Padraig Harrington - Weight Shift in the Golf Swing

Have you found yourself struggling with the driver, either bouncing the club off the ground before the ball, or maybe hitting that weak banana slice? These common misses can be directly related to improperly shifting your weight. In this video, I'll show you how Padraig shifts his weight correctly throughout the golf swing, yet manages to keep his head steady. I'll also show you some things to look out for in your own swing so that you can overcome some of those troublesome faults. Weight shift is a critical part of the golf swing and will help make your ball striking much more consistent and powerful. Let's get to work on shifting your weight the right way!

  • Shift your weight to the trail side in the backswing to load up and stabilize. 
  • Allow the hips to shift and unwind when sitting into the lead side in the downswing. 
  • Check and see where your head position is at impact vs. where it was at address, to help determine what sort of fault you may have. 

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Marc
Hi I saw an interesting video by Martin Chuck in which he explained that "the golf club swings counter clockwise and creates rotational torque in a counter clockwise direction. You can use your feet like eagle talons to resist that torque and apply pressure in the opposite direction (clockwise) to add some juice to your swing." Would you agree with this? It is the first time that I read this but it seems to make sense. I normally bring my weight 50%/50% with my knees at the same level in the downswing through a squatting action but I struggle to push off the ground when I continue. If I tried to have the feet to go in an opposite direction to the swing I seem to be able to engage the glute fully. Best, Marc
March 13, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Marc. Mmm. I understand where he is going with it. But, for some players over doing that feeling might be at the expense of the body. I agree with Anchoring to the Ground keeping the pressure on the inside of the feet to help stabilize the counter clockwise force. It can add some juice. I think you are on the right track knowledge wise understand rotational forces and restriction in the opposite direction. Just be careful you don't try and over do the move.
March 14, 2016
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Richard
hi Craig, I ve made those adjustment you recommended I'm on plane now, but only looking in the mirror what I would like to know why does Jim furyck have such a steep. backswing and goes off plane so much? pro s have told me for years that I looped the club like furyck but on my downswing I dropped the club inside and was good at impact( video) on the golf course it's my go to shot, I don't think about it but my swing is different if I employ the changes . And feels weird.
March 13, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Richard. Jim has swung like that since he was a kid. His father is an instructor and was very wise to understand even at Jim's young age he could feel the club head very well. Even with all the manipulations and contortions Jim could manufacture good ball striking. Jim has tremendous hand eye coordination. Something that can't be taught and he shouldn't change. The more you swing vertical. The better player will drop it back to the inside. Its following more of the flow of physics. To understand the plane better. Take a look at Proper Swing Plane in the Introduction Advanced Section to see Jim.
March 13, 2015
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Richard
hi Craig, thanks , on my dwnswing I'm hitting pulls with my short irons , what's. my downswing. thought I know the face is closed. and he path is. also. down the line it feels like at the top the face is closed. ? could it be something else causing pull especially. 9 irons thanks
March 10, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Richard. More than likely the face is too closed at impact. Check 2 things for me. Take a look at the Using the Wrist Efficiently Video in the Introduction Advanced Section. Make sure the lead arm is matching the club face and you have allowed for lead arm rotation. Then, make sure you aren't flipping the elbow over at impact. Left Elbow at Impact Video in the Downswing Advanced Section.
March 10, 2015
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Richard
HI craig that was good information, thanks is coming up short with my eightiron im 145 out, hiting the ball high but its checking up infront how do make a better flight toget these shots on the green is it related to my swing not taking a bigger cut. im a swinger of the club and not a hitter.SO IM A LTTLE SURPRISED AT MY BALL COMING UP SHORT CONSISTENTLY YOUR COMMENTS APPRECIATED RICH
March 10, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Richard. You need to have some forward shaft lean and get good compression. The Taking a Divot Video in the Advanced Downswing Section will help you achieve a solid impact position with some forward shaft lean to get good compression and strike. Also, take a look at Day: 8 in the 9 Days to Amazing Ball Striking Section to fine tune some trajectory to bore through the air.
March 10, 2015
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Richard
Hi Craig, that's it. thanks
March 11, 2015
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Richard
hi Craig , one more. question. on this topic do I think about stacking. (full joint alignment. at impact) at any time. during the swing?
