Balance is Key from Start to Finish

Sun, 03/16/2014 - 12:00 -- Don Trahan

From the beginning of your swing to the moment you recoil and relax, your balance should never waver. If you maintain this dynamic balance throughout your swing, there is a good chance you probably just hit a good shot.

There are two systems in our body that are basically on auto-pilot. Breathing is one, and balance is the other. Your body is constantly trying to keep you from falling over. So, the key becomes swinging under control and avoiding a big turn.

If you can't recoil and relax with perfect balance, something is wrong. The first thing to check is your setup, since this is where the motion of your swing is predicated. Posture is a common error, with many golfers either reaching too far or standing too tall.

Don't fight your body's natural gyroscope. Remain balanced and you'll start hitting the ball more solidly and straight, while shooting those lower scores!

Keep it vertical!

The Surge

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Dragonhead's picture

Submitted by Dragonhead on

Another gem of a lesson for we Surgites! In my case a little topical.
Have always been prone to ear infections and have been lucky not to have suffered one for a long time. Unfortunately that changed a few days ago!!!!!
Luckily the weather has not been conducive to playing [tail end of a cyclone at present, with high winds and lots and I mean lots of the wet stuff]. It appears to be responding to treatment, thankfully. It sure as heck can screw up the gyroscope that Surge mentions today.
On the swing side of things, before this happened the light at the end of the tunnel seemed to have been getting much brighter : - ) My short and medium irons and my 24deg hybrid have been smoking. On a whim I bought a 20deg hybrid, which I have only managed to swing outside on the front driving range. Love the feel, weight etc. It is a mint condition Callaway FT 20deg 3H hybrid. If it performs half as good as the 24deg-my scores will reflect that. So the day after tomorrow it will have its first real outing. By then my ear should not be a problem balance wise.
Nice to see a guy from 'down under' sneak the win this morning at the Valspar event in Tampa. In all honesty, he played some very good golf and deserved his win.
Keep up the fabulous dailies Surge. Though it is a while since I last commented, several of the recent ones had the light going on. I particularly liked the set up with clubface square explanation. Even managed to impart that to my golf partner and ex caddy : - ) She has a TERRIBLE angle between the clubshaft and the leading left arm usually
: - ( Still a work in progress but boy can she chip and putt : - ] She would give some of the good Pros a run for their money hahaha!
Surgites All, keep on to the finish, recoil and relax on EVERY shot ; - )
DH and DL in NZ

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

Nice to read your latest DH. You and DL still living the dream down in NZ. Still rainy season down there? Seems you report heavy rain and storms year round. However when the sun comes out I hear it is one of the most amazing places on Earth. Glad your still playing golf and enjoying life pal. Keep us posted of your golf adventures. Cindy and I are blessed to be playing every week year round here. Her game continues to improve. I too have put the hybrid back in my bag in place of the 4 iron as long as it behaves:)
Golf on!!

