Top Tips on Knee Bend
If you are having issues with making solid contact, and hitting the ball off-line, then it may be time to take a look at your knee bend. This is an often over-looked aspect of the game, but if you are not bending your knees correctly, then you are going to cause a world of trouble for yourself. During this section, I will cover proper knee flex and how to handle the new pressure on your feet… because yes, proper knee flex actually puts more pressure on the feet.
When looking at the proper knee flex, you want to think about baseball. You know when a batter is in the box, and he tries to make his strike zone smaller by bending their knees and almost crouching down more? Well, this is the picture I want you to apply when thinking of the correct knee bend. About 90% of amateur golfers stand too erect at address, and it truly does throw the rest of the swing off. The correct set up is to have your knee caps cover your shoes. Whether you are 5 feet tall, or 7 feet tall, the same set up applies to you. Get the knees bent and really focus on covering your shoes up when you look down. So you may be thinking, why does it matter? For starters, when you are standing too upright, then you block the rest of your lower body from turning properly, and that brings the block into play. As we discussed earlier, the lower body is vital to the correct golf swing, and if you don’t bend your knees… you are doing yourself a disservice.
Now that we have the proper knee flex down, it is time to turn our focus to this new pressure that is applied to your feet. The first thing you will notice when bending your knees more, is that you are basically sinking into the ground. Most professional golfers really push for this feeling, because it makes them feel “grounded” which provides a more firm foundation for the golf swing. If you notice certain golfers like Adam Scott for example, he really focuses on this part of his set up. He also mentioned that he encourages the sinking feeling” by pressing down on his knees as he completes his address. It allows for him to feel more grounded during his set up. With that said, you need to ensure you are handling the pressure correctly. The ideal feeling is that you are spreading the pressure throughout your entire foot, rather than just the toes or heels. If you are putting all the pressure in your toes, you will have the tendency of “rising up” during your downswing, causing a world of issues. Spread the pressure out, and make sure you have that true “grounded” feeling.
Although knee bend is generally overlooked, especially amongst the amateur golfing world, it is extremely vital that you are putting focus here. You need to have the correct bend in your swing to ensure the rest of your body is moving in the correct motion. Yes, these two adjustments seem quite simple, but please invest the time and effort to ensure you are doing each motion correctly. I suggest the following: Set aside two weeks of practice. During this time, only focus on your knee bend and spreading the pressure out amongst the entire foot. Start slow and work your way up. If you need to go back to the 50% that I recommend with almost any adjustment, do just that. By starting slower, you are able to focus everything on the new motion, which allows you to correctly apply any adjustment. I would also suggest grabbing a camera and filming your swing while you are getting used to this new change. This will allow for you to ensure you are bending enough, but you can also take your swing and compare it to a professional golfer, like Adam Scott. After you have applied two strong weeks on the range, then it is time to move to the course. I will only say this once, don’t move to the course unless you are 100% confident that you have made the adjustment to your knee bend, and that you are ready to apply this to your game. The good news, is that when you are bending the knees correctly, it will correct many other aspects of your game… such as contact and ball striking. When you are on the course, take note of where the ball is starting after contact. Is it down the target line? If so, great work… but don’t stop the focus on the range. It will take months to truly have this new knee bend down.