March 9, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Richard. If you perform the weight shift properly and maintain good secondary axis tilt. You should be able to stack without too much thought.
March 9, 2015
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Richard
Hi thanks. for. that. I see. and feel it rich
March 9, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
No problem. Happy to help.
March 9, 2015
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Richard
Hi Craig, on my downswing, the pro I'm working. with. explains. I want you to cover the ball. .. as the club swings down and out , your body must go into the opposite direction in the follow through. in the 9 to 5 drill an army. swing. is the effect please inform me thanks rich
March 7, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Richard. I'm a little confused by the question. Hopefully, this is what you are looking for. You are pulling away in the full swing, just as you are in the 9 to 3. The lead oblique and shoulder are turning behind you (moving in towards center), as the club/arms start moving towards the target at impact which eventually get pulled around due to momentum. The club comes in on a descending blow (for irons) "down" and the body pulls away as the club/arms get extended "out".
March 7, 2015
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Tom
I know he won, congrats to him, seems like a great guy! Why do you think he has the one of the worst ball striking stats over the past five years, his putting was awesome again this week!
March 5, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Tom. Padraig is known to be a "tinkerer" of the golf swing. He is constantly changing and striving to find a more balanced/powerful swing. When you focus sometimes too much on the mechanical aspects. The scoring tends to fluctuate.
March 5, 2015
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Fred
I'm concerned with Padrick's ball position if this is really a driver shot. I think it is a fairway wood, and the ball position is near the center of his stance. Am I missing something, possibly having to do with the extra wide stance?
March 4, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Fred. Padraig has an extra wide stance. However, don't use the distance between his feet for ball position. What you will notice is his ball position is placed just behind the bottom of his swing arc (lead shoulder). Placed correctly off of the left ear or through the logo on the left side.
March 4, 2015
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richard
Good video; could you explain or better still, do a video on what is meant by release. thanks Richard
March 4, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Richard. We have a multitude of videos for you to explore that deal with release of the club. In the Downswing Section - Left Hand Release, Lose the Right Hand, 5 Mins to a Perfect Release. In the Downswing Advanced Section - Vijay Release Drill, Knuckles Down.
March 4, 2015
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ROBERT
I'm an armature...this is the one thing I know I need to do but it is for sure the hardest to master. I've bee working on weight shift for several months, focusing on Clay's video where he has his feet together and then extends his left leg as he does the take away, love it! I'm feeling the weight get to the left side and its awesome. I actually noticed Paddy in his warm ups using a similar drill, he calls it the Happy Gilmoore drill, but same idea. What I'm wondering is how to get this ingrained? When properly done I'm hitting my 7 iron 185 with a nice little draw. I've noticed it's even harder with a driver. The analysis today will help but more insight would be great, thanks.
March 3, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Robert. The Sitting Into the Left Side Video in the Downswing Section, Squat to Square in the Downswing Advanced Section, and the How the Lower Body Works Video in the Downswing Section will be good compliments to help you own the pull of weight to the lead side.
March 4, 2015
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greg
Thanks, Chris! I shift my head too far forward in the downswing & Hit short pop-ups because I hit down on the ball. Should I forget about turning the right hip away & through the ball & simply key on my left hip? Thanks!
March 3, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Greg. For the right handed player. Yes, key in on the left hip moving away from the target. Don't focus on moving the right.
March 4, 2015
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Dean
Chris, Very helpful analysis. A challenge I've experienced, in the effort to get stacked over a firm lead leg is to move the head a bit too much resulting in pulls and blocks. I'll look at the videos. Dean
March 3, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks for the post Dean. Will pass the good word to Chris.
March 4, 2015
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Troy
Hi - can you send out a video to everyone on how to hit up with the driver as most of us hit down and lose height and distance. Thanks. Troy Cumiskey
March 3, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Troy. Thanks for the suggestions. We are always on the look out for more topics. In the meantime, take a look at the Driver Launch Angle Video in the Bomb Your Driver Series Section.
March 4, 2015

