After watching Rory McIlroy impress yet again with another solid Sunday performance to win the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick, there was one thing that stood out to me throughout his round; his balance is impeccable.
Being young, athletic, and not very tall (5-foot-9) certainly helps McIlroy maintain perfect balance throughout his swing. Compare that to players like Vijay Singh or Phil Mickelson who are not as young and much taller and you’ll notice them struggle at times with their balance.
Balance is extremely important in all aspects of a golf game, but it is most evident during the full swing. Poor balance can lead to inconsistent ball-striking, affecting not only the distance of your shots, but also your accuracy.
There’s no question that some players are better balanced naturally, but balance is something that you can work on.
If you feel like balance is getting in the way of your ability to play consistent golf, follow the tips below to begin improving your balance now:
• Poor balance during a golf swing is often a core strength issue. Find a TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) certified instructor and get evaluated. They can identify your weaknesses and get you on an exercise plan to improve all physical aspects of your game, including balance.
• Practice hitting full shots barefoot. Having your feet in direct contact with the ground gives your body a stronger sense of balance during the swing. Make two practice swings with your eyes closed and two with them open before you hit each shot.
• Poor balance during the swing can also result from poor balance before the swing in your setup. Along with an athletic posture, make sure your weight is balanced on the balls of your feet behind your toes. Find your perfect balance point by slowly lifting your toes above the ground and shifting your weight into the heels. Then lift your heels off the ground and feel your weight shift to your toes. The final step is to slowly place your heels back on the ground and feel your weight shift into the balls of your feet.
• Maintain your balance from start to finish. I teach all my beginning golfers to hold their finish for three seconds after every swing. If you can do this, then chances are your balance was good throughout the swing.