This is the measure of your center of gravity consistency in the golf swing but not the measure that most golf teachers teach. For the sake of clarity, we will call your center of gravity to be your belly button.
The Age Defying Golf measure of center of gravity focuses on whether your body position (lets say your belly button) is closer to the ball or further away from the ball from your address position to the impact position. (Where as most golfers refer to the golfers center of gravity over their left foot vs their right foot in the swing).
As golfers pass the age of 50 and begin to be limited by flexibility, the tendency is to move towards the ball during the swing, especially the downswing.
To help you understand this more clearly, the golfer over 50 tends to shift their weight from neutral over their feet to forward over their toes in the downswing.
1. When the golfer makes this swing fault, he/she is at a serious risk of coming over the top of the ball. Otherwise known as, swinging from outside the swing path, cutting across the ball for a slice or yanking the ball to the left:called a pull.
Since the golfer shifts his body closer to the ball, there is less room for the hands and golf club to come from the inside swing path to square position.
2. In addition, when the golfer is leaning towards the ball, they are very close to their balance threshold. If you lose your balance in your swing or are unable to finish in a balanced position, this could be the cause.
3. Finally, this swing fault inevitably results in decreased swing speed and loss of power. Golfers that lean to0 far forwards are often the golfers that you see putting a lot of effort in their swing. You see a lot of muscle action and over rotation. I am often surprised that a golfer like this can make it through a bucket of balls without having a heart attack! It does not have to be that hard.
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The reason why this swing fault kills any chance of effortless power, is because when you move your body weight towards the ball in your swing, you are effectively losing the power of the body to make a whip like turn.
Instead of a powerful whip, you are moving through the ball in an effort to help it forward.
The best analogy I can give to explain this issue, is that it is like if a major league pitcher tried to shot put a baseball to home plate. He would have to push really hard, straining ever muscle and working very hard but the ball comes out slow and loopy.
Compare that to a baseball pitcher who uses their shoulder and arm like a whip and can fire off fastballs at 90mph. No only that, he can do it between 100-120 times per game because it takes a lot less effort.
Fix the Body
Like I mentioned before, golfers over 50 tend to suffer from this golf fault more often because of flexibility. Poor flexibility in right hip rotation and in the right hamstring will cause the golfer to kick their weight forward.
Here is an exercise we use for golfers with poor hip rotation flexibility:
Here is an exercise we use to improve hamstring flexibility
Fix it With Drills
We use 2 drills to correct this issue. The first drill is much easier and often solves the problem. We start with the setup.
The setup jump drill is effective because many golfers simply setup to the golf ball with their weight shifted too far out on their toes.
To perform this drill, setup to the golf ball and place another golf club flat on the ground just in front of both feet. In your setup position with a club addressing the golf ball, make a small jump. If you land with any part of your feet on the golf club on the ground, your weight is too far forward. Simple, yes?
The second drill includes taking a golf shaft, or alignment pole and placing it in the ground. Fix it in the ground, in the middle of your stance and 3″ in front of your feet (between the midpoint of your stance and the golf ball). You can angle the shaft towards you slightly so that the end of the shaft is 1″ from your belly button. Angling it in, allows your knees room to rotate in your swing.
From here, make some practice swings and hit some balls beginning with your short irons. Golfers that tend to lose their balance forward usually do it more so with longer irons.
In conclusion, this can be a difficult change to engrain in your swing. I really don’t like making difficult swing changes and try to give them out as advice. However, in this case, the instant and effortless power you will achieve is so fantastic, I thought I would give it a go.
Thanks for reading!
Dr. Ryan York, DPT CGS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Golf Performance Specialist
Age Defying Golf