I played 18 last Friday, and on the 17th hole I hit the shot of my life. The result wasn’t much, it was just a 7-iron into the green. It went straight and as far as a 7-iron usually goes for me. What made the shot special was the feeling I had when I was hitting it.
Just before I took the club away, I had a real good feeling, like there was nothing to it, if I just take the club away there is nothing to worry about. I remember getting to the top of my backswing, and starting down. I remember hearing a gentle click, but the next thing I was aware of was standing facing the target, watching the ball, in a textbook finish, with perfect balance, and no feeling of expended effort.
I have never felt that way before, and it was wonderful. How did it happen? What made that shot so easy? Balance.
In balance from address to the finish, a golfer finds that all effort is directed toward the task, hitting the ball, and none toward keeping the body under control. A balanced body is in control.
A powerlifter once told me that the key to lifting greater weights is to lift the weight absolutely straight up. If the barbell wavers a bit forward or back as it’s coming up, then energy must be expended to stay balanced, energy that could be used instead to lift the weight must be redirected to another purpose.
Do you want to know how to get maximum swing speed and the most accurate hit? Keep your body under control by maintaining it in balance throughout the swing. You don’t have to hit the ball hard. Just don’t waste energy on things that don’t have to do with hitting the ball and you will hit the ball hard and far.
Do you ever see an LPGA player with less than perfect balance? Of course not. That’s one reason they hit the ball so much farther than you do. There is no wasted energy in their swing, and it’s all because of their balance.
Do you want to improve your balance? Here’s how. Hit wedges, lots of wedges from 40 to 80 yards. Go to the range and hit pitches with your first 30 balls. Use your gap wedge. use your sand wedge. Make easy swings with each club, thinking only of good contact.
After you’ve hit those 30 balls, hit one with your driver. You will go, Wow.
But forget about the ball did. Remember what that swing felt like, and how it ended up. It was effortless and you hit the drive of the year. Those 30 wedges put balance into your brain and you stayed balanced when you hit the driver.
Let’s repeat the lesson. To hit the ball well, you have to hit it hard. To hit it hard, you have to use all of your energy to hit the ball, none for other purposes. The way to do that is be in balance from start to finish.
Now go and hit those wedges. Go!
My new book, The Golfing Self, is now available at www.therecreationalgolfer.com. It will change everything about the way you play.