Stop Swaying Golf Swing
The troubles of swaying in a golf swing are often not noticed by amateur players. And later, they learn the hard way that swaying is bad. When we first start out with the sport, we try to hit the ball as far as we can without thinking too much about the movements in our body.
It causes us to shift our bodies laterally to the right in the hope that we’ll generate more power. It may be true in some cases. The swaying in a golf swing will almost always come with its other sets of issues like inconsistent contact, poor power delivery, wrong club face angle, and so on.
That’s why we thought to ourselves that it would be a good idea to create a guide to help you stop swaying in the golf swing. In this post, we’re going to learn about different types of swaying, what causes them, and how you can stop doing them altogether.
What is Swaying in Golf Swing?
Swaying in golf means the same as it would mean elsewhere. It’s the action of sliding your body away from the target during your backswing.
You already know that there are three different sections of a golf swing. The backswing, the downswing, and the follow through.
The swaying actually happens during the backswing. And to compensate for the movement, you have to come around the other way during your downswing. Moreover, the adverse movement of the body from side to side will hamper your follow through.
So, it’s very important that you keep your body centered around your spine throughout your entire swing. It requires quite a bit of flexibility from your body. If you think your body is not ready for it yet, it may be a good idea to spend some time stretching at home or doing some specific exercises at the gym to improve your flexibility.
Why is it Important to Stop Swaying in Golf Swing?
To understand why swaying is bad, you need to understand the purpose of the address position first. When you’re at the address position, you’re essentially feeding information to your brain about the distance of the ball from your spine, your head, your arms, your shoulders, etc. That’s why it’s important to square the club face with the target at this point.
Your brain processes the information and helps you mimic the exact same angles on each of your body parts when you finally make contact.
The problem arises when you shift your body laterally. By moving toward the right, you’re basically changing the distance from every part of your body to the ball that you measured a few seconds ago.
The result? Well, your previous calculations will be wrong and you’ll hit the ball with a different part of the club face. You may as very well change the club face angle during the process as well. So, if you were aiming for a hook, you might be pulling the shot instead.
This is why keeping your body on a central axis is very important. When you can do that, the information you fed the brain will be right and your club face will return to the square position at impact.
This is why repeating each movement is very important in golf. You need consistency over anything else. And consistency comes from repeated movements.
Different Types of Swaying in Golf Swing
The basic idea of swaying is that you shift your body laterally. But which body part is responsible for the sway. Is it your torso? Is it your head? Or, is it your hips?
Whatever the case is, it’s almost always true that you’ll make poor contact with the ball. It’s just not physically possible to pinpoint the exact sweet spot when you’re moving your body from side to side.
The Hip Sway
This is the most commonly faced sway problem by amateur players. When they rotate their body for the backswing, the hips almost automatically move toward the right side. It may or may not move the head along with it. when the sway is too aggressive, it’ll definitely take the head with it.
The hip sway also puts too much weight on your back foot which is never a good thing in this sport. In golf, you need to start with 50/50 weight distribution and later make it 90/10, putting 90% of your body’s weight on the lead foot. This the foot that generates power from the ground to transfer it to the rest of your body.
The Shoulder Sway
It’s even worse for your gameplay than the hip sway. Also, it’s accompanied by the head this time. In this case, you keep your hips locked in place but move your shoulders to the right, almost bending yourself from the middle.
It causes all sorts of strange ball flights because the brain gets confused. You may be flicking the club without even realizing it. You’re opening yourself up for intense possibilities of injuries in the long run. And most importantly, you’re not getting consistent shots.
What Causes You to Sway?
It’s an amazing question to ask. We often overlook the very fact that’s causing the problem. It’s never possible to solve a problem without knowing the root of it at first.
So, why do people sway in their golf swing? Let’s find out.
Improper Address Position
This might come as very unlikely to a lot of you but your position at the address might be the culprit. You may not be bending your hips properly or you might be distributing your weight accordingly on the feet.
Whatever the case is, your goal is to be as stable at your address position as possible. Because when you’re not stable for the swing, it’s bound that your posture will change. When your posture changes unpredictably, you’ll never be able to make consistent contact with the golf ball.
So, it’s very important that you learn how to set up for your shot. You need to learn how your arms should be, what the weight distribution should be, how you need to push your bottoms out, and everything.
Poor Swing Path
For golf players of all levels, having a clear understanding of the swing path is a must. Unfortunately, this is the single biggest point of failure for the newbies as well.
What happens is that the amateur players try to keep the swing path as straight as possible with relation to the target line. They tend to swing the club straight away from the target in their backswing. When you force your arms in the opposite direction, it’s only normal that the body will follow.
