By Paul Myers
Your feet might be the last place you think to look for more power in your golf swing, but there is more importance to your footwork in the golf swing that you might believe. In fact, golfers who have good footwork are already well ahead of the game and stand a much better chance of hitting consistent, powerful, solid golf shots all day long. Footwork certainly isn’t the most glamourous element of the game to practice, but it can have a profound impact on your golf swing.
So what does good footwork look like? Well, it actually doesn’t look like much at all. Good footwork is pretty boring, and you probably won’t even notice it when you see it. However, it is often easy to spot bad footwork. When a golfer is moving their feet all around during a golf swing and coming out of balance – a poor shot is sometimes the result. Some feel that footwork is ‘quiet’, meaning that the feet stay on the ground for the most part (with some styles allowing the lead heel to come up in the back swing…and rear heal up at impact) and provide the rest of your body the support it needs to make an aggressive golf swing.
Watch the Front Foot
You might have seen some golfers who let their lead foot come up onto its toe during the backswing (left foot for a right handed golfer). This isn’t a terrible thing to do, and there are definitely some successful professional golfers, long drivers, and Hall of Fame golfers with this element in their golf swing. However, provided you have the flexibility to make a long enough back swing, you may wish to keep that lead foot flat on the ground. Any movement you can eliminate from the swing can possibly make you more consistent with your ball striking, and consistency in golf is always a good thing. If you have the required flexibility and can still swing rhythmically with your lead foot flat on the ground throughout the golf swing, that may be the way to go.
Stay Down Through Impact
Another trouble spot for some golfers with their footwork is right as the club starts to come down into the ball. Many players tend to stand up onto their toes as the club comes down, possibly to try and squeeze out a little more power from the golf swing. In reality, this move probably makes it harder to create solid contact, and is unlikely to help you swing faster anyway. If you have this habit in your swing, it might take some time to break – but it is worth the time and effort to make the change. Try to remain flatfooted at impact with the lead foot. Allowing your back foot to be up at impact is okay though.
Footwork might not be the most-important element in the golf swing speed equation, but it does matter. Just like any other technical element in your swing, ironing out mistakes in your footwork can make the golf swing more-simple and easier to repeat all throughout the round. Spend some practice time working on ‘quiet feet’ and feel how your golf swing adjusts and adapts as a result. A change in footwork may lead to a change in how you swing, so expect your ball flight to possibly change as you work on making this improvement.
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