How Active Should Your Feet Be in the Golf Swing?

Your feet play an important roll in your golf swing. Not using them enough results in a loss of control and power, yet using them too much results in a loss of control and power. Here is how to work them properly in the golf swing:

Your power comes from the ground through your feet. You need to be ‘grounded’ throughout your swing – as your feet transfer the power up through your legs. The torso is used to turn and unwind that power- so if you have “happy feet” and they are very unstable, a loss of balance and thus power is a result. It may feel  like you are ‘spinning’  out of control with your body. I had a student who once said that his swing felt like a”soda can coming down and falling out of a soda machine” — out of control, all over the place. Let’s review the roll of the feet in backswing and downswing:

Backswing: your are swinging your arms and turning your shoulders into a braced back leg for a truly wound up/coiled feeling.  If your front foot comes up too much, you have lost the winding up and building up of power. Some of you will lift up that front foot – either because of flexibililty or you were told to do so – but I like to say that as long as you don’t PURPOSELY lift up your front foot (let it come up as a result of you swinging back/turning), then that’s ok.

Downswing: Your BACK foot does not come up and spin out of the way so fast! Your back foot at impact should NOT be all up on its front toe. It comes up gradually, like a rolling sensation, instead of a straight lift up. Why? If you lift up your back foot too fast, you can come out of posture and spin out of the way – loss of power. This is a problem with kids playing baseball/softball. They are told to pick up their back foot immediately when then start swinging the bat, but that is a dreaded move in a golf swing! Your weight transfers from your back foot to your front foot to release your torso and legs through the hitting area and into a balanced finish.

If you feel you are spinning out the way in your downswing, try this drill: Tee up a 7 iron and hit balls with your feet spread very far apart – wider than a driver, and hit balls.  BE AWARE: this stance will restrict your backswing and downswing, but it WILL help your feel that you cannot spin out of the way. Try to hit balls without your back foot coming up so much. Don’t go hard, just make some smooth easy swings.

ALSO: Hit balls with your front foot turned in (pigeon toe). Keep that front foot turned in and hit balls. If your foot moves, you are spinning out.

Both of these drills should help you feet the proper movement of your feet. Remember, your feet are the only connection to the ground. Use them properly and your swing will become a much more balanced and powerful motion.


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