Lesson Four - Balance

The first thing in the golf swing to become sensitive to is balance, or the 'center of gravity' and to its movement. With the driver swing, the legs hold the power and control to keep the center of gravity where it belongs. The right leg has the big job of bracing to receive the movement of weight from the back swing. The right knee must not roll out or back and let weight roll onto the right side of the right foot, onto the toes, or onto the heels. The center of gravity mustn't move around that much. And certainly the right leg must not straighten up during the back swing. The muscle bracing in the right leg must be properly set at address before taking the club back. If the right leg is braced as if it were already at the top of the back swing, then less excess motion or muscle adjustment will go on during the back swing. 

The left leg has the job of being ready to receive the body weight into impact and firmly brace for the follow through. Again, the player first needs to know how the left leg feels when the swing or body weight moves onto it during and after impact. The practice is to brace or at least prepare to brace the muscles involved in the left leg before take-away so that excess adjusting isn't necessary during the swing. When each leg is properly braced the hips can still pivot along with the upper body rotation. There is nothing rigid about the legs. The knee flex and leg muscle bracing is geared to only what support is needed to stay level and to stay centered in order to handle the upper body movement without losing control of balance.

The lower back is the next major brace to consider. Slightly arching the lower back is important to accentuate the muscles which, when locked in, or braced, makes for more "relaxed" muscles in the middle and upper back. When the upper back is free for movement, the shoulder pivot becomes very simple and easy and perfectly appropriate for rotation. The left shoulder should be able to swing under the chin without significant muscle adjustments taking place in the back. The upper body swings the arms as one motion. Again, knowing the back muscles involved in the entire swing is the way to properly prepare and set the tension of those muscles prior to the take-a-way.

When the player address' the ball, the arms must be secured to the chest and braced through the elbows and wrists so that the arms and the club can swing into the back-swing as a single unit, and without adjusting the muscle tension or tone all the way back. The palms and elbows oppose each other equally so that excess right forearm and palm pressure will rotate the entire upper body (and the club) to the left. Excess pressure in the left forearm will swing the back, shoulders, arms, and club to the right. With the proper bracing at address, the awareness and control of balance in the swing is greatly improved.



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