Understand COM and COP can be huge
Hi, Robin here. Okay, center of mass, center of pressure, COM, COP. How does that relate to a golf swing? It’s a very important subject, and at the beginning it can sound a little bit technical. But actually when you understand it, I think it’s a very simple concept about a swing and one that can help many players. We often use the term in a golf swing “weight transfer,” but maybe that’s not such a good term. And hopefully by the end of this video, you’ll understand what I mean, or why it’s not such a good term. So first of all, center of mass, center of pressure. What is that? So center of mass is the center of mass of any object. Center of pressure is where the mass of that object is exerted onto the ground. I am sure there’s going to be some people out there maybe letting me know that’s not correct, but as far as I know, that’s the simple way of putting it.
Now in a golf swing, so you’ve got your body, your center of mass is somewhere in the middle, usually inside your body just above your pelvis. At address, your center of pressure would normally be pretty much underneath that, so somewhere in the middle of your feet, usually below the center of mass. Just about where the club head is. Now what we are looking to do in this swing is we are looking to have a good pressure transfer. We want the center of pressure to move between your right and left foot, but really the center of mass does not move that much. It does move a little bit, but there’s minimal movement to the center of mass. This is why a golf swing has got to be in constant motion, a continuous motion.
Look, if I was to go to the top of my swing and stop, I’ve put the pressure in my right foot. To be able to stop, I have to move the center of my mass over this top of my right foot over the top of the center of pressure. That’s the only way I can stop and be in a stationary position. But what we are looking for is the center of mass to stay fairly central and the center of pressure to move to the right. It’s possible, but you’ve got to be in a continuous motion. So you can see, if I was just to do this quickly… my mass stayed fairly central, the pressure moved to the right foot. I could actually lift my left foot off the ground here for a split second. I can’t hold it. It’s got to be in continuous motion.
That’s why you look at some of these players and actually some more old players who are better examples of this. But even like someone like Bubba Watson, obviously he is left-handed, but on a right-hand version, his foot’s right off the ground, but his center of mass is right in the center. Again, he can’t hold that position. Jack Nicklaus would have looked like that. Sam Snead would look like that, and even somebody like Sergio Garcia. So what happens, what’s the benefits of this? When you get this pressure moving to your right foot but the mass staying in the center, it’s like somebody starting a race. Their center of mass is in front of the center of pressure so they are able to push off their back foot. In a golf swing, that’s a good transition becomes instinctive because the pressure is here and the mass is here. I almost cannot stop myself moving back to my left foot. The pressure is going to move quickly from right foot to left foot. As a result, the transition becomes very instinctive. If I move my mass over the center of pressure, that would be like starting a running race from back here. Very difficult to get yourself moving forward.
Now how do you kind of get this feel in your swing? What I do is a very simple drill. I ask players to make pivots, staying as central as they can. So just pure rotation, and then lift their left foot off the ground just for that split second. A key point is if you can’t hold, it you can’t keep your left foot off the ground, you are doing it correctly. If you can keep your left foot off the ground, you are not doing it correctly. So pivot, left foot off the ground for a split second, you will feel that you have to move back to your left foot. You cannot stop that chain reaction happening. Center of mass central, center of pressure moving between right and left foot. The words make it sound a little complicated but when you do this drill, hopefully you will find that the concept is actually very simple, and it can really tidy up many things in your swing. You can actually hit balls doing the same drill.
So hopefully when you hear these words floating around the internet, COM, COP, that can help you understand what people are talking about. Don’t get confused. When you actually apply that in a simple, usable drill to your swing, and a simple usable concept, it can actually be something which really helps a lot of players. I have had a lot of success in improving players’ transitions and ball striking with this. So understand it, apply it to your swing in a very simple manner. And as always, I hope it helps you improve your ball striking, and thanks for watching. Till next time, good luck with your golf.