Is there anything better than hitting a pure shot with perfect balance? Golf swing balance is key to becoming a consistent ball striker and hitting your golf goals.
When it comes to balance in the golf swing it’s hard not to think of Rory McIlroy. Despite being a smaller players in professional golf, he’s one of the longest hitters. Pound for pound, he can take on almost any golfer and makes it look easy.
But how do you get perfect balance? Is it a setup issue? Something to work on in the gym? Or other factors?
Today, we’ll help you understand how to swing with perfect balance using a variety of different methods and help you nail one of golf’s most important swing fundamentals.
Golf Swing Balance 101
If you’re like most golfers I’m sure you’ve asked, “How do you improve balance and stability in golf?”
The truth is that it’s not just one thing – it’s a mix of your setup, tempo, flexibility, and other factors. As Tiger Woods said in Golf Digest, “Good balance starts from the ground up. Your weight should be evenly distributed on the balls of your feet at address, your knees slightly flexed and upper body bent from the hips. That solid, athletic posture is the key to an “in-balance” swing.”
So let’s start with the ground up to build a solid base and get you one step closer to perfect balance in your swing.
- Adjust your golf stance width based on what club you’re hitting.
- Keep your weight in the middle of your feet throughout the swing.
- Balance is incredibly important in developing a consistent golf swing.
- Proper balance in golf comes from building a good address position with your stance, flexibility, and posture.
When you maintain balance like professional golfers you will make solid contact, have the correct downswing sequence, and likely improve your golf score. Keep reading to learn the step-by-step process of achieving perfect balance in your golf swing.
One of the biggest reasons why most golfers don’t have consistent balance is because of a poor golf stance. What you do at setup position has such a big impact on the rest of your ability to hit quality golf shots.
Specifically, most people have a golf stance that is too narrow. If you’re constantly ending your swing without proper balance, it might be time to widen your stance.
But it’s key to adjust your stance based on the club you’re hitting. A general rule of thumb is the longer the club, the wider the stance.
- Wedges and short irons: Less than shoulder width.
- Mid to long irons and some hybrids: Shoulder width.
- Fairway woods/hybrids: Shoulder width or slightly more.
- Driver: Wider than shoulder width to build a strong base and make a full rotation.
Always evaluate your address position before changing out the clubs in your golf bag or hiring a coach. So much of what happens in the golf swing happens before you take the club away.
Check Your Weight Distribution
Once your stance is dialed in for the club you’re hitting, make sure to check your weight distribution. You want the weight in the middle of your feet, not on your toes or heels. This will help make a complete backswing and stay balanced through the swing.
Additionally, make sure to check out the weight is distributed with each foot. When hitting clubs off the deck, you want more weight on your lead foot (55-60%) to hit the ball with a descending angle of attack. For a driver, you want more weight on your back foot (55-60% also) to hit up on the ball and increase launch angle.
Flare Your Feet
While having the right stance for your club is key, another way to improve your setup is with slightly flared feet. Your back foot should remain perpendicular to the target line but flaring your front foot open can create an open stance which will improve balance and distance.
As Greg Norman said, “At address, my right foot points perpendicular to the target line, but my left foot flares out almost thirty degrees to the left. That’s a lot. The reason I do this is that it helps me get my left side out of the way and turn fully through impact.”
This can help with hip rotation and a better full swing.
Adjust Your Posture to Maintain Control
Once your stance is set up for success, the next thing to address is your posture. Good posture will help you avoid injuries, improve your swing for more consistency, and likely hit it further too.
But what is a “good” posture in the golf swing? Here a few pointers:
- Straighten your back
- Push back your shoulders
- Stand the correct distance from the ball
- Lift your chin (so your shoulders can turn under on the backswing)
Then you need to maintain your spine angle throughout the swing! This will help create maximum swing speed and more consistency for an overall good golf swing.
These are the basics of proper golf posture but we elaborate in-depth in a separate article. Click here to learn more about building the perfect posture for your swing.
Stop Swinging So Hard
Another reason that so many golfers suffer from poor balance is because of over swinging. In the same Golf Digest article from the introduction, Tiger Woods elaborate by saying.
“Over-swinging is the opposite of balance. It can throw off your timing, compromise your posture, and make it almost certain that the ball won’t end up where you planned. If your driving is erratic, chances are your balance is off, too. Try swinging at no more than 80 percent.”
If you watch Tiger and other elite PGA Tour professionals you’ll notice they rarely swing out of their shoes. Unless they are chopping something out of the thick rough or attempting a long drive, they are 100% in control. And that happens by swinging less than 100% effort so they can finish in a balanced position.
But the exact opposite is true for most everyday amateur golfers. Most players try to hit every drive and approach shot with 100% effort which leads to over swinging. When you take more clubs and swing smoothly, you’ll have much more balance in your swing.
