By Don Powers, Purtzer Golf Academy
How Balanced are you?
I realize this is a strange question and I am only referring to your golf swing, so stop thinking about the question before it hurts. Balance is so important in life and to your golf swing. I mention the subject because I see many who lack balance in their swing, who lose their balance as though wounded, even with their putting stroke and then blame everything but their lack of equilibrium for some dreadful result.
If you participated in our beginning Junior Golf Clinics and our Golf Academy, we start you on the putting green. There we impress the importance of a “still” head and “quiet” eyes. We would have you putt four-foot putts until there was no tendency of your head to move, the cause of even the most expert professional golfers to miss short putts!
Further, we impress upon you how vital it is to focus on a dimple on the ball without any “peeking”, never raising your head or moving your eyes off that spot until you hear the “clunk” of the ball in the hole.
Once satisfied, we begin hitting short chip shots and pitch shots using similar principles. Shortly after, you will begin hitting full shots on the range. However, now you are quantum leaps ahead of those who just try whacking at balls with a “hit it hard” mentality.
What you discover with this practice is your head controls your stability and you would have trouble mastering the simplest of drills unless your body stays in balance.
I have not read nor seen much material on this subject. This is amazing to me if you consider that the tiniest movement up, down, left, right, forward or back changes the impact position of the ball on the clubface away from its sweet spot. Worse yet, the club may even strike the ground before hitting the ball.
The dreaded “shank” (when the ball strikes the hosel of the club causing the ball to squirt right and causing you to get sick) can result from leaning the body forward or lowering your head an inch or so, so slight a move that it is not perceptible to the player.
Tom Purtzer at 2008 US Senior Open Broadmoor Golf Club, Colo. Spgs, CO
So, if you are a veteran player or brand new to the game, give balance its proper due. One really important part of every swing should be to swing through to a finished, balanced position and hold it for a few, slow seconds. I call this the “trophy” finish. At this position you should have your weight on your left heal, facing the target with your hips and chest and be in balance. This “trophy finish” is important because you will at least look good.
I have seen some terrible shots but the “trophy finish” will make the worst of golfers look great. Remember, looking good is important. If you cannot do the trophy finish with your practice swing, you must embark now on a program (hopefully with a Purtzer Golf Academy or PGA Professional) or to learn poise, balance and flexibility.
I realize this advice is not the sexiest of golf tips compared to hitting long 300 yard drives, but balance will make you a better golfer, help lower your scores, and did I mention “how good you will look”? You adults can learn from this as well.
Don Powers Purtzer Golf Master Instructor and has exceptional people skills. Don is outstanding in a corporate, charitable or group setting.