If you've been searching for a solution to hit your driver more solidly, more frequently, then you want to pay close attention to Pádraig Carrington's golf swing. I'm going to show you a couple of great checkpoints that are going to help you overcome some of those major faults that you may have been struggling with, including properly shifting your weight, keeping your head quiet, and releasing the golf club through the hitting area. Let's go ahead and get started.

                Okay, guys, we're back with another tour analysis this week of Pádraig Carrington. Congratulations to Pádraig on pulling out a playoff victory over a Brazilian 21-year-old, who played some great golf as well. So it's good to see Pádraig back in the winner's circle, and this week, I'm going to be going through a few things that are gonna kind of highlight some of the areas that are going to help you become a better driver with the golf ball.

                And I'll give you a couple of good checkpoints and a couple of good related videos that'll help you get some big things resolved in your golf swing. And if you look at this from a face-on perspective, I'm going to go ahead and mark the head position here at a dress. You'll notice that the head is just behind the golf ball here. We've also gone to a little bit of a wider base. I know that a lot of times, people get confused. What do we do with a driver?

                And we do have a video on the website that talks about some driver setup adjustments, and generally speaking, you'll see golfers go to a wider base for a little bit more stability, but we still want to make sure that we're shifting our weight properly throughout the golf swing. And that's one of the things that we see amateur golfers really struggle with is properly shifting their weight. And that's going to be really the whole MO of today's analysis, is how to shift the weight properly in the golf swing.

                So I'm gonna mark a line here where the head position is. I'm also gonna mark this center of the hip socket here, which is right around the belt loop on the front of your pants, or two finger widths inside of the pointy pelvic bone on the front of you there. So we're going to go ahead and see a small shift over to the trail side. Again, because we're working from a wider base here, you're not going to see some sort of drastic lateral shift where the head moves off of this line a good five to six inches. It's just enough to shift the weight over there to load this trail side up. So you can see the head moved inch, inch and a half or so.

                And now you can notice that the center of the hip socket is virtually where his head position was at the starting point. So it's moved a good three to four inches. Now, what we need to do is we need to be able to shift our weight properly with the lower body in the downswing sequence to start the move. And this is where things go awry for amateur golfers is they'll tend to not want to shift their weight enough. They'll start swinging their arms or their shoulders from the top of the swing, and that creates rotation, and in turn, that's gonna make their head actually give this appearance where they're gonna be hanging way back. And if you've ever struggled with hitting the ground before the golf ball off of your driver, hitting those little drop kick shots, this is a good reason why, is that you haven't really shifted the weight enough.

                And Pádraig does it really, really well in his golf swing. You're gonna see a good unload of his hips. So again, his center of his hip socket's now virtually right through that line of where his head was at the starting point. And now he's gonna make a pretty good-sized shift these hips back over to the lead side here, getting ready for a release. What I want you to notice now is that the center of the hip socket is now right over the top of the center of the ankle.

                All right, so it moved all the way from where it was back here at the starting point of his head, and now it's moved a good six to eight inches or so over to the lead side, but take notice of what the head didn't do. Se how the head didn't stay way back behind this line, and you see how the head didn't jump way in front?

                So that's just a proper combination of shifting and unwinding at the same time. Okay, so there's a good shift and a good unwinding of the hips, and this is allowing him to get himself posted into that lead side. So if you've noticed yourself on camera where your head stays way back behind this line, and your hands and arms are starting to get down into the hitting area, then chances are, you didn't shift your weight enough.

                Now, on the opposite end of that spectrum, if you've noticed that your head is now moved out in front of this line quite a bit, then we've got to find the culprit as to why you've moved out there. And chances are, that's a lot of trail side dominance, okay? That could be a lot of lateral shift of these hips, and the way to laterally shift them too much is using your trail leg to push really hard or using your right shoulder and your right arm. And if you shift too hard, and you don't rotate, then you're gonna see the head stay out in front. The club's gonna come down really steep. It can even potentially be over the top, and then you'll hit that big slice off the golf course.

                So, again, if you've ever struggled with hitting those ugly drop kick shots, I know we've all been there, or if you struggle with being over the top, then you need to pay attention on how you shift your weight and your downswing sequence. And it all starts right from a good setup position, and it all starts with properly loading up the trail side. So loading up that trail side again, you can see that his head has moved. He's loaded up his right side here, and then, in the downward move, you're going to see a good-sized shift and an unwinding of the hips, not just one or the other.

                And that, in turn, gets the head into that same position. Then the head stays very quiet, sets him up for release, and he releases on through. You can see that the head still stays in behind that line beautifully, while all that stored power is now coming out through the release for speed.

                All right, guys, so if you want to make your weight shift a lot better, then we've got to make sure that we loaded up properly. A good video on the website is Weight Shift #1 video. These will all be in the recommended videos over to the right hand side of video player, and then Weight Shift #3 is another great video that's gonna talk to you about how to get back over to that lead side, and really get things stabilized. Another good video for you guys to check out would be the Straight Left-Legged Impact that's gonna show you how to create some good awareness of some proper muscle groups in order to stabilize things through the hitting area, and you'll be well on your way to overcoming some of those major faults with hanging weight back or getting out in front of your shot. And this will in turn help you keep the golf ball on the golf course more often.

                All right, guys, so let's get out there and shift our weight properly. Let's load it, unload it, and let's play some great golf.

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