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My story originally appears on PGA.com on 3/14/22
Anirban Lahiri is the 322nd ranked player in the world and the leader heading into the fourth round of The PLAYERS Championship. In his 15 years as a playing professional, despite close calls, he has no wins on the PGA Tour. “I was hitting my irons horribly before this week,” said Lahiri in a post round chat with Todd Lewis. In asking Anirban, what he might equate his success so far this week to, Lewis got an answer that some may find interesting… “I changed my swing weight in my irons by 1 and ½.”
What is Swing Weight and How it Can Help Your Game
Swing weight, in layman’s terms, is how heavy a golf club feels when you swing it. The idea of measuring swing weight was invented in the 1920s and was used to help describe the dynamic feel of a golf club as a golfer swings it.
Swing weight measures the distribution of weight across the golf club based on four factors.
- Length of the golf club
- Weight of the club head
- Weight of the grip
- Weight of the shaft
These factors represent the amount of weight in the top third of the club when compared to the bottom two-thirds of the club.
Swing weight is measured by using a balance scale that places the golf club at the proper fulcrum point. The fulcrum point is where the golf club is evenly balanced on both the grip end and at the clubhead. Once balanced, a sliding weight is used to measure the amount of weight required to balance out the part of the club that hangs over the scale. Once the counterweight balances the entire club, the swing weight scale indicates what the swing weight of that club is.
There are six swing weight ranges from A to F. Each range has 10 specific values, from 0 to 9. The lightest possible swing weight is A0 while the heaviest possible swing weight is F9.
Golfers can absolutely get out of sync with golf clubs that are too light or too heavy. Swing tempo would be the area of a player’s game that could be affected in a negative way. Incorrect swing weight can throw off a players swing and lead to more off-center strikes and inconsistency. When a golfer gets clubs in their hands that, from a swing weight standpoint, feel right, they are much more prone to swing on a correct path with good tempo.
So far this week, for Anirban Lahiri, getting his clubs into correct balance and weighting has been a big key to his success. Interestingly enough, as Lahiri also told Todd Lewis, his wife encouraged him to also get back into practicing meditation and yoga, which he admittedly has been slacking on over the last few months. Anirban said that the connection of mind- body and spirit, that meditation and yoga offers, has surely helped as of late too.
As play continues on Monday, a very balanced Anirban Lahiri, from both a personal and equipment standpoint, will be in a very good position to have his biggest career win.
Perhaps you can find some balance too by taking his lead…