Leg/lower body action.

(remember if you are left handed to reverse all of the left and rights in this post)

What follows is some detailed explanations of mechanical garbage, because people like to know that kind of info. If you don’t care about that stuff…skip to the last sentence and you will learn all you need to know.

Over the years there has been a lot of theories on leg action/lower body motion.

My favorite, that ruined me for a while, was Jim Mclean’s X-factor. I believe the theory was if you restrict your lower body turn, your shoulders will create a greater separation and like a rubber band stretching, create more power and accuracy. HOGWASH!!!!!!

I do agree that you don’t want your hips to over rotate, but as long as you rotate your shoulders 90 degrees to your spine and not 90 degrees to the ground, your hips won’t over rotate. Here is the link to proper shoulder turn in case you didn’t read it. Proper shoulder turn post

If you restrict your hip turn in the back swing you will get the club behind you and your arms will control the rest of the swing…bad, bad BAD!!!!!!!!! Plus, you will probably hurt your back like I did. Bobby Jones had a tremendous amount of hip turn. Need I say more? Also don’t be afraid of lifting the left heel in the back swing. You don’t want to lift it on purpose, but keeping it flat on purpose will cut your hip turn artificially and that is bad. It was OK for Jack Nicklaus, so it’s OK for you. I know I have said not to copy what PGA Tour players do, but when 2 of the greatest of all time do something, it pretty much shows it’s not all bad.

One thing that you need to avoid is getting your center of gravity outside your right foot on the back swing and rolling to the outside of the right foot. Bracing the outside of the right foot by putting a golf ball under it is a good drill to avert this issue.

On the downswing, you want your hips to clear, but you don’t want them popping. They are supposed to rotate in sync with the rest of the body turning…and you want them moving toward the target. It is not a slide if they are turning, so don’t be afraid of a slide if the hips are turning. People often back their hips away from the target because they had someone tell them they are sliding. It is only a slide if the hips don’t turn.

To sum it all up I have a very easy way to illustrate what your lower body should do.

As long as your shoulders are turning properly…all you have to do is let your hips turn freely going back, keep your weight/center of gravity inside of your feet and send your right hip at the target going through.

17 Responses to “ “Leg/lower body action.”

  1. Smitty says:

    I end up on the outside of my left foot, is that a problem?

    • It can be. It all depends on how you get there. I didn’t mention it because trying not to get to the outside of your left foot can make you hand back or not get your hips moving properly.

      If your head is still behind the ball at impact, it is not a serious problem, but if your head and shoulders are getting in front of the ball or if you are out of balance, that is a problem.

  2. Banner 12 says:

    “One thing that you need to avoid is getting your center of gravity outside your right foot on the back swing and rolling to the outside of the right foot.”

    This is one the great myths of golf along with keep your head down and keep a straight left arm.

    A lateral weight shift as far as you can to the right on the backswing not only will provide more power, but it will make a return weight shift back a lot easier. As long as one braces the left leg in the downswing you can shift your weight all you want. Widen your stance and shift back as much as you can. Outside the right foot too as long as you can keep your balance.

    Does a javelin thrower stand still and throw? A shot putter? A discus thrower? A long jumper?

    And on and on and on. The transfer of forward momentum to power is a proven fact. The left leg bracing gives the move repeatability. And the move is a natural one as well. Of course, you have to turn as well, but that goes without saying.

    • I didn’t say you couldn’t have a lateral weight shift. I had one most of my career, but you want that weight shift on top of your right foot, not outside of it. If you get it outside of your right foot and your right foot rolls, you are out of balance.

    • Kevin says:

      “Outside the right foot too as long as you can keep your balance.” That’s a very charitable use of the words “as long as”.

      I can’t think of any good player who shifted their weight to the outside of their right foot on the backswing. Not even Curtis Strange did that.

      Look at the longest hitter in the world, who’s a whopping 5’10” and 165 lbs. See how his right leg stays braced.

      Your examples from other sports are false as well. Does the javelin thrower after sprinting to the mark move his weight to the outside of his back foot? Of course not.

  3. Banner 12 says:

    No, but I can’t think of a single tour player that used the stack and tilt prior to a couple of years ago.

    Try it and get back to me.

  4. Banner 12 says:

    That (stack and tilt) used to be called a reverse pivot, one of the biggest mistakes you could make.

    Funny how things change, isn’t it?

    • TonyK says:

      S&T proponents would quickly point out that they do not do a reverse pivot. I’ve seen Aaron Baddeley’s swing…it doesn’t look like a reverse pivot to me at all. Neither do Weir’s or Wi’s swings.

      So what you are saying is that it is possible that in the future, tour pros might shift their weight outside their right foot on the backswing? Your logic for this is the fact that a few years ago, no one thought anyone would do anything as revolutionary as the S&T. Am I following your logic?

      • Banner 12 says:

        They can say whatever they want, it is a reverse pivot.

        You are following my logic correctly. The theory of keeping weight on the inside of your right foot has caused more problems with the average golfer’s swing than all the other myths put together. Let you weight flow to your right side as far as you can while still maintaining balance is the goal. At the end of your backswing you should be able to lift your left foot off the ground without a problem.

        That’s a complete weight shift. Think of a batter in baseball. All of his weight is on the back foot(many actually lift the front foot), then he strides laterally and hits against a firm front side. This lateral shift creates power (thing of punching a wall striding into it vs. hitting it standing still and you get the idea) added to the unwinding of the swing.

        • I agree with this post. I don’t advocate keeping weight on the inside of the right foot. I agree that is bad. I also agree that lifting your left heel off the ground is fine and good as well. Just like anything else in golf, there reaches a point where you can do something too much. Like I said in the original blog post, once the weight gets to a point where the inside of the right foot rolls off the ground, you are no longer in balance.

          • Banner 12 says:

            I guess we’re talking semantics here. I simply say shift your weight laterally to the right foot as far as you can and maintain balance. DO NOT try to keep in on the weight inside of the right foot since that causes all kinds of swing problems ,like reverse pivot, shortened backswing, incomplete weight transfer, etc.

          • See, this is what it is all about. We agreed on a subject, but had a little bit different view and way of wording it. I completely agree with what you said here.

    • TonyK says:

      I guess it would depend on your definition of a reverse pivot. If Baddeley and Wier are doing reverse pivots, then so is Bobby Jones and a whole lot of other golfers prior to the popularization of the whole S&T concept.

      But this is getting off point. You’re using the example of the S&T as your argument that it doesn’t matter that no one on tour shifts their weight past their right foot. I asked you if anyone on tour shifts or her center of gravity outside of their right foot…and you responded with:

      “No, but I can’t think of a single tour player that used the stack and tilt prior to a couple of years ago.”

      OK… So regardless of whether or not I agree with you on your assertion that it’s OK to shift past your right foot, I’m just saying that using the S&T argument in response to the fact that no one on tour current shifts past their right foot means absolutely nothing.

  5. Carrera says:

    Weir and Baddeley have abandoned S&T.

  6. dogballz says:

    Started lifting the left heel yesterday with great results. It could be that I’ve been restricting my hip turn, but I’m also thinking that this move initiates the weight shift (bump) in the downswing as the left foot plants (first).

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