When I begin to work with a new student, I first ask them what they would like to accomplish while taking golf lessons. One of the most common answers I receive is “I would like to improve my consistency.” This got me thinking about what is making players so inconsistent. One of the most common issues affecting consistency is weight shift. An improper transfer of weight during the golf swing can cause all sorts of problems; it affects direction, distance, and quality of contact. These are all major factors when it comes to playing more consistent golf. The simple fact is that it is not impossible to hit a good golf shot with a poor weight shift, a likely reason this is such a common swing flaw. Another problem with weight shifting is that it is difficult to get your upper and lower bodies to work in unison. I would like to take a minute to explain why a proper weight shift is critical, show you one of the most common weight shift issues, and give you a drill to help improve your weight shift.
The question I pose to most of my students with this problem, especially those dissatisfied with the distance they hit the golf ball is: “Where are the strongest muscles in your body?” The answer is obviously the legs/lower body. Therefore, it seems clear that you should utilize those muscles in your golf swing. For the right-handed player, this involves loading all of your weight onto your right leg during the backswing and then posting all of that weight, energy, and power onto the left leg during the downswing. This is very similar to a baseball player making a swing, the difference being that in baseball the batter starts with the weight on his right leg and then takes a stride instead of making a downswing, transferring the weight onto his left. The same logic applies to both; a successful weight shift produces greater distance and better results.
Let’s take a look at what I believe to be the most common weight shift issue among amateur golfers: