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Proper footwork on the downswing

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#1 nickshep7



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Posted 07 November 2007 - 09:03 PM

I've been working pretty hard on getting my hips to release before my shoulders in the downswing and that lead me to the following picture in an article related to 'The New X Factor'.  

Just a quick question, is this really the move you want to make with your right foot to start the downswing?

Posted Image

2) RIGHT HEEL You generate power in your downswing from the ground up, and you can't stretch your "X" if you're out of balance. So before you do anything else, work on your footwork. Your right foot should roll onto its instep as you swing down (large photo). Do this and your hips can rotate forward as they should. Avoid lifting your heel straight up off the ground (inset photo), which thrusts your hips toward the ball and throws you off balance.

Could this move also help to relieve some of my 'early extension problems' by preventing my hips from thrusting towards the ball?

Edited by nickshep7, 07 November 2007 - 10:21 PM.

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#2 atlanta golfer

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 09:55 PM

I'm certainly not a swing guru but my understanding is that the proper lower body move down starts with the left knee moving out, and certainly not with anything the right foot would do.  But I'm ready to listen and learn on this one.


#3 press007



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Posted 08 November 2007 - 09:23 AM

There`s no doubt Kostis is right but this isn`t new. Nicklaus did it 40 years ago. The only problem with all this is we do these things and they for what ever reason have effects on the rest of our swing and sometimes their not goood ones.

A easy way to get this into the swing is just to think "keep my right heel on the ground a little longer in the downswing and that simple thought accomplishes this rolling move.............jim


#4 JeffMann



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Posted 08 November 2007 - 09:51 AM

I adamantly believe that this "keeping the right foot flat" is nonsense.

It is always amazing to me that golfers can have strong opinions about minor body movements while ignoring the bigger biomechnaical picture. The reality is that a modern PGA tour golfer starts the downswing with a lower body movement - a left-lateral hip shift movement followed by a hip rotation movement (left hip clearing action). During the initial hip shift movement, the hips are squared as weight is transferred to the left foot. At that point in time, both feet are firmly planted on the ground. As the downswing evolves, the hips continue to rotate and when the right pelvis leaves the tush line and starts to rotate forward the right knee will automatically bend and the right heel will automatically start to lift off the ground. The amount that the right heel is lifted at any point in the downswing depends on the degree that the pelvis is open at that time-point in the downswing.

Consider this photo of Ben Hogan's downswing.

Posted Image

Image 1 shows Hogan at the hip squaring time-point and both feet are flat on the ground. As the downswing evolves, and the hips start to open (image 2) the right heel automatically lifts. By impact (image 3) the right heel is very raised - because the pelvis is very open.

It's a mistake to artificially attempt to keep the right heel on the ground during the late downswing. It can only impede the natural rotation of the pelvis, which should lead the shoulder rotation throughout the downswing. When hitting a short iron, where the stance is very narrow, the pelvic rotary movement may not require that the right heel lift off the ground, and the right foot may merely roll inward.  


Edited by JeffMann, 08 November 2007 - 09:53 AM.


#5 golfer.61



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Posted 08 November 2007 - 11:02 AM

the right knee neads to track toward the left knee on the downswing in order to maintain a center of