The Golf Swing: What Your Legs Should Be Doing To Hit Longer Golf Drives
In your golf swing you legs should be doing something very important to help you hit longer golf drives, which is…
I so often see the golf swings of amateur golfers where you’d think the golfers were wearing lead boots! Or they have their feet stuck in concrete.
Now look, if you don’t move your legs during the golf swing you’ll be costing yourself a lot of distance. Because you’re even reading this I imagine you want to hit the golf ball as far as possible, right?
Well then, you must learn to use both your feet and your legs effectively in your golf swing in order to do that. So in this article I’m going to explain to you how to do that and I’ll give you some good drills to help you learn to do it.
But before I get started, first let me give you an example of how not using your legs is costing you distance in your golf swing.
To do this I want you to setup to a golf shot as you normally would. Before you make your golf swing, however, I want you to put down your golf club and pick up the ball and get ready to throw it. Then once you’re set I then want you to throw the ball as far as you can, BUT when you do this don’t allow your legs to move at all. Feel as though your feet are stuck to the ground and as you’re throwing the ball your legs are not moving at all.
Once you have done this I then want you to get another ball and throw that ball as well. But this time I want you to use your feet and legs freely as you throw, to help you throw the ball as far as you can. Just imagine you’re a baseball pitcher. So move your weight back onto your back foot (and you can even lift your front foot off the ground if you’re keen) as you’re taking your arm back, and then quickly move your weight to your front foot and throw the ball and fire your legs and hips and allow your back foot to rise up so at the end of your throw you’re facing the target, your back foot heel is up off the ground and you have used your legs powerfully to help you throw the ball as far as possible.
After doing this compare which ball went the furthest.
Even without doing this you know that the ball you threw like a baseball pitcher is going to go a lot further than the ball which you didn’t use any leg motion to throw, am I correct?
Well, the same is going to be true in your golf swing. The same universal law applies whether you’re throwing a ball as far as you can, or hitting a golf ball with your golf club as far as you can.
So now you know this, how can you use this information to improve your golf swing?
Ok, first you need to have a clear idea of how your legs should move in the golf swing and that’s what I’m going to explain now.
When you setup to swing a golf club your back leg should have some flex in it. When you swing the flex that is in your back leg should stay pretty much the same all throughout your backswing. You should not straighten your back leg at all during the backswing because that will promote a reverse pivot, which basically means that the weight is going onto your front foot instead of your back foot – and that is very bad!
So while you’re swinging back you should be keeping your back leg in pretty much the same position that it was in at setup, all throughout your backswing. You should also let your front knee move naturally in towards your back knee during the backswing. This will just happen naturally though. You don’t need to try and make this happen.
Now to make a powerful transition in your golf swing from your backswing to your downswing you should transfer your weight from your back foot to your front foot.
A great way I have found to do this is to initiate the downswing by moving the front knee towards the target.
However, it’s a good idea when doing this to try and keep the back knee where it was in the backswing because this knee separation creates lag in the downswing, which helps to create the late hit that every golfer wants because it gives longer golf drives!
Every long hitter in the world does this knee separation and the longest hitters start this knee separation before the backswing has been completed. To help you get this feeling I suggest you do the following.
As you’re getting to the top of your backswing get to a position where you are fully loaded into your right side, and as I’ve already said, I believe that to start your downswing you should do it with your left knee and left hip first.
So as you are about to reach the furthest point going back you should be starting your downswing movement with your left knee first and then your left hip. The feeling should be one of moving in two directions at once for a split second. This is not the easiest thing to do, but with practice it creates tremendous clubhead speed and you’ll notice a big increase in distance.
Here’s a great drill that teaches you the leg movements in the golf swing that I’m talking about. Get a beach ball and place it between your knees at setup. Then swing back as normal, and to start your downswing you need to separate your knees so that the beach ball falls down, and then swing through normally.
If you master this knee separation move you’ll hit the ball longer than you ever have before, and you’ll be more consistent too. I’m sure you’ll love both of those benefits, won’t you?!
Now the follow-through really is a result of how good the backswing was. So you must concentrate on getting a good solid backswing before you even look at your follow-through. With that being said it’s a good idea that you have a clear picture of what you should look like at the end of your swing, where your weight should be and what your feet should be doing… which is what I’m going to give you now.
At the end of your golf swing almost all of your weight should be on your front foot. Your belt buckle should be pointing towards the target or even to the left of your target. And lastly, but very importantly, your back foot should be almost completely off the ground. It should just be resting on your toe.
Hopefully now you’ve got a good idea as to how you can best use your feet to get the most power in your golf swing. So I’ll now summarize the points you should work on…
1. During your backswing you should concentrate on keeping your back leg in the same position that it was in at address.
2. To start your downswing you should do so with your front knee moving towards the target, attempting to separate the knees.
3. At the finish of your golf swing you should have the majority of your weight on your front foot, with your belt buckle pointing towards the target. Plus your back foot should be up on it’s toe so you can see all of the spikes in your shoe.
If you follow these points your golf swing will be more powerful and more consistent, and consequently you’ll have more fun playing golf. I suggest you concentrate on your backswing first, then start on the downswing, and then the follow-through last. But when you go to work on your follow-through here’s something that will help you.
Pose your follow-through so that it’s perfect, then have a swing and attempt to get into the same follow-through position that you just posed.
At the end of every golf swing you should be able to hold your follow-through until the ball has stopped rolling. You’ll only be able to do this if you have swung within yourself. Lastly, remember a good finish generally means a good shot so get in the habit of holding your follow-through until your ball has stopped moving.
If you do these things you’ll hit longer golf drives because of your vastly improve golf swing.