One of the most overlooked keys to a powerful golf swing is the center of gravity. Most golfers have a tendency to let their center of gravity rise in the downswing. Professional
Golfers do the exact opposite, they let it sink. But, why is there such a difference between what the pros do and what most golfers do?
I believe it is all about how we are taught to play golf, particularly as adults. Beginners often attend a group instructional situation where they learn how to swing a golf club over the course of 4 to 6 weeks. They learn how to hold the club, how to address the ball, how to do the back swing, how to do the down swing and the follow through.
Unfortunately, most adults are unable to learn this way, unless they have played a similar sport where hand-eye coordination is key, such a hockey or baseball. Atheletes can learn how to play a little more easily because they are more familiar with some important athletic concepts that are true throughout many sports. The center of gravity is one of these.
Learning how to play golf by grabbing hold of the golf club during the first lesson is probably the worst way to learn. The fact is, most people need to simply learn how to move their body properly first. As we age, we also end up with some physical limitations due to injury or even just lack of training. Yet, we try to learn this unbelievably complicated move and wonder why we can’t hit that little white ball like Tiger Woods on our first try.
New golfers should simply learn how to move their body in an athletic manner first. We learn the martial arts by learning some very basic moves first, before we build up to complicated forms. Golf is no different. We need to break the swing down into smaller movements that should be mastered first. Once we put them all together, the final piece is learning how to utilize the center of gravity in the swing.
In most sports to achieve better balance, we want to keep our center of gravity as low as possible. You often hear a commentator talk about this during football games when they notice a running back may be difficult to tackle. Keeping the center of center of gravity low is extremely important in the martial arts, and it is also important in golf.
To achieve a more powerful golf swing it is critical to let the center of gravity sink so that we can generate power from the ground up. We want to use the center of gravity sink so that we can generate power from the ground up. We want to use the energy from the ground and transfer it up through our legs, through the body and then out through our arms and into the end of the club as it contacts the ball. If we let our center of gravity rise, we are transferring power away from the ball. Yet 90% of all golfers do this, because they are trying to lift the ball in the air. Instead they should let the club do that work for them. That is what it was designs to do. With this in mind in the back swing, it is critical that the golfer does not lose his or her posture. The initial posture created as we address the ball must be maintained as we coil our body around our spine. The shoulders turn about 90 degrees and the hips about half this much and this creates the torque or stored up energy that we intend to transfer to the ball.
Just before we reach the top of our back swing we should begin transferring our weight back to the front foot. If we do this properly, we should actually be sinking a little bit lower. At impact we should have 90%of our weight on our front foot. Since that is the case, that means our body should have sunk a little bit into the left side, keeping our center of gravity lower.
Just think about this for a second. When you have ever watched a boxing match and seen a one punch knockout, chances are the boxer who threw the punch had his feet firmly planted on the floor as his first hit his opponent or his weight may have been transferred so much that his back foot may have lifted off of its heal, but the front foot is planted and he has not gotten on his toes to throw the punch.
This same concept holds true for the golfer. You must stay grounded as the weight shifts to the front foot. The golfer should feel his or her body sinking into the front foot a bit. This will help to keep the center of gravity down and allow for a greater transfer of energy. Keep that in mind the next time you head out to play your next round. centerofgravitygolf.com is the place to learn more about center of gravity golf.