A misunderstood concept in golf happens to be a key component to striking the ball well. This concept being weight distribution.
We know that weight shift happens in the golf swing, but what do we do, how do we do it, and when do we do it? Weight shift is also dependent on the clubs you’re hitting, such as your driver and your irons. Weight shift differentiates between an iron and a driver as well. It can be confusing, but we’re here to help!
First things first, let’s get some clarification on a few things.
The goal is to create good weight distribution in the golf swing. Now when you think of weight distribution you may think of shifting your entire body to create the necessary weight shift.
There is a difference between shifting pressure vs. shifting mass.
Both fall into the category of weight shift but the latter will leave you struggling on the golf course. Which is why understanding the difference between the two and learning how to shift weight properly will be beneficial to your swing!
The golf swing consists of different motions but is very rotational in nature. There is lateral movement and vertical movement within the golf swing. With these movements, it can become easy to over exaggerate which moves you off the ball, making it difficult to have consistency in your shots.
How To Shift Your Weight Correctly
You want to be able to stay in balance and shift your weight efficiently with power. To do that you need to do a couple of things.
One being shifting your pressure and rotating. To do this properly you need to:
- Brace on the inside of your trail foot as you begin your swing
- Keep your head relatively centered (it’s okay if it moves a couple of inches)
- Keep your weight within your stance width
- After you’re in rotation, begin shifting your energy to your lead foot toward the target
A key point to remember, is to stay within the boundaries of your stance. If you look at any other sport where athletes change direction constantly, you will see them staying within the boundaries of the foot they push off of. If they didn’t, the explosiveness of their movements would be gone and they would be unstable.
Difference Between Driver & Irons
As you know, the lengths of your irons and driver are different. With your irons, your stance is slightly more narrow. You can test to see if you’re shifting your weight properly with a simple trick.
You want to keep your upper body within the boundaries of your stance. A good checkpoint for this is to put your club up to your chest as you rotate. If the club is sitting on the inside edge of your trail foot, you’re good to go. If it’s outside of your foot, you know you shifted your weight a touch too far.
You can perform the same test with your driver. The difference is, your stance is a little bit wider and you should have a slight tilt at address. You should still be moving on the inside of your trail foot, so if you catch your upper body outside of that boundary, you can make corrections and adjust.
Keeping your body within those boundaries will give you an idea of what good weight distribution should feel like. This topic is often misinterpreted and golfers over exaggerate what they should be doing. Understanding the feel of proper weight shift will have you balanced, and you will be able to create powerful and consistent shots!