Top 4 Tips on All About Footwork in the Golf Swing
Footwork in the golf swing remains underrated and is the only connection a golfer has to the ground. As the popular cliché says “the golf swing is built from the ground up”. Great footwork in the golf swing is important as it helps in the development of power, proper swing path and balance. If a player has a stable lower body in their set up and can maintain that stability throughout their swing, we would expect to see very consistent results in their ball striking.
Generally speaking when we make a golf swing, the feet should not leave the ground until impact is achieved. Ideally the only foot that will come up is the right foot (left foot for left handed golfers) as our body turns to the finish. There are a couple tips to ensure proper footwork is achieved. With a little effort you will see significant improvements in your overall balance in the golf swing and power behind your shots.
For this tip all you need is a golf club and a half foam roller about four feet long. Foam rollers can be purchased at most fitness stores and are primarily used for balance exercises or massaging aches and pains. Once you have the tools you can begin the following drill. NOTE: This drill will also work your abdominals.
A portion of this drill will be done without hitting any golf balls but performed on the driving range during your practice session. Place the foam roller on the ground and take your club and step onto the roller. Once on, get into your golf posture. You will make 5 swings on the foam roller, step off and make 5 practice swings off the foam roller. You will immediately feel the better connection your feet have to the ground. Next, hit 5 golf balls and repeat the process three times. By the end of the drill you should feel a dramatic difference in your balance and the overall consistency of your golf shots.
A great tip that has never lost its importance over time, is the visual of having your feet in cement up to the ankles. This is a tip that can be used in practice and during play. If you have a sound pre-shot routine, you can make a practice swing with this thought and emulate the feeling that your feet are planted in a tub of cement. The longer your feet stay connected to the ground, the better your dynamic posture will be throughout the golf swing.
In a practice session, you can work on this by hitting shots while keeping the bottoms of your feet on the ground as long as possible. Some people say that the trick to this is to not only feel as if cement is around your feet, but you want the sense that your feet are grabbing the ground.
Great footwork in the golf swing is tough to accomplish and many struggle with it because of two reasons. One, they have weak core strength which creates poor posture and they need to compensate by moving their feet all over. Two, they have a poor swing concept in believing that they need to have their feet moving to create more power.
One of the best drills that will create a stable lower body and strengthen your core muscles involves about 3 feet of moderate exercise tubing tied in a circle. You will take the tubing and put it around your thighs just above the knees. Take a club and get in your golf posture. Next, push your knees out until the band of tubing is tight. Make a series of swings making sure the tubing stays tight. This drill ultimately keeps the width between knees the same from the start of the backswing until impact. This is a critical aspect to having strong lower body mechanics. Once you feel comfortable enough, you can try hitting some balls with the tubing on and then a series of shots without the tubing. You’ll feel an amazing sense of stability and much quieter footwork over time.
A final tip on proper footwork needs to come from one of the greatest ball strikers of all time, Moe Norman. His footwork was unmatched and to this day no one has shown anything comparable. Moe’s right foot wouldn’t leave the ground until his arms were near the finish of his swing. He claimed in practice sessions that his right ankle would bleed at times. This was because one of his key swing thoughts was to touch the ground with his right ankle through impact. Just take a look at his swing through time, and you’ll see that his footwork never changed. Hard to argue with a legend.