I can’t believe that something as fundamental as weight shift has been holding me back.
It’s not so much that I have overlooked it, I think it’s more to do with the fact that I picked up very early on a belief that it’s wrong to move your head in the swing, I was desperate not to sway and later when I was so focused on hitting down on the ball and taking a divot I got very stationary.
My lower body has been hardly moving. I have ingrained a very centered swing, too centered in fact, and what I have learned recently is that you must shift your weight to the right to be able to shift your weight to the left. I couldn’t understand why I struggled so much to get my weight forward at impact, and why I kept having a tendency to be falling back at impact and flipping (not all the time, but it happened when I was under pressure and trying too hard not to shift too far away from the ball in the backswing!).
I stumbled across this by accident really – after a particularly frustrating session at the range, I just started playing about with things (funny how you can work things out when you just start experimenting) and I was taking very baseball-like swings; loading up excessively on my right side and pushing aggressively to my left in the downswing and swinging as hard as I could. I started nailing it and realised I was on to something.
After much Google and YouTube validation, it was clear I had been neglecting one of, if not THE, absolute fundamentals of the golf swing – you must use your lower body. You must shift weight. Stop being paranoid about moving your head and swaying and get the big muscles of your body moving.
I went to the range today and concentrated solely on transferring my weight effectively and whilst I’m going to need a lot more reps before it is fully ingrained, when I did get it right today I hit it better and longer than I ever have done.
So my advice to you is this. Weight shift is one of those elements of the swing you can just take for granted, assume you are doing it OK, or under-estimate it’s importance. Don’t make my mistake, do some research and get some practice in and start feeling how fluid and flowing the golf swing should actually be.
Here’s a few links to some good articles to get you started: