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Now browsing: Hometown News > Columnist Archives > Golf - Del Starks

The no-shift weight shift
Rating: 2.97 / 5 (298 votes)  
Posted: 2007 Feb 23 - 02:58

One of golf's so-called fundamentals is the weight shift. I'd like to discuss this subject at some depth in this week's edition.

I'm not fond of the term "weight shift" and would like to introduce a new term, "balance points."

The way I see it, there are three balance points: the starting point, the load point and the release point.

The word "shift" implies that there's something to be done. I submit that "weight shift" is something that occurs.

My understanding of the golf swing is based on this premise. When swinging the club, there are some things you cause to happen, while there are others that should be allowed to happen.

Trouble arises when you try to cause what should be allowed.

The concept of shifting weight can be a great source of difficulty and confusion. Let's see if we can clear up this weighty issue once and for all.

First of all, your starting position is crucial to creating an efficient golf swing. Proper posture, correct alignment and adequate stance width are key ingredients to create a natural, responsive move.

Get these elements right and the rest is easy. One great example of an effective motion relating to the golf swing is skipping a stone across a lake or pond. Most of us, have been by a lake, picked up a flat stone and skipped it across the water's surface. Fun, wasn't it? Did you think of any theories on how to do it? No, you just wound up and let it fly. If you wanted to videotape someone doing that, you might find how similar the movements were to that of the golf swing. Your instincts would've taken over and as you drew your arm back to throw. Your balance would have followed your arm to support its movement. Upon releasing the stone, your weight would, again, follow your arm to give support. At no time would you make any effort to shift your weight, turn your hips, etc. It would just happen as a reflexive response to skip the stone.

The lake was your target, and all the body did was react to your intent to skip the stone along the surface. I call this natural motion a "dynamic" weight shift. To try to force or create a weight shift is called "static" weight shift, not a good way to do it consistently, much less efficiently. Here's how we do it.

Remember this simple mantra, "weight follows motion." You hold the club in your hands, swing it with your arms and torso and have a target in mind. When you cause your back swing motion in a connected or one-piece take away, your balance will gather on to your back foot to support that effort.

As you reverse your motion to the target, your balance will follow in that direction. As long as you have the target in mind, the body will accommodate the swing's motion. We want our "weight shift" to be a natural response to the target, not something contrived. Let it happen and it will, force it and it won't. It's as simple as that.

Yours for better golf,

Del Starks is a PGA teaching professional at Abacoa Golf Club in Jupiter. Contact him at (561) 262-0708, e-mail pbnews@hometownnewsol.com or visit www.delstarks.com.





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