Step up your game with the right footwork

KEVIN HAIME

, Last Updated: 7:26 AM ET

This week alone I worked with at least 10 players with faulty footwork. Some stay too flat-footed during their swing, while others dance around like they're barefoot on hot coals.

Watch Sergio Garcia for great footwork. His feet and legs are active and dynamic without being sloppy. His footwork is one of the main reasons he hits the ball so solidly and hard.

Your feet are at the foundation of your swing. They are critical to balance and consistency, so pay attention to where the weight is distributed on each foot and how much weight is on either foot at different points during your swing. Think of yourself as a contractor; everything starts with the foundation.

At address, your weight should be distributed 50/50 on each foot and the weight should rest underneath your laces in the middle of your feet. This helps you swing around your spine in balance. A common starting position flaw I see is golfers moving the weight to the balls of their feet. This encourages a steep posture and swing and a slicing swing path.

ROTATE YOUR WEIGHT

At the top of your backswing, your weight should rotate to the inside of your back foot (the one farthest from the target). Your weight should still be under your laces and you should feel resistance in your back foot.

Allowing your weight to flow to the outside of your back foot is one of the biggest swing killers. From that position it will be impossible to pivot back to your lead foot through impact.

As you transition to downswing, it's critical to feel your weight flow quickly from the inside back foot to the front foot. Starting your downswing from the ground up (with your feet, legs, then hips) helps guide your club onto an inside path to avoid a slice.

By impact your weight should have shifted and rotated from mostly on your back foot to mostly on your front. Better players have 60-90% of their weight on their lead foot at impact. The amount varies on how aggressive the swing -- up to 90% with your driver; as low as 60% with a softer pitching wedge.

THREE-POINT FINISH

As for your back foot, the most important thing to watch for at impact is that your heel is closer to the target than your toes. This position tells you that you are driving through impact properly so you can compress the ball.

At your finish position, your weight must be toward the outside of your lead foot. Your back foot should be up on the toe of your shoe for balance.

I describe this position as a three-point finish (the ball and heel of your lead foot with the point of your back shoe). If you have under-rotated, your back foot won't be quite vertical; if you have swung wildly and in poor balance, your back foot may have over-rotated.

The great Sam Snead learned to play golf in his bare feet, while Jack Nicklaus has written about the importance of feeling the weight in his shoes. Take a lesson from these greats and be more conscious of your feet the next time you practise.


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