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Weight Shift in Golf | The Key to Efficient Power in Your Golf Swing
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Published: February 16, 2014
Weight shift in golf is a must for efficient power in your golf swing. The key is to make that weight shift feel completely natural.
Previous lessons have taught you how to set up to the golf ball perfectly every time.
You've been doing your reps, so the correct movement pattern becomes the only way you know to set up to the ball.
We're building the perfect setup, teaching your brain exactly what it feels like to be set up correctly.
Now we're going to add another drill to expand on what you've learned so far and challenge your mind a little bit more.
If you're not ready for this, just keep going through your regular setup routine.
Once you're really comfortable and confident with the setup, then come back and add the weight shift drill into the mix.
Weight shift in golf is fundamental. You'll notice that we include it in a lot of the other drills in the learning phase of the Rotary Swing Tour.
It's such an important part of the golf swing - and so many people do it wrong - that we want you to spend as much time mastering it as you can.
At least 90 percent of the golfers we see don't shift their weight properly in the golf swing.
Just an Inch
The first step is to go ahead and get into your setup. You already know how to do this; it's your regular setup routine.
Now you're just going to shift your weight slowly to the right. Don't move your hands, arms, shoulders...just shift your weight an inch to the right.
You want to feel that you're pushing into the inside of your right foot, or slightly to the middle, but never to the outside - that's critical.
Shift your weight an inch to the right and feel the pressure increase on the inside of your right foot.
If you shift more than an inch, you'll be on the outside of your foot, and then you'll have to slide your hips a long way to get back over on the downswing.
You just want a tiny shift; it's important for power in the golf swing, but you don't need a lot.
That's the first step; a small shift to the right. Now you need to get back over to the left.
Back to Neutral
We already know that the proper stance width is two inches outside neutral.
If you've shifted one inch to the right, now you're going to have to move three inches back to the left to get the center of your left hip socket over the center of your ankle.
When you have your hip over your ankle, that's neutral joint alignment. Being in neutral will allow you the most freedom to pivot.
That's the important part. Getting back into neutral is the crux of the golf swing that so many people do wrong.
Most people swing just from the rectangle in the upper body. They swing too forcefully from the top and their lower body has to just stop and brace for impact.
You're not going to do that. You're going to move your lower body into position so the big muscles can get to work and drive the golf swing.
As Always - Pull, Don't Push
When discussing weight shift in golf a common question is "how do you get your weight back to the left in the downswing?"
The key, like so many other parts of the golf swing, is to pull from the left, rather than pushing from the right.
Most golfers will tend to want to shove off with the right foot, but if you do that you'll push your hips well beyond neutral, preventing them from pivoting effectively in the swing.
If you push from the right and get your hips way off to the left, you'll lose your spine angle coming into impact, your hips will move into the ball...all those things we want to avoid.
You need to avoid pushing off the right foot as much as possible.
That doesn't mean it can't aid in the movement, but the force needs to come predominantly from the left, and it's a pulling motion.
Both sides are going to work, but the movement should feel like it's dominated by the left side.
Most people don't use the left side at all at this point. They just shove off the right foot and end up sliding their hips or hanging back on the right side, etc.
Pull From the Left and Rotate Slightly
After you shift to the right, focus on taking your left leg and pulling your weight back over.
You'll feel it in your glutes and your inner leg. You will also rotate your left thigh slightly. This rotation will move your left knee over into neutral joint alignment, where you need it at impact.
As you do these movements in slow motion, you'll see that your left knee starts out inside your ankle.
As you rotate it just a little bit, you get a head start on the hip turn you're going to need later on in the golf swing. That little bit of rotation helps shift your weight over your ankle.
For the purposes of the drill, you're going to add in a little bit of shift. You don't have to rotate yet, just make a little shift back to the left.
If you're comfortable with it and want to add that little rotation here, as long as you're in neutral, that's great.
You'll get a head start on the downswing if you shift, staying square, and then rotate that leg and get into neutral here.
If you get your hips a little bit open, fantastic.
Get Up and Do It!
Do the weight shift drill five times with your eyes open, then five times with your eyes closed so you can focus on the movements.
Pay attention to the sensation of activating your glutes.
You should not be activating your quads - the front of your thighs - in this drill. If you feel your quads that means you've got your weight out on your toes and you're trying to balance with your knees.
Your knee is not designed to rotate very well. It's designed to hinge. There's very little rotational freedom in the knee, but your hip can pivot all day long.
When working on your weight shift in golf it's imperative that you get that left hip lined up into neutral so you can pivot safely and pain-free, protecting your knee.
If you've had hip, knee, or back problems, this is a huge piece that can really help get rid of a lot of that pain.
50 Times a Day
Do this drill a lot, starting from a perfect setup position. Don't worry about arm movement yet; just focus on the hip movements that provide weight shift.
Follow the schedule below to master the downswing, backswing, weight shift and weight transfer, all while maintaining perfect posture.
After you've mastered the setup, perform the weight shift drill from address posture:
- 50 reps per day
- 5 days per week
This schedule will give you 250 reps per week, so in one month you will have made a proper weight shift 1000 times in the comfort of your home, and made more progress in your golf swing than if you had gone out and hit thousands of golf balls!
Checkpoints for Practice
- You should be completely comfortable with the setup drill before moving on to this drill
- From a perfect setup, shift your weight one inch to the right, keeping hands and arms still
- Keep the weight on the inside of the right foot
- Shift three inches back to the left, bringing your left leg into neutral
- You can add a slight rotation of the left thigh to help get into neutral