Dragonhead's picture

Submitted by Dragonhead on

Hi Robert,
We paid a well overdue visit to the hallowed turf yesterday and it was well worth the effort. An early start a tad later than normal due to sunrise being later hahaha. Some superb golf marred by a couple of holes only, where everything that could go wrong did. Even some positives from that. During the round I tried the the Surge set up with the right hand etc and then took up my stance etc, and was thunderstruck at the results. I could have left half of my clubs at home. Problems encountered when hitting balls further than expected or wanted. Having said that it got to the stage it didn't bother me as my short irons were laser like particularly the PW. The PW from hardpan, fairway or early morning lush wet rough was impeccable to the point of almost casual arrogance : - )
The 'new toy'? had only one less than perfect shot with it-that from wet lush rough at the edge of the fairway. The rest were excellent. Going for the green from 160-200yds now with renewed confidence. Only one bad shot with the PW when hitting to an elevated green from the middle of the fairway. My casual shot overshot the target [the pin at the front of the green], way over a good 20-30yds over the back of the green. The same club saved my bacon by dropping like a bee with sore feet and feeding down the slope for an easy put.
Caught myself going through impact with the driver and swinging around instead of in the mitt and up the tree!!!!! Old habits are indeed hard to break, but break them we will, thanks to Surge and the Surge Nations help and intuitive comments.
Normally here in NZ there is always somewhere you can play golf all year round. Here towards the bottom of the north island it is possible to do so for most of the year. As said some time ago-where else can you: Snow Ski in the morning, play a round of golf in the afternoon, soak in a volcanic thermal pool, and then go and spend the remainder of the day on the beach, surfing, wind surfing or just lazing on the sand? hahaha! They don't call this Godzone for nothing ; - )
DL is still loving the game-I am still not allowed to comment on her 'weird' stance, swing etc on pain of tweaks to sensitive areas of my anatomy ; - ) hahaha! Enjoying it and intend to enjoy it more and more.
Next time out, no more using clubs to justify their being in the bag and back to the FUS drills aka 'smacking the lead hand from the cactus position' and 'hitting the ball as high as possible' on the longer club shots. Here's hoping.
Keep on hitting them longer,straighter and more consistantly in Vegas.
Golf on indeed! DH and DL

Lynn42's picture

Submitted by Lynn42 on

Tweaking can be a good thing when it involves clubs like your PW, which seems to be coming along very well. Good job.

When it involves sensitive body parts, not so You are a wise man, indeed. ;0))

It's now three and a half months since the weather has allowed me to chase the little white ball. Actually took a few swings in the backyard for the first time a couple of days ago. Hopefully spring will change all of that.

Your game sounds like it's coming along well. We snowbound types will have to live vicariously through you and Robert til then.

Dragonhead's picture

Submitted by Dragonhead on

Hi Lynn,
Good luck with your weather and here is hoping that it improves rapidly. Then you can go and tread the hallowed turf and get back into the PPGS swing straight away. Weather here is coming along nicely-long may it continue.
Off for a swing practice shortly-no tweaks involved other than swing tweaks ; - ) DL is busy heh heh heh!
Have a great week and Spring is on the way guaranteed. DH's picture

Submitted by on

Hi Surg,

I am 74. Two years ago, I had my right ankle fused. This lesson about balance and " walking out" after the shot got me thinking about how this all fits together since I try to do a Gary Player type of step-through on my full swings.

I wonder how that is affecting my balance. What advise would you give a player in my situation? The ankle is fully fused.

Hope you can help.

John McKinley

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

First it is really admirable that you are still playing on regardless of your ankle.
Not sure what Surge would say for advice but my guess would be to apply the 5 rules of PPGS golf to the extent you can including keeping balanced. Fewer angles and keeping it 3/4's with the limited turn will certainly help. If it's comfortable for you to keep the knees relatively wide with outward pressure along with foot flare (as able) will contribute to maintaining balance and playing some decent golf.
Hope I am still playing at 74/84 and however long blessed to do so.

The advice given by Greg McDonald on the following post may help too.
'Shoulders over feet-'

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

Yes golfing is a year round duty of mine (unless injured:) but someone has to do it. Some times I think having a brief off-season might be good in many ways but I'm too addicted to stay home if the weather is nice and I'm not working.
My brother and one of his sons joined Cindy and I yesterday for 18. Always greats laughs to play with my brother and my nephew is a really good player.
I had my usual mix of good and bad play. Been trying something with my putter that has helped both accuracy and distance judgement. Bit like Snedeker's pop stroke. I get it squared up with the ball and chosen line and spot then add a little forward lean in my left leading wrist. This seems to lock in my hands, then I take my stroke back and through. Made 3 putts of 20-30 feet and several others were left as near tap ins. Putting has always been my biggest challenge and this latest idea is working for now.
Glad to hear your hitting balls again and will soon be playing too:)