Go for the Green Vol. V: Balance and Options

October 26, 2011
by Justin

Great music has always had an equilibrium of epic production and lyrical depth. Personally, I value production over lyrics, so naturally my favorite genre of music is jazz. Growing up in a generation that was dominated by hip hop and pop music, often left me feeling left out of the mainstream musical loop. Luckily hip-hop gave me a few musical gems like one of my favorite albums, Balance and Options by one of hip-hop’s greatest producer/lyricists, DJ Quik. DJ Quik, whose real name is David Blake, combined music that used innovative percussion from a drum machine and live instruments. Sonically, a richer more complete sound was created that captured the depth of my favorite musicians like Coltrane, Parker and Monk. I look at sports in the same way I listen to music; I look for weaknesses while I nail down the strengths that I can appreciate. Recently, I found out from a golf expert/friend that one of the issues with my golf game, is my balance, my grip and my stance. In turn, He also gave me some great methods to help eradicate my issues with slicing and hooking the ball that I would like to share with you.

Welcome back to GFTG, the ultimate destination for golf training tips and techniques, provided to you by www.scoutme.com. In my personal quest for golf greatness, I have written several columns. In volume one (http://www.scoutme.com/golf/go-for-the-green-how-to-weight-lift-without-losing-your-swing/) we explored weight training, while in two (http://www.scoutme.com/golf/go-for-the-green-vol-2-tame-your-short-game/) and three (http://www.scoutme.com/golf/go-for-the-green-vol-3-miniature-golf/) had tips for putting and short game in general. Last week we jumped into my shoe obsession in my new series called Shoe Science, (http://www.scoutme.com/golf/go-for-the-green-vol-iv-will-shoe-science-for-golfers/) and this week I am focusing on the pre-swing fundamentals. Here are some of the great tips and techniques that I learned recently.



Why is balance so important in golf? Imagine your golf club is a hammer and the ball is a nail. The best way to knock in a nail is a consistent and steady movement with the hammer. If you are trying to hit that same nail while you are on a boat, naturally your accuracy will be compromised. A perfect example of a horrible base that has progressed into and even more atrocious swing, is one of my favorite basketball players, Charles Barkley. Take a look at this extreme case of what bad balance can create in the game of golf:


After my buddy gave me the whole hammer/nail analogy he had me stand on an inch and a half thick two-by-four. My problem was that my stance placed my entire weight on my toes. Standing on the two-by-four put the focus of balance on my whole foot (specifically my arches) as opposed to the balls of my feet. This use of my full foot, from an athlete’s perspective, is not something that is the norm for me. Every ready position that I have ever been instructed to execute, whether it has been baseball or football, has been on my toes. When you have a great, golf base, the major weight bearing joints are vertically stacked on each other. This tip actually helped my swing.



If golf were a pizza, it would be from Dominos; it doesn’t look good and you really never want a slice. After adjusting my balance, we dealt with my slicing problem. The first issue was my grip. I always held the club mainly with my fingers and I learned that I needed to use more of my palm to secure the club through the swing. Once again, balance is the key with your grip. My slicing issue came because my club wasn’t secured and my dominant hand was too high over my weak side. This problem was another one of my swing issues that were carried over from my baseball-style motion.

My results were actually noticeable the first day I hit the driving range. Truthfully, I have yet to find my pro level golf swing, but I’m working on it. I’m learning that great balance and grip, go hand in hand with a solid golf swing.

Until I’m on the heels of Phil Mickelson, this is Go for the Green, and I’m Yorick Hempstead, signing off.


Yorick Hempstead is an ex-college athlete who is a sports blogger for Scoutme.com. He is always talking sports on twitter @HempsteadHuddle.

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