Golf Fitness

Balance, Tai Chi and Other Things


The practice of Tai Chi, a mind-body exercise which challenges the ability to control one’s posture and stay balanced in a variety of positions, has become a popular way for people of all ages to maintain or increase their sense of balance.

To affirm this, a well designed study recently conducted in China showed definitively that elderly subjects who had been practicing Tai Chi for 3 years or more scored as well as a group of young subjects on the ability to sense knee position, and maintain balance with the body leaning in various directions. INTERESTINGLY, this study also tested a group of elderly GOLFERS in the same manner. The result? The golfers scored equally well on the same tests as the Tai Chi participants.

Authors of this study concluded that the reason for this is that, like Tai Chi, golf requires concentration of the mind, precise and coordinated movements of the trunk and arms, and a smooth shifting of body weight in various directions. In addition, golfers have a vested interest in controlling the body’s tendency to sway in order to hit the ball accurately.

This is all good news.   But, suppose you are frustrated with your ability to get appropriate weight transfer when you are not standing on a flat patch of ground. If you want to enhance the ability of your legs to sense their position and to maintain balance during weight transfer under these conditions, try this as you prepare to take some golf swings during practice:

Place two folded towels on the ground in such a way that you can stand with the inside half of your feet on the ground and the outside half of your feet on the edge of the towel (i.e., your feet are “tipping in” to the middle of your stance. Take several golf swings with your feet in this position. Then, do this same drill, but place the towels so that the inside half of your feet are on the towel, and the outside edges are on the ground.

After doing this drill, your feet and ankles will be much more prepared to respond to uneven surfaces, keeping you more balanced as you swing.

All the best

© 2013-2020 Kristen Carter.  All rights reserved. Kristen holds a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology, and is a Certified Health Coach and Titleist Performance Institute Golf Fitness Professional.


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