Take a stand

KEVIN HAIME

, Last Updated: 7:25 AM ET

If you want to take your game to the next level, you need to figure out the role of your legs during the backswing.

Most golfers use their legs improperly. It seems like many try to do too much. Overuse or overemphasis of the legs is a real swing killer.

If you want to be a more consistent player, you need to have a stable base and try to eliminate excess movement. A quieter lower body is critical to gaining consistency. Think of it this way: Your legs are your foundation, so they need to feel like stable pillars.

During your backswing, your legs should react and resist to your upper-body rotation and your arm swing.

Watch your favourite golfer on the PGA Tour and you'll see how little the lower body moves during the backswing.

Your lead leg (left leg for right-handers) should react to the coiling of your hips.

ROTATE 90 DEGREES

The hips, in turn, should react to the rotation of the shoulders. Properly executed, your shoulders should rotate about 90 degrees, the hips about half that, and your lead knee about half of that again during your backswing.

Simply put, your left knee should only rotate 20-25 degrees and move no more than an inch or two. Far too many golfers lift their lead foot and overuse their lead leg, which leads to excess motion and inconsistency.

Your back leg needs to be even quieter during your backswing. It is the anchor of your entire backswing motion.

As you coil or turn your weight to your back leg, that leg must accept, but resist, the weight to build torque and power. Your back leg must remain flexed and your body weight must stay on the inside of that leg and foot, so that you are in a position to unwind from the ground up.

MOST COMMON ERROR

During the backswing, your back leg should only rotate slightly as it resists the rest of the body turning against it.

Right-leg straightening or swaying is the most common error in golf. It's the breakdown that prevents a proper forward motion, a strong impact position and a full finish.

Next time you practise, think of your legs as your foundation or platform. A foundation must be solid and must stay beneath you to support you and your swing. If you want to develop a stronger, more consistent swing, strengthen your foundation.


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