PGA Pro Tips: Add 10 Yards to Your Drives by Starting Your Golf Swing in Athletic Balance
You can hit longer drives – without changing your golf swing - simply by starting in better balance. Because golf is a sport it requires good balance. When you are not in good balance your body wastes energy keeping you upright – energy that otherwise could be translated into more clubhead speed. Since clubhead speed is the most important factor in distance (every 1 mph increase in clubhead speed generates about 2.5-yards in distance), wasted energy means loss of distance. The trick is to start in an athletic "ready" position, which you can easily achieve during your set-up.
What is the Athletic “Ready” Position?
In an athletic "ready" position you are capable of moving instantly in any direction. Picture a basketball player guarding the ball, or a linebacker waiting for the snap. They don’t know exactly which way they will have to move, so they have to be ready to move in any direction.
Your Athletic, “Golf-Ready” Position
In your golf “ready” position your weight will be on the balls of your feet. You should feel poised and “centered”, capable of athletic, tension-free movement. The key is to have your center of mass (a spot located a couple of inches up from your belly button and a couple of inches in from your spine) over the middle of your feet. That will give you a stable, vertical axis of rotation which will help you generate more clubhead speed and that extra 10 yards.
Simple Test for Athletic Balance
Here's a quick test for athletic balance: Get in your address position and make a small hop. If you hop forward, your center of mass is too far forward over your toes (most common fault). Same idea if you hop backwards - your weight is too far back on your heels. If you hop straight up and come down still in balance, you are in athletic balance.
Taking it to the Course
To set yourself up in athletic balance on the golf course add this simple component to your pre-shot routine: Just before initiating your golf swing alternately lift up and tap your left and right toes on the ground. You may need to adjust your posture or hips to find your athletic balance. Once you find it swing away. You'll get that extra 10 yards AND make more consistent contact.