What are ground reaction forces and how do they affect your swing?

Once you start getting a clearer understanding of the golf swing and go searching for some of the more technical nuances it has to offer, you will likely hear about ground forces. But what exactly are these ground forces and how do they affect the golf swing? We had GOLF Top 100 Teacher Mark Blackburn break it down for us in today’s Home Practice. Watch the video above or keep reading for more.

“Simply put, they are the response to our action forces pushing down on the ground,” Blackburn says. “When you think of Newton’s second law, for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction, that’s what ground reaction forces are.”

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Essentially it boils down to how you use the ground to your advantage to generate more clubhead speed. And to generate that speed using the ground there are a couple of ingredients to consider.

The first is your center of mass and how it moves. In simpler terms, this is your weight shift in the swing.

“Think about your movement of mass, or your displacement, toward your trail leg and then back towards your lead leg,” Blackburn says. “That’s really important, the relationship of where your mass is.”

The next ingredient is your vertical force, which is how hard you’re pushing your trail leg and your lead leg into the ground. This pressure gives you your combined vertical force. With this, you want to get your ground pressure shifting to your lead leg while your center of mass stays relatively back.

“A simple way to get this sensation is to turn into your trails side and then have the sensation that you’re maintaining your mass or weight back and then your pressure is shifting forward,” Blackburn says. “That’s going to allow you to optimize your pressure and its relationship to your mass.”

Zephyr Melton

Golf.com Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com 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 zephyr_melton@golf.com.