Category: Golf Tips
Shift Your Weight
On the Practice Tee
with Joe Giles
PGA Professional and
Southern Ohio PGA Teacher of the Year
I’m sure you’ve all heard the term “reverse weight shift.” When Jenny Craig says it, she is referring to a client who is gaining, instead of losing pounds. When you hear it from a golfer they are talking about your weight being on your left side at the top of your swing, and on the right during your follow-through. These positions are opposite of where they should be, hence the term “reverse weight shift.”
Any errant shot you can imagine could possibly be caused by not shifting your weight from your right side to your left. Your slices, tops, fat shots, sky balls, hooks and shanks are all shots that could result from poor weight transfer.
Before I offer you a cure, let’s make sure you have the disease. Grab a club and take your normal back-swing. When you reach the top of your swing, can you lift your left foot off the ground with ease, or do you have to physically strain to shift it over? Now, take your forward swing and see if your right foot is free to lift. If the answer to both questions is yes, I don’t think shifting your weight is a big concern. If you had trouble picking up the correct foot, let me offer you a simple solution to the problem.
Imagine, if you will, that you have volunteered to help place sandbags on a dam that was about to overflow. You are in the middle of a line of people passing sandbags to the front of the line. Pretend you are turning to your right for the next bag. Wouldn’t the most natural way for you to receive the bag be to rotate your trunk and face the person handing it to you? Hopefully, you would hand the bag to the person on your left the same way. Feel how awkward it is to hand the sandbag to your left while holding your weight on your right. Pretty uncomfortable huh? Well, quit doing it then.
Maybe I’ve made it sound a little easier than it actually is to shift your weight properly, but with a little practice you should be able to transfer your weight naturally. After all, the proper weight shift is a natural move. If you are doing it wrong, for whatever reason, you are going against the normal flow of motion. Try my suggestion and the next time somebody calls you a sandbagger, take it as a compliment. What they mean is that you have an excellent weight shift.
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