How Foot Position Can Make or Break Your Golf Swing


I have been fortunate in my experience as a golf swing coach to work with all kinds of clients with all kinds of golf swings. Through the years, however, I’ve seen that one of the major things that separates fairly consistent ball strikers from golfers who lack consistency is their ability to use the ground to move their body and generate power efficiently.

Understanding the role that the placement of your feet has in your golf swing is huge. This article is intended to inspire and intrigue your curiosity so you are willing to take the next step, which would be to stop guessing and visit a TPI Expert and/or an experienced swing coach who understands how your body moves and assists you in building a setup and golf swing that works with your body.

There is, in fact, an old saying that pretty much sums up what’s going on with the ground in our golf swing: “Good footwork = good golf.” Our feet are, after all, the only contact we have to the ground. Luckily, due to new technologies (force plates and pressure mats like Boditrak), we can measure what’s going on under our feet as our pressure shifts throughout the golf swing. We now actually have the measurable data to prove what was once very hard to prove.

You Are An Individual! 

If there’s one thing my experience as a golf instructor has taught me, it’s that we’re all individuals who move a little differently due to genetics and lifestyle. Because of this, how we place our feet on the ground can either help or hinder our ability to hit good golf shots. This video should help to shine some light on some different strategies of how you can work on finding a position to place your feet on the ground that is best suited for you.

What Does This Mean?

Suppose you were lacking the ability to rotate your hips efficiently (the hips are designed to be mobile joints). That would prevent you from having the ability to turn your hips and transfer your pressure into the ground efficiently in the backswing and/or in the forward swing. In this case, it could be an advantage to flare your feet slightly in order to assist your body in turning efficiently. The same goes for the width of your stance. The wider apart your feet are in your stance, the more stabile you will be. If you are lacking mobility and flexibility, then your joints and muscles are too stabile already, so you might benefit from having a narrower stance that creates less stability so you can move more freely in your swing.

One last pitch to visit an expert. Certain joints in your body are designed to be stable, while others are designed to be mobile (like the hips), but the body is clever. When it can’t get mobility from one part of the body, it tries to get it from another. These compensations can not only sabotage your ability to utilize the ground efficiently, leading to bad ball striking, but they set you up for pain and injury. Find a TPI Expert near you.

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Adam is a PGA Professional and TPI Certified Fitness and Medical Coach. He enjoys working with golfers of all ages and levels of expertise, and his approach is to look at every golfer as an individual to try to help them achieve their goals as effectively and efficiently as possible.

He is also the author of two books:

The Golfers Handbook - Save your golf game and your life! (available on iTunes and Amazon)
And his new book, My Mind Body Golf

Please visit the links below to find out more about Adams books.

"The golf swing may be built from the ground up, but the game of golf is built from the head down" - My Mind Body Golf

Aside being an author, Adam is also a public speaker, doing workshops and lectures introducing concepts of athletic movement for golfers of all ages and levels of expertise.


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  1. Great introductory video on “utilizing the ground” and foot positioning.
    I sense that you have ‘experimented’ with force plates/mats to quantify the GRFs (Ground Reaction Forces) and observed how the “Center of Pressure” shifts back and forth in the golf swing.
    Of course trying to explain GRFs and CoP and even a Closed Kinetic Chain to golfers on this forum will frighten them off. They still think/hope their clubs are ‘powerful’ and their golf swing only needs some tweaking with a couple of good ‘golf tips’.
    In my view, a “TPI Expert” without force plates/mats is not really an ‘expert’ because you cannot eyeball GRFs and CoP shifts. Your thoughts?