Plus, you’ll likely miss long of the green if you hit it too well (which usually has less trouble than short of the green).
Rotate Don’t Sway on Your Backswing
Another reason why you might lose balance is because of a lateral swaying motion on the backswing. If you’re swaying instead of rotating, it’s nearly impossible to end up with a balanced follow through.
Think about it, if you move laterally on the backswing (instead of rotating around your body) you will have to laterally shift back in your downswing. But this will only get you to your starting position. You will then need to slide even more left to initiate the downswing, open the left hip, and unwind the lower body.
As you can imagine, this is a lot of timing that is pretty much impossible to do consistently. One of the few things that all great players have in common is rotation, not swaying.
If your balance is off, it might not be a swing or setup issue but instead, a body issue. A lot of times golfers have very tight muscles and this limits the ability to swing the golf club correctly. If your shoulders, hips, and legs are tight, it’s nearly impossible to stay balanced.
This is why we suggest doing some golf stretches before, during, and after the round. Add in some massages or chiropractor work and your body will help you become more stable on every swing.
Add in Some Golf Workouts
Aside from stretching, another great idea to maintaining balance is to add muscle and stability in the gym. By doing compound movements like deadlifts, bench press, and squats you’ll strengthen the most important muscles in the body.
If you look at guys with amazing balance (Rory, Tiger, etc.) you’ll also see they’re avid gym goers. You can work on your swing and posture all you want but sometimes getting better at golf means changing your body away from the course.
Besides weight training you can also do one legged exercises, stability ball workouts, core workouts, and more. Click here to learn the best workouts in golf now.
Use Training Aids
Finally, don’t forget to use some training aids. While all the other strategies will help you achieve better balance, there are some great training aids that can help too.
The Orange Whip training aid has become so successful it launched an entire brand behind it. Now, the Orange Peel (quite a name for a golf training aid) can help you with multiple parts of the golf swing.
The Orange Peel helps you learn how to stay balanced, rotate (not sway), and build a strong foundation from the ground up. This patented design will force your core to stay active and build an athletic stance in practice. It restricts lateral movement (aka swaying) which a lot of golfers need help with!
As they said on their website, “When you practice on the Orange Peel you will strengthen your legs and core. This will create more flexibility of motion. You will be able to pivot and rotate correctly on a level plane, adding consistency and power to your golf swing motion.”
This full body training aid can help you ingrain great posture and stability so you’re automatic on the golf course.
Why Golf Pressure Plate
A similar device to the Orange Peel is the Pressure Plate from Why Golf. This training aid helps with balance but also shifting your weight properly.
One of the biggest mistakes that most golfers make is not shifting their weight properly. Too much weight on your back leg leads to a lot of issues.
Whether it’s from swaying or bad technique, this leads to a ton of thin and fat shots. But this device makes it easy to feel the proper weight shift so you can achieve more balance.
Standing on the board (sort of like an adult teeter totter) you start with your weight 50/50. On the backswing, you must get 60% of your weight to your back foot. On the downswing you need to get 70% of your weight to your lead foot by pressing down on the board.
It makes it easy to feel the weight shift and stay balanced throughout your golf swing.
FAQs About Balanced Golf Swings
Do you have more questions about finding the perfect balance in your golf swings? If so, keep reading to learn the most frequently asked questions and answers below.
How do you keep balance in your golf swing?
Good balance starts from the ground up. One of the best ways to get more balanced in your swing is to check your setup position; specifically your golf stance and posture.
These two aspects play a huge role in making sure you use your weight effectively in your golf swing. Paired with stretching, weight training, and a few training aids mentioned above, you should find more consistent rhythm and balance in your swing.
How do I stop losing balance in my golf swing?
Stop over swinging!
One of the biggest reasons most golfers get off balance is from trying to swing too hard. Instead, take more clubs and try to swing with 80-90% effort for more control and consistency.
How does balance affect my golf swing?
Balance is hugely important in creating an efficient swing in golf. You can improve your balance in a number of ways, both on and off the golf course. If you can’t hold your finish on the follow through, you need to do balance work on the driving range and/or in the gym asap.
Final Thoughts on Off Balance Golf Swing
If you want to hit the golf ball more consistently you need to master your balance. If you can’t hold your finish at the end of your swing, it’s time to put in the work and make some changes.
Remember, a balanced swing starts from the ground up. Make sure to:
- Check your stance and posture.
- Rotate around your body instead of swaying.
- Strengthen your body with core work, golf workouts, and flexibility.
- Avoid over swinging by not trying to hit every shot with 100% effort.
If you still need help, make sure to buy one of the training aids mentioned above to build a more balanced swing. While it won’t likely happen overnight, it’s well worth the effort and time so you can play better every time you tee it up.
While you might not swing as smooth and balanced as Rory (yet), stick with it and it will happen!