Flashback Jack: Jack Nicklaus explains how to perfect your balance, maximize your athleticism

January 28, 2020

With so much that can go wrong in the span of the golf swing, it’s sometimes easy to forget about getting the easy things right. While that can mean many different things, one of the most common fundamental issues for golfers is maintaining proper balance.

It seems simple enough: you’ve spent most of your life standing upright, maintaining your center of gravity just fine. Even the biggest klutzes have survived for long periods of time in the positions required to execute a proper golf swing without falling over.

But the golf swing is a tricky exercise in the impact of centrifugal force—i.e. the force acting around your center of gravity as you twist and turn to make contact with the ball. If you’re not correctly aligned, the force’s impact causes you to lose your balance, making it harder to consistently contact the ball.

Throughout his career, Jack Nicklaus relied upon clean balance to get the most out of his long, sweeping swing. In this week’s “Flashback Jack,” Nicklaus explains his tips for maintaining balance throughout the golf swing.

“I don’t have my weight on my toes, my heels, my right foot or my left foot,” Nicklaus says. “My weight is very balanced in the middle of my feet.”

To Nicklaus, balance isn’t one-size-fits-all, it requires adjustment to optimize for each of the various shots you need to hit.

“As the clubs get longer, the feet get wider. As the clubs get shorter, the feet get narrower,” he says.

For the Bear, good posture isn’t a mistake.

“Whatever happens, your body is going to try to balance you,” Nicklaus says. “Good stance and good posture results in good balance.”

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