In reality, the swing path should be a circle that revolves around your body. You need to swing the club back by rotating your hips and shoulders. You almost act like a coil that winds and unwinds during the swing.
If the symptoms match your playing style, then you should definitely work on your swing first. You must have a clear understanding of the relation between your swing path and your club face angle.
We know it’s a bummer. But it’s a major problem for a lot of players coming into the sport. When you watch golf tournaments on TV, it seems like that the players are calmly walking around with a stick and hitting the ball gently.
It’s only then when you realize how demanding it is on the body when you do it yourself. All of your large muscles should be ready to deliver the power at all times. The joints of your body should be flexible to transfer the power from the shoulder to the arms.
If you’re swaying in your golf swing, there is a good chance that your body is not flexible enough to rotate all the way on the same axis. And you’re swaying to the right to compensate for that.
If you find out that it’s the case with your swings, you need to build up your flexibility before you should hit the course. Because if you get into the habit of swaying, it’ll be tremendously hard for you to reverse the habit.
Wrong Spine Angle
By spine angle, we mean the angle of your spin at address position. Ideally, your body should be tilted forward with a bend in the waist. It’s almost like your pushing your hips out toward the back. Your knees should be slightly flexed to ensure that you’re stable at this point.
What happens with new players is that they misinterpret the position. Instead of tilting from the waist, they bow their back and push their heads down. It almost looks like a rounded back when it should have been straight or slightly arched.
When your spine is bowing toward the front, it’s not possible to rotate your shoulders. So, what do you do to compensate for that? You naturally sway to the right.
How to Stop Swaying in Golf Swing
Enough about what it is and what things cause it. It’s time to learn how to stop it for good, right?
The most important part of any training or learning experience is feedback. The feedback gives us a point of reference to understand what we’re doing wrong. Without feedback, it’s much harder to pinpoint the cause of the issue.
So, here are a few feedbacks to use during your practice.
Focus on the Hips
As you may already know, hip sway is the most common type of swaying in the golf swing. So, it’s only normal that we’re going to instruct you to focus more on your hips. You may not have noticed it up until now, but it’s time that you start.
When you’re at the address, make sure that your hips are squared up against the ball. As you initiate the backswing, notice how it feels around the waist. Notice if you’re moving toward the right. If you are, stop there.
Start from the beginning again. A great concept, in this case, is to change the thought of direction completely. Instead of thinking about moving away or toward the target, think about moving front to back and vice versa.
Separate your lead side and your trailing side in your mind. If you’re a right-handed player, your lead side is on your left. In a proper golf swing, the lead swing will always move forward and the trail side will move away from the ball.
Thinking of your spine as the anchor, practice this movement. Changing the thought of direction will help you focus more on the correct movements.
Keep Your Head Still
As the head is the top portion of the body, any movement in the lower body will naturally affect the head position. So, if you focus to keep your head position untampered, it’ll help you to stabilize your core in return.
When you’re in the address position, try to lock your eyes on the ball as much as possible. Look for any changes in perception as you swing the club back. If it feels like you’re moving away from the ball, you’re probably swaying to the right.
Drills to Help You Stop Swaying
We’ve already mentioned that the only way to master any moves is by repetition. What better way is there to repeat a move other than the drills? None! So, in this section of our post, we’re going to go over a few drills that you can practice to stop swaying in your golf swing.
The Alignment Stick Drill
It’s needless to say how the alignment stick makes its way into almost every drill there is. This time, it’s here to help you to keep your body centered. You’ll also need a basket to hold the stick in place.
- Place the basket upside down and push the alignment sticks through the holes to lift it up from the ground.
- Place your ball directly below the point of the alignment stick and push it just a notch to the target.
- Get into your address position. You should be able to clearly see the ball because it’s pushed out to the left just a bit.
- Initiate your downswing. If you’re used to swaying, you’ll notice that you won’t see the ball anymore because the alignment stick will be in the line of vision.
- Your target is to complete the backswing without losing the view of the ball.
Club Next to Head
It’s better if you have a friend around to practice this drill. The friend will be holding a golf club near your head when you’re trying to swing the ball. So, if you sway, your head will touch the club.
- Ask your friend to stand behind you with the club and hold it about an inch away from your head.
- Get into address position and practice some shots.
- Your goal is to complete the swing without touching the club.
Swaying often takes away the edge of very good players. They lose their immense potential by giving into the natural forces of their bodies. It can all be overcome with the help of our guide. The key is to have awareness of what’s happening with your body when you’re swaying to the right. And then, working your way so that you can stop it.