Center of Gravity (or COG) (and, in this case, golf balance) is one of THE keys to virtually all success in sports, as it protects you from potential injury and also allows you access to stability and power.
Balance is one of those weird things that is not discussed enough (or certainly not in understandable terms) but is critical to our generation of power and consistency on the golf course.
I mean how how do you practice golf balance drills or are cognitive of your COG? What if it dramatically would change your game from a 20 handicap to a 10 or shooting in the mid 90’s to shooting in the low 80’s? Would it then be worth a look?
Let’s get back to COG. This represents the center of your body. Some call it your center, the power source, “hara” (in martial arts), etc.
It’s a point about 1 inch below your navel and about 1.5 inches back. Just imagine for a moment (of all things) a glowing golf ball sitting suspended in that area, in the middle of your body. That is the area that represents your COG.
Research has shown that for every centimeter the center of gravity moves during the golf swing, the clubhead can fluctuate up to 14 inches from it’s path to the ball. Needless to say, when this happens, we need to “create” some type of compensation movement to get back on track.
Realize that once you are in your golf stance and you are hinged at the hips, from a side view, that glowing golf ball will now be outside your body but in the relatively same vertical position.
Of course, any swaying or sliding or moving up/down or excessive head motion will re-locate your COG. This will cause a dispersal of energy, which is exactly what we don’t want. We want to harness and “consolidate” this energy into golf power.
So how can all this help our golf game? For one thing we need an awareness of this point first. From there we can begin to quiet our movement. Less is more. Become more efficient.
It’s always amazing to me that one of my consistent swing keys is “be still” It’s so simple but so effective for it immediately paints a picture of stillness in your mind. Think of a clear, blue-lake that is completely calm—almost like glass.
Go out to your local PGA event or Web.com Tour event and watch these players on the range. Not many moving parts. Notice their center. It’s very still. A visual lesson of efficient movement in the golf swing.
Of course, the swing is a dynamic movement, but you want the movement to be smooth, concise and efficient.
So what are a few things we can do to counteract this in our own swing?
- Watch this Sean Foley Video. It gives a good visual representation of what we’re discussing.
- Focus on this exclusively in 3-5 practice sessions this week.
- Some folks have had extreme success using the Orange Whip Peel Golf Swing Trainer which helps prevent swaying and can really help you feel your “center.”
- Keep you lower body strong and in shape. Work on exercises for the legs, hips, abductors, adductors and glutes. A strong, stable, lower body is mandatory for keeping your COG stable. Here are a few nice lower body exercises for stability featuring Michelle Wei.
- Use the mantra “be still.” This suggests different things for different people but it’s main focus is to prevent excessive movement and maintain golf balance in your swing.
- Rocco Mediate teaches the importance of a balance in your golf swing
It basically comes down to eliminating excessive movement. Go to a PGA Tour event and watch the pros on the range. They are a study of “efficiency-in-motion.”
Remember, the more you are in golf balance the more consistent your ball striking becomes (because you are hitting the sweet spot more often) and, hence, lower scores.