Better Balance Improves Golf Swings

By Robert Bradshaw

Golf Fitness: Watching TV with your eyes closed is the “Secret Weapon” to have balance like Rory McElroy!

The thing I notice the most when I watch Rory McElroy play golf is his balance. This balance is the base for his control, power and consistent ball striking. If you want to gain more balance like Rory I can teach you how by watching TV with your eyes closed.

To do this we first have to understand balance. Your body’s balance comes from three areas; the eyes (visual), the inner ears (vestibular) and the proprioceptive system. For this article we are only going to deal with the Proprioceptive System and assume that you have no limitations in the Vision or Vestibular systems.

That sounds great but what the heck is Proprioception? It can be defined as the unconscious perception of movement and spatial orientation arising from stimuli within the body itself. In simple terms it can described as your body’s ability to sense the position, location, orientation and movement of its parts. The golf swing is only 1.5 – 2 seconds long. This is too fast for anyone to think their way through the swing and maintain the correct kinematic sequencing. The only way to do this is to rely on your proprioception to control your movements once you pull the trigger to start your golf swing.  

Now the good news is that proprioception and balance can be improved over time by doing the correct drills. People do not lose balance from age but from lack of balance rich activities and practice. Just remember that anyone at any age can improve their balance. So keeping that in mind I have one simple drill for you that I promise will improve your balance and increase your proprioception. When you are at home watching TV you must do this drill every time a commercial comes on and you will have two very amazing results. The first result is you won’t have to ever watch another TV commercial and the second is that you will gain balance and more control of your golf swing.

The drill is called the “single leg balance drill” and yes it is as simple as it sounds but not as easy as it sounds. Stand on your right leg with your arms hanging by your side then raise your left knee until it is at a 90 degree angle from your hip. Once you are in this position close your eyes and hold the position as long as you can then repeat on your other leg.

The average amateur golfer’s single leg balance time is approximately 10 seconds, while the average tour player (male and female) is roughly 26 seconds. This is a major difference between those players who are very efficient and effective in making that white object go to the desired location. So, Use this simple drill during TV commercials and I swear on Harvey’s “Little Red Book” that you will see improvement in all aspects of your game and start creating balance like Rory. I just hope you don’t mind missing all those brain melting commercials on TV.

Golf Strong, Robert @ Body Balance
This article was written by Robert Bradshaw / Robert is a single digit handicap golfer, a nationally certified personal trainer by the Coopers Institute, a Titleist Performance Institute certified fitness professional and the golf fitness director at Body Balance for Performance in Austin, Texas.  Feel free to contact Robert by email or you can find him walking a golf course near you. 


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