It is widely accepted that balance is essential not just in golf, it’s a major factor in most sports, but how well do you understand the details of balance and how to apply it? Often a definition of balance is “your ability to stay upright”. It is from this simple requirement that so much more than this happens in the golf swing. There are two terms we should be aware of when referring to balance one is “static (still) balance” and the other is “dynamic (moving) balance”. So if dynamic balance tells the brain the first priority when your body is in motion is to keep your body in balance so that you don’t fall and hurt yourself, then it stands to reason that if you are out of balance your body will be movements that are not what you are trying to do as part of your swing. I’m sure you will have come across Newton’s laws of motion – “every action has an opposite reaction …..etc.” In some martial arts one of the things they teach you is in order to move one direction you must first move the other properly.
This however is not a suggestion to make yourself immobile in your swing in the interest of staying in balance. On the contrary it’s about getting you to be aware of centring your swinging motions vertically, rotationally and even laterally. One of the reasons top class players spend so much times checking set-ups and postures is because they want to start from the most efficient balanced position. Another characteristic you will notice these sorts of players engage in is holding there finish position, once again a check to tell them they have been in balance.
Good balance is not just confined to the full swing, the same principles apply to chipping and putting. In my opinion balance just doesn’t get mentioned enough when it comes to our putting actions.
The next time you have a chance to practice make a point of putting some awareness to what your balance is like in your golfing techniques. Think about how balanced you are front you’re set up through to the finish of your swings.