The PGA Show isn’t just a place for all things equipment. It also serves as a gathering place for some of golf’s brightest minds, and that was the case during Demo Day at the 2020 PGA Show, when GOLF Top 100 Teacher Mark Blackburn gave a presentation on power and how it forms during the golf swing.
Among the fascinating pieces of information was the topic of counter-movements.
Mark started by discussing how football players make sharp cuts as they run. Watch a football player change direction, Blackburn said, and you’ll notice them push into the ground in the opposite direction of where they’re about to move. If you want to spring left, you first need to coil and push your weight into your right.
“Think of Newton,” Blackburn said. “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. If I move this way it helps me move that way.”
That same concept is present in golf.
Loading your weight into your right side is one of the oldest, and most effective, ways of generating power in your golf swing. But what is the best way of doing it, especially for recreational golfers who may not boast the same level of athleticism? By employing a similar technique: pushing your weight into your lead side, which will help you shift it back in the opposite direction. Watch Matt Wolff‘s golf swing — specifically, his pre-shot jig — and you’ll see him do it.
“You see him push slightly into his lead side, which helps him send his pressure in the opposite direction,” Blackburn says.
It’s present in World Long Drive Champion Kyle Berkshire‘s golf swing, too. Berkshire lifts his left foot off the ground, then plants it and lifts his right foot, then begins his swing. It’s the same method, used to allow him a full weight shift on the backswing by first pushing into his opposite foot.
“Any of those movements is really, really useful as a counter-mechanism, to load into your trail side, Blackburn said.
It’s a simple move but something that’s backed up by science. You may not be able to move like PGA Tour players, but use what you have to your advantage, and you’ll be able to gain distance anyway.