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Drills for better balance (and more hit fairways)

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Charles Howell III swings with great balance, and not only is he one of the best ball strikers on the PGA Tour. He’s also one of the longest drivers of the ball on Tour. 

The greatest drivers of the golf ball all had one thing in common. They hit more fairways in regulation than their peers, and they all had one common denominator: balance.

Golfers with poor balance lose control of not only their drives, but the rest of their shots as well. Balance is the key to control in all sports, and in golf it is paramount. If you want to hit more fairways and gain more distance, the first thing you want to work on is creating a balanced swing. That means starting with a balanced setup and staying in control as your weight moves from heel to toe and side to side.

Many players swing harder with their drive because they want to get more out of it and hit the ball as far as they can. This is fine if you can hold a balanced finish until the ball lands. If not, you are giving up control in an effort to gain distance. Here are a few drills that can help you with your balance and create understanding of how hard you can swing and still stay in control.

Balance Drills

First, set up with your driver and get up on the toe of your back foot and hit balls. Swinging on one foot will help you find your balance quickly and you begin to feel how hard you can swing without falling over. Next, place your feet together and hit balls. Again, you will feel how hard you can swing without losing your balance. You will also feel a solid turn with your feet together because it restricts your lower body. Hit some balls this way then move into your normal stance and see how much easier it is to swing in balance.

Use both of these drills to find out how hard you can swing and still stay in control. Most players feel like 80 percent is the max that they can go at the ball and still stay in balance and control.

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Bernard Sheridan is the owner and founder of Par Breakers Golf Academy and Indoor driving range located in Golf USA Limerick, Pennsylvania. Bernard is a certified in the following golf instruction methods: Golf Channel Swing Fix Instructor and Impact Zone , Putting Zone, Body Balance Fitness, U.S. Kids Golf, Eye Line Golf 4 Elements putting and certified Mizuno Club fitter. Bernard is now in process of acquiring his biomechanics golf certification. Bernard is also the founder of Par Breakers Junior Golf Camps and that was voted Best Golf Camp in the Philadelphia area by Main Line Life magazine in 2008 along with Best Golf teachers Honorable mention by U.S. Kids Golf 2009-10. Find out more at http://www.parbreakers.com

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Curt

    May 1, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    Couple of great drills there, need to go back to them this year!

  2. Roger

    May 1, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Bernard, Balance is the key!
    20 years ago my Coach started me at 40% effort and then 50%
    and so on up to around 75% effort.
    It’s a great way to swing easy and find what works real well.
    Many 60% swings are Real Good ! With a Great Centre Impact
    on the club being the other Key Point !
    Cheers, Roger

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Stickney: There are many ways to pitch the ball that work

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While surfing through some old swings, I found a great photo of two players hitting pitch shots at Augusta. Both are great pitchers of the ball but use differing techniques. It goes to show you that there is more than one way to get the job done and in fact it reiterates that there is really no “law” when it comes to what shot to play under certain circumstances.

Note: I did NOT say that one was better than the other; I said both work, but you must decide which style works better for you in the end.

In the photo on the left, the player in the white sets his wrists fully, but as we look at the player on the right (in the blue) you can see no wrist hinge at all. So, which is more correct? Both are!

The player on the left hits his pitch shots with more of a driving of the leading edge, which relies on a steeper angle of attack. The golfer on the right uses more of the bounce of the club and thus will come into the ball more shallowly. Not setting the wrists as much helps him to do so.

So, remember that you must experiment with both styles to find your best way…but don’t forget it’s nice to understand and learn how to use both!

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