Swing Physics and Balance
Performance Measurement from the Ground Up and Out: the Perfect Marriage
By John Ehle
The Swing Catalyst Balance Plate and the Full Swing Simulator Technology has been pervasive in the golf industry for a number of years. Launch monitors began the trend and soon an abundance of data regarding swing and ball flight became available. Launch angle, clubhead speed, spin rate, angle of approach, distance etc. became part of the normal dialogue between professional club-fitters, teachers and golfers.

Video closed the gap somewhat in the teaching/learning process but a visual record still required a conclusion as to what really transpired when making a swing and hitting a golf ball effectively. Books were written about ratios of the time of the backswing vs downswing and a variety of other variables which, ostensibly would lead to better golf swings and greater satisfaction with one’s game.

There was a seminal piece of the puzzle that was missing: a connection between body mechanics and golf shots. This connection required a conclusion from the golfer and/or the teacher. Which physical action was it that led to improved golf performance?
If you’ve ever had to adjust to or accommodate balance issues and then tried to go back to golf, you know how important one’s balance is when it comes to making a good golf swing.

Swing Catalyst’s Balance Plate is a device which measures weight distribution at address and weight transfer throughout the swing. A “normal” distribution of mass (weight) may be 55/45, front/back. The Balance Plate, with the help of a computer, can measure this distribution and visually represent weight transfer on a computer screen.

As a former shot putter and discus thrower, weight transfer is not a foreign concept. Swinging a golf club at an elusive little ball, however , does not make that understanding any easier to employ. The beauty and elegance of the Balance Plate is that it is designed to be connected to the Full Swing Golf Simulator; allowing the important correlations to be drawn between distribution of mass and transfer to the way in which the ball responds.

If you don’t like the distance and the launch angle, make adjustments which improve the results. So the function of the Balance Plate is to allow one to draw conclusions about the set-up and the genesis of the swing. Traditional wisdom/pedagogy tells us that the final position one assumes is to be with the majority of one’s weight on the front foot….torso facing the target line. Ball behavior tells us whether we have, in fact, arrived there.

So, what the Balance Plate gives us is a very measurable set of results and correlations between weight distribution, transfer and results..,information which had not been made available before the connection between mass, transfer and ball behavior.
I believe that it goes without saying (so I’m saying it anyway) that this innovation can reveal the factor which had been heretofore unavailable in any palpable way. Another of golf’s secrets revealed.

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