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The Balance of PGA Champion Collin Morikawa

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Collin Morikawa hits his tee shot on the seventh hole during the first round of the 102nd PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park on August 6, 2020 in San Francisco, California.Photo by Darren Carroll/PGA of America

Since turning pro in 2019, Collin Morikawa has only played in two Major Tournaments. He’s won half of them. After analyzing his golf swing, it is no surprise that he already has three PGA Tour wins. One area I would encourage the average weekend warrior to pay close attention to is Collin's balance.

His head stays relatively stable, and he is able to load up into the right hip. He doesn’t sway off the golf ball, but instead rotates around the trail hip, keeping his weight on the inside of his right leg. This allows him to start the transition with such raw power, that he simply bows his lead wrist at the top and uses his big muscles to turn down through the golf ball.

Another key factor in his swing is how long he keeps his chest over the golf ball. Morikawa is able to compress the golf ball and his trail shoulder brings him out of his swing, reducing the likelihood that he would “spin out” or open his shoulders to the target too soon. When he completes his golf swing, you can see all the spikes on his trail foot, showing the viewers that all his weight has transferred to the front side.

Here are some drills to improve your balance and play like a champion.
First, take your golf stance and place your lead leg (left leg for right-handed golfers) behind you on its tippy-toe. This will put all your weight onto your trail leg. Now, make a backswing. Are you losing your balance? If not, you are making a turn like Collin, and successfully loading up onto your trail leg. Doing this simple exercise 10 to 20 times a day significantly improves your balance and will yield longer, straighter golf shots.

A second drill to help you with your balance is a very simple move at the end of your golf swing. Can you lift your trail foot? Can your playing partners tell what color the bottom of your shoe is? If so, you are making a great weight transfer, much like our new 2020 PGA Champion.

Alan "A.J." Nelson, PGA

Fairfax, VA

Alan Nelson

PGA Specialized Professional

It's a pleasure to meet you. My name is A.J. Nelson and I am a Class A Member of the PGA with a specialization in teaching and coaching. My goal is to grow the game of golf, one player at a time. I have been working in the golf industry for 19 years and have given thousands of lessons. I earned a Masters Degree from the University of Maryland, College Park and have graduated from the PGA sponsored Professional Golf Management Program. My strengths lie in teaching, club fitting, and player development. I look forward to bringing you my expertise in golf and feel extremely privileged to have the opportunity to work with you.

Meet Alan