positions from start to finish (larger photos on following pages). Photos by Kelly Lamanna

All great players have the ability to swing every club at a consistent tempo and with great balance. Rhythm and balance are linked. Some players, like Tom Watson, exhibit faster tempos. Some, like Ernie Els, exhibit a slower tempo. Yet all remain balanced.

The key to consistency is to maintain your balance and use a smooth rhythm.

If you rush your swing you will lose your balance and the end result is inconsistent contact and poor ball flight. Outstanding ball strikers are rarely off balance at impact and their rhythm is the "glue" that bonds their positions and movements. Often their swings seem effortless and they, as Julius Boros described it, "swing easy and hit hard." Great rhythm allows you to properly sequence your body motion and arrive at impact in a position of leverage and power.

Ten-time PGA Tour driving accuracy champion Calvin Peete says the three keys to straight driving are "Balance, Balance, and Balance." If you want to be a more consistent ball striker, you must understand how the body should be balanced in four key positions.

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Balance in the Address Position

How golfers should be balanced in the address position
Good balance in the address position. Kelly Lamanna

Although your spine is tilted away from the target at address, you should have your weight evenly balanced on your right and your left foot with your middle and long irons. Also, you should feel your weight evenly balanced between your heels and your toes, roughly on the balls of the feet. (For a more in-depth discussion/illustration of the setup, see Golf Setup Position: Step-by-step to a great golf stance.)

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Balance at the Top of the Backswing

Proper balance at the top of the backswing
Good balance at the top of the backswing. Kelly Lamanna

As you pivot to the top of the backswing, your weight moves into the inside of the back foot. You should feel approximately 75-percent of your weight on the back foot and 25-percent on the front foot. The weight must never move to the outside of the back foot.

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Balance at Impact in the Golf Swing

Good golf swing balance at the impact position
Good balance in the impact position. Kelly Lamanna

By the time you arrive at impact, approximately 70-75 percent of your weight should be shifted onto the front foot. Your head must be behind the ball and your hips must shift forward approximately four inches past their starting position. This increases the spine tilt by at least double.

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Balance at the Finish in the Golf Swing

How golfers should be balanced at the finish position of the swing
Good balance in the finish position. Kelly Lamanna

At the completion of the follow through, you should have the majority of your weight -- about 90 percent of it -- on the outside of the front foot.

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