All great players do this during their swings, says top teacher

Pro golfer scottie scheffler hits a tee shot during the final round of the 2024 rbc heritage

All great players start shifting their weight before they get to the top of the backswing.

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Welcome to Play Smart, a regular game-improvement column that will help you play smarter, better golf.

Much like snowflakes, every golf swing looks different. But while the aesthetics of each swing might differ, there are certain commonalities — especially among high-level players.

Take the swings of Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy, for example. These are two of the best players in the world, yet their swings look drastically different. However, if you look closely at how Scheffler and McIlroy swing the club, you’ll see there are some components that are quite similar.

One of the main ways these two swing similarly is the way in which they distribute and shift their weight during the swing. And in today’s edition of Play Smart, we turn to GOLF Top 100 Teachers Jonathan Yarwood and Chris Como to break it all down.

How pros shift their weight

High-level players are extremely talented when it comes to the sequencing of the swing. This essentially means they know how to move all the components of their bodies in the correct order to produce the most efficient swing.

Having the proper sequencing is a huge reason pros can generate power without it looking like they’re exerting much effort. When you can time everything up in the correct manner, generating power becomes much easier.

If you want to swing like the pros, it’s important you sequence the swing in the same way they do. And a great place to start with that is by learning how to properly shift your weight.

“A lot of people we see, they get to the top of the swing — especially amateur players — they’re scared of getting their mass forward,” Yarwood says. “What we see with great players is as their arm is going to the top, the lower body and the mass is shifting direction as the lead arm is going to the top. So there’s a change of direction before they get to the top. That’s a common denominator among a lot of good players.”

This act of shifting your mass and pressure forward before completing the backswing is called “re-centering,” and it’s something that all great players do during the swing.

How to teach yourself re-center

If you’re among the huge population of golfers who doesn’t shift their weight properly, worry not. There is hope for you yet. In fact, one of the best drills for learning how to shift your weight is incredibly easy to do when you’re on the range.

All you need to do is line up to the ball with your feet slightly closer together than normal. Make your backswing to the top, but before you complete the backswing, step forward with your lead foot.

“That’ll increase your horizontal force,” Yarwood says. “It really creates some really good mass movement. Really good for an iron in particular.”

When you start to take your regular swings, mimic that feeling of the step drill. It’ll help you properly shift your weight and pressure forward, and have you sharing a key swing component with some of the best players in the world.

Zephyr Melton Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf. He can be reached at