One of the most common swing misconceptions for amateur golf is that you should try to keep your pressure evenly distributed between your two feet throughout the entirety of the golf swing. A lack of pressure shift can lead to a number of compensations resulting in a lack of power, hanging back, fat or thin strikes, and inconsistent accuracy to name just a few. Pressure shifts in the golf swing are vital!
At Champion PT and Performance, we use the Boditrak force plate system to measure pressure shift throughout the swing. This system allows us to collect real-time data and gives the player biofeedback in the form of a visual represenation of their swing.
We often see that amateur golfers have difficulty shifting pressure onto their trail leg in the backswing. This principle is crucial to allow for the a leg drive through impact that generates tremendous power in the swing.
Take note in the photo above that in the back swing, Kevin Chappel’s pressure is 85% on his trail leg and 15% on his lead leg. This allows him to explosively drive off his trail leg in the downswing. This will result in monster drives. Now not all amateurs swing will look like this, but it is definitely a recipe for a powerful swing.
Pressure vs. Weight Shift
This a very important distinction for golfers and golf coaches alike. Weight shift is defined as the movement of center of mass in a certain direction. Pressure shift, on the other hand, is the amount of force working over an area OR the amount of pressure applied to the ground.
Lets look back at the image above. If Kevin actually had 85% of his body-weight over his trail leg, his trunk would be much further over his leg and he would most likely be leaning over his right leg with his entire upper body. Instead, he has shifted his pressure meaning that he is applying 85% of his total force through his right leg. Subtle but important difference.
3 Drills to Work on Pressure Shifts in your Backswing:
These are a few of the drills I like to use with golfers who have difficulty shifting their pressure on to their trail side during the swing assessment. It is important to note that these are NOT golf drills, they are strengthening exercises. They purposely exaggerate the feeling of a pressure shift and will intentionally have a weight shift involved. These drills provide an excellent cue for what it feels like to achieve the desired positions.
1. Standing Lateral Drop Step
2. Drop Step Lateral Lunge with Band
3. Drop Step MB Shot Put Toss
Give these drills a try. I would recommend performing them in each direction, not solely into your backswing position. Leave a comment below if you have any questions or feedback!