The feet-together drill is a sure way of improving your balance
It is not uncommon to see a golfer on the driving range make a swing and struggle for balance at finish. In fact, you see this quite often on the first tee as well.
As you make the swing with the upper body, with the turn of the shoulders and with the speed generated by the hands and the club, it is natural to sometimes ‘thrash’ at the ball in an effort to maximise. If your lower body is not supporting the upper body movement, it can lead to an incorrect weight transfer. It can also lead to not finishing the swing with the weight at the right place.
We know that the weight should move to the right foot in the backswing, and to the left foot on the way down/follow through. The weight also moves into the left heel at finish, and should it be finishing towards the toes, you will again struggle to hold your place.
Having played it in our growing years, we also have a lot of ‘cricket’ in us! It leads to some beginners to lift the left foot off the ground in an effort to hoist the ball over the boundary! However, in golf, the left foot needs to be planted on the ground throughout the swing.
One simple drill solves all this. I have found that making students hit shots with their feet together has been a successful way to get them to overcome the problem.
Pic 1 shows a set-up position with the feet together. Everything remains the same, except that we are joining the feet instead of opening them shoulder-width apart. This drill is good for a short or mid iron, and with a three-quarter swing.
Pic 2 and 3 show that takeaway and load up positions. Having the feet together naturally restricts the hip turn and ensures that the upper body coils as we go back. It also ensures that you stay centered with your turn and don’t slide the hips. The weight is on the inside of the right foot. You are in balance.
Pic 4 shows the finish position. Although the weight has moved to the left foot, it goes into the left heel and not to the outside of the foot. Again, finishing in balance.
When you start on this drill, you may struggle to find a balance initially, especially at finish. But soon enough, within a few shots, you will get the feel of accelerating through the ball, yet maintaining the correct balance in the lower body. You will learn to maximise your speed within the limits of maintaining balance and learn the correct weight transfer.
(The author has been a golf professional for over 20 years)