I’ve always known that it’s necessary to transfer my weight during the golf swing. However, only recently did this concept become a big deal in regards to where and how the transfer of weight happens. If you want power and consistency in the golf swing, a weight shift is necessary.
I’ll show you how amateur golfers can master the proper weight transfer and become a more advanced player. There is no question that if you watch every professional golfer play, they are shifting their weight at some point in their swing.
What is a golf weight transfer?
The weight transfer in golf is the movement of your body weight from one side of your body to the other. Most golfers feel this as weight moving from their left foot to their right foot throughout the swing.
The weight transfer happens as a result of a body turning and rotating. Most of the weight distribution is felt in the lower legs, but as you turn your upper body, it is likely to transfer weight as well.
The address position, top of swing downswing, impact, and follow through all have different positions as far as your weight is concerned, and this weight transfer can change from one golf club to the next.
Where should weight start in the golf swing?
Start with your weight balanced between your left and right foot. If you hit a short iron, you can add a little weight to the left foot (right handed golfer). If you are hitting a driver, you can add a little weight to the right foot.
At impact, we want to hit down on an iron shot and slightly up on a driver. Where the golf ball is at setup will help us better set up to attack the golf ball the right way. Learn more about the Angle of attack here.
Some golfers like to stay more centered for all shots, which is acceptable. As long as you can get to the proper position to strike the ball at impact, the weight distribution at set up can vary slightly.
Where should the weight be on the feet?
One area where golfers tend to overlook their performance is where the weight is on the feet during the setup. You can have your weight centered 50/50 between your feet, but if you have to much weight on your toes or in your heels, the range of motion in your swing and the lateral movement will be incorrect.
For the best strength and stability, you will want to feel your weight centered between your toe and your heel and pushed more toward the inside of your foot. The inside arch is a great position, and most golf shoes are accustomed to handling your body mass in this position.
Where is weight in golf swing at the top of the swing?
When you take the golf club to the top, you will need to transfer weight from the centered position to the right side or trail side. For an iron shot, there may be very little weight transfer. This is done to help improve the angle of attack and launch angle.
For the driver, you may feel as though almost all of your weight has transferred back to your trail side.
If you have your weight in this position at the top, you will see more power in your golf game and better balance and acceleration through impact. To get here, make sure you are turning your lower body. Start that lower body turn early so you have time to load the weight.
How is the weight distributed in golf at impact?
As you move towards the golf ball, the weight moves from the trail side to the lead side. At impact, your weight will be about the opposite of what it was at the top of your backswing. Instead of having 75 percent of weight on the right side, you will now have about 75 percent of your weight on the left side.
This shift of power helps improve club head speed and ensures that you are increasing your chances of hitting fewer bad shots.
There are several golf swing drills you can do to feel this position, but one of them is to take swings with your feet a little closer together and feel almost as though you are stomping on your left foot as you hit the golf ball. This moves the weight from the back to the front foot.
How to transfer weight in the golf swing
Now that you have a better idea as to where the weight is supposed to be in the golf swing, you have to learn how to transfer this weight properly. Here is a checklist of all the most important positions broken down so you can find the areas of your game where you may need some extra help.
Remember that to create a consistent golf swing, you must practice these motions. Great weight transfer in golf doesn’t happen overnight.
Setup with weight balanced between your feet about 50/50; leaning on the lead foot is a good idea for iron shots.
Turn your lower body so that the weight has nowhere to go but back to the trail side.
At the top of the swing, turn the body in the other direction to naturally transfer the weight from the trail side back to the lead side.
At finish, continue to rotate until almost all of your weight is fully on the lead foot, and you are in a balanced position looking at your target.
What is the proper golf swing footwork?
One of the areas of the game that goes hand in hand with weight transfer is footwork. If your footwork in golf is not quite what it should be, your weight may not transfer, and you certainly won’t make an efficient golf swing.
Proper footwork includes keeping both feet on the ground at impact and focusing on those ground forces. As you swing back, it is ok to let the lead foot come slightly off the ground if you need help with rotation in your swing.
At impact, the trail foot may start to come off the ground slightly, especially if you are taking a bigger swing with a driver.
When you reach the finish position, expect your front foot or lead foot to be flat on the ground and the back foot to be up on its toe in a balanced position.
The entire time you swing a golf club, make sure you are utilizing the ground and maintaining a smooth tempo. Ground forces in golf can help you create a sound golf swing and give you a place to push off for more power.
Weight transfer in golf is a big deal, and until you have the basics of where, when, and how it happens, it’s hard to create the perfect golf swing. I encourage you to practice this concept not just at the driving range but also while you are home.
Grab a medicine ball, hold it between your hands, and focus only on your weight transfer. Take some swings back with the ball and feel your weight move to the right side. Now swing it through and feel the weight move to the left.
The next time you head out to play or practicing at the range, you will have an easier time mastering this concept.
I started playing golf at the age of seven. After college, I turned Professional but fell in love with teaching the game of golf. I became a Class A PGA Professional and had hundreds of students from age 3 to 93 come to me for lessons. Teaching and player improvement is my passion.