Based on my experience, the first thing you should improve to play better golf is balance. Without it, even a perfect golf swing will not produce good results shot after shot. Simply put, how can you be consistant on a golf course when you are at risk to fall? Impossible.
I keep saying this to my golf students: Your brain priority is not the golf ball, it is your balance. You are bipeds, not quadrupeds, and standing on two legs is an art, especially in golf. To this end, your brain has developped perfect reflexes not to let your face hit the floor. In order to do just that, your brain uses three balance input systems: the vestibular system (internal ear), the vision and the proprioception. Proprioception is sensing where your body is, and foot soles play an important role in this.
The setup (initial posture)
When you attempt to hit a golf ball, you set up like an athlete with a low and bent posture (bent hips and knees). This is the optimal posture to make good contact with the ball as explained in my post on the golf fundamentals.
Too often, you try to hit the ball too hard. Since your brain refuses to let you fall, you loose the optimal posture during the swing. Therefore, the club head gets out of path which, in turn, leads to mishits. The ball ends up anywhere but as intended. In fact, hitting too hard means trying to accelerate the golf club too quickly or trying to swing it faster than you can.
Physical golf preparation consists of exercises to be done to get fit for golf, preferably before a golf season, but also during the season. The goal of these exercises is to improve six crucial skills in golf : mobility, stability, balance, proprioception, strength and power. I recommand you to put emphasis on balance exercices first.
- Brush your teeth while standing on one foot and switch foot so that you spend half the time on each one.
- Raise your left knee waist high and hold as long as possible with your eyes closed. Repeat with right knee up.
- Hold your finish several seconds. By doing so, you will, during the swing, keep your balance from adress to finish.
Yes, balance is important, in life as in golf.