Appropriate transfer of your weight is one principle that is crucial to all sports, but it is especially important in the golf swing.
A simple definition is you want the weight to move to the rear (right foot for a right-handed golfer) on the back swing and forward (left foot for a right-handed golfer) on the follow through, while maintaining control of your body and staying in balance.
A poor weight transfer will affect both distance and the trajectory of your golf shots. Because your swing path also will be altered by a lack of proper weight transfer, directional control is also affected.
I have found that one reason some golfers have trouble staying balanced is because they try to shift their weight from side to side. This can cause another principle to break down which really affects balance, which is the swing center.
I describe the swing center as a spot near the top of the spine. You want to rotate your torso around this spot. Allowing this swing center to move up and down or back and forward a lot will affect balance. This will make it difficult to have consistent contact with the center of the clubface.
There can be some lateral movement caused by the rotation of the torso. We see this in a professional's swing, especially with the driver, when they are trying to achieve maximum rotation. The head appears to move off the ball a little on the back swing.
However, when hitting a short chip or pitch shot, where not much rotation is needed, the swing center should stay centered.
To feel the correct weight transfer created by rotation of the torso, try the following drill.
Place a golf ball or wedge of wood under the outside of your right foot (right-handed golfer) to stabilize the right leg, which must stay in place during the back swing. Next, fold your arms and place your hands on the opposite shoulders, then rotate your shoulders and allow your left shoulder to move over your right knee.
This is the coil you have heard about which will help you develop a more powerful and repeatable golf swing.
To see this drill illustrated, go to my Web site - www.golflessonsorangecounty.com (drills page).