Fix Your Golf Swing: Solution 1: Correct Weight Distribution

WEIGHT DISTRIBUTION AT ADDRESS.

Weight distribution is important during all phases of the swing. At address, your weight should be evenly dispersed from heel to toe regardless of the club you are using.

However, your weight distribution between your front and back foot changes with the type of swing you are choosing.

For instance, if you are hitting driver or fairway wood you should be attempting a flat, sweeping motion. To get this swing plane you want to have more weight over your back leg at address.

Conversely, if you are hitting a wedge you should be attempting a steeper, downward striking motion. To achieve this plane, you want to have more weight over your front leg at address.

 

Here is a general guideline:

Club Selection/Shot SelectionSide to side Weight distribution
Wedge/short IronSlight more weight on your forward foot.
Short/Mid/Long iron/hybridBalance weight on each foot
Fairway Woods/ DriversSlightly more weight on Inside of back foot
Hitting a low shotSlightly more weight on forward foot
Hitting a high shotWeight evenly distributed
Hitting a shot out of deep roughSlightly more weight on forward foot
General sand shotSlightly more weight on forward foot
Standard chippingSlightly more weight on forward foot
PuttingGenerally, slightly more weight on the forward foot

 

Correcting Your Golf Set Up

golf stretches golf exercises



What happens when weight distribution is off?

The first thing you may experience is a swing that feels out of sync or off balanced. More specifically, if your weight is too focused over your toes, you will lose the whip power of rotation in your swing. You are instead using the “shot put” method with your body. This creates a dramatic loss of power.

Imagine the difference in power between shot putting a baseball and throwing a baseball!!

If you have too much weight on your heels, you cannot utilize your powerful hip and buttock muscles

 

Fitness Fixes:

1.The most common physical fault that causes poor weight distribution and golf balance in golfers over 50 is poor flexibility in the calf muscles (the muscles on the back of your lower leg).

This is so common you could call it an epidemic in this age group. If these muscles are restricted, your ankles, knees, hips and sometimes shoulders will be out of the ideal golf alignment, called being “stacked.”

stretches for golf

Calf Flexibility Test – Alternate Position

Test your calf flexibility

1. Stand facing a wall with your toes 12 cm away from the wall.

2. Bend your knees and see if you can touch your knees to the wall WITHOUT your heels coming off of the ground. If you cannot, your calves are likely affecting the quality of your golf swing.

(If you cannot perform this test due its difficulty, try the alternative test in the picture to the right).

The calf muscles are made up of two muscles called the Gastrocnemius and the Soleus and require slight variations in how they are stretched.

golf flexibility

Left leg stretch for Gastroc Muscle. Notice the knee is straight and the heel is on the ground. Lean forward until stretch is felt.

stretches for golf

Left Soleus Stretch. Notice the heel is on the ground, but the knee is bent. Bend the knee further for stretch, it will feel very different from Gastroc stretch.

Hold each stretch for 30 seconds and perform 3 sets in a row.

 

Pro Drill fixes:

1: Hop test – A quick and easy method to determine if your weight is correctly distributed at address you can perform the Hop Test. To perform the test, get into your setup position with any club in your bag.

Mark a line directly in front of your toes (use masking tape if indoors). Then, take a hop…small jump in the air. After you land, DON’T MOVE YOUR FEET.

Look down at your feet and the line you drew to determine if you

1) Jumped forward – too much weight on your toes at address. 2) Jumped backward – too much weight on your heels, or 3)jumped straight up and down – perfection!

2) Side to Side Weight Distribution: To get a feel for the correct weight distribution at address, try this drill. For the driver swing, find a slight upslope. It will feel like you are hitting up the slope with the weight on the right leg at address and through impact—that’s the feeling you want on the tee.

For the iron swing, find a slight downslope. It will feel like you are hitting more down and getting your weight aggressively to the front leg at impact.

 

Thanks for reading,

Dr. Ryan York, DPT CGS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Golf Performance Specialist
Age Defying Golf

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