23 August, 2011
Left-Side Focused Golf Drills
Golf is a game of precision, and most golfers want to perform at their best, regardless of ability. One concept that is mastered by touring professionals and low-handicap golfers, but is struggled with by many beginners and intermediate players, is the ability to transfer your weight to the left side during the golf swing. Many drills can help improve your ability to get to the left side.
The impact bag is one of the better teaching tools for the golf swing because it forces a proper weight shift and teaches the golfer to drive down and through the golf ball. Take a mid- or short iron and make 10 hard swings into the impact bag. To produce the proper "thump," you must shift your weight during the transition from the right side to the left. The core and hips must rotate properly, and the hands must lead the club into the bag.
Another drill to force the weight to the proper side is to place a golf ball under the outside of the right heel. Make swings -- you can actually hit balls during this drill if you feel comfortable -- and emphasize a proper core rotation. The golf ball wedged under your golf shoe will force your weight to remain on the inside of your right foot on the takeaway -- exactly where it should be -- and then frees up your left side for an easy transition on the follow-through.
Another strong drill to emphasize the importance of the weight shift is to hit golf balls standing on only one leg. Although this is possible on both the right and left legs, you will find that contact and the transition is much easier standing on your left leg than on your right. Hit 10 to 12 balls balancing on your left side, which will serve as an anchor for impact and the follow-through. If you can hit down and through on one leg, doing it with both legs will become second nature.
Placing a ski pole or a golf club shaft into the ground just outside your left leg emphasizes the importance of transferring the weight onto that side, but it also prevents you from sliding out of your posture and outside of the golf ball. While the weight shift to the left side is important, it cannot come at the expense of proper rotation. Sliding is killer in the golf swing, and placing a pole outside your frame -- and learning to swing without hitting it -- will pay dividends on the course.
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