You get a lot of power and energy from the golf swing from the ground – they are important power transmitters. The key is to use them in the right way. On your backswing, your legs should act like a brace for your shoulders to turn into – that is your coil. You are ‘winding up’ and building up power in your backswing. Any extraneous movement with the legs on the backswing robs you of power. On the downswing, your lower half – legs and hips – initiate the downswing so the upper body can then follow properly. I compare this downswing feel to that of an underhanded toss. Try this drill: set up in your golf stance, with proper posture, and pretend to toss a ball underhanded to a target 10 yards in front of you. (Remember to keep your posture as you do this!) If you initiated this motion with your legs and hips, then you should feel balanced, have kept your posture, and feel that the weight is on your front leg when done. The ball flies straight toward your target. That is good! NOW – try tossing the ball underhanded by using your upper body and arms — kind of hard, isn’t it? You are off balance and your weight is probably on your back leg instead of your front leg. You also most certainly came out of your posture as well. The ball probably flies off line from your target. That is not good – that is an OFF BALANCE motion. So your legs and hips MUST initiate the downswing for everything else to follow properly into a balanced finish. Now I said use your legs and hips, but don’t overdo them! There is a big difference between being balanced throughout your swing and being out of control. The underhanded toss drill, done properly, gives you the proper balance of hip turn and weight shift – TOGETHER. You want a 50-50 blend of both – and they work together, not separately. When I first started taking lessons, my teacher had me stand on two milk crates and hit balls off of a third one in front of me. It was hard at first, because I tended to overuse my legs – but after a while it taught me proper balance, coordination and especially a felling of firmness and stability in the legs. So remember to use your lower half in downswing – that is the key to power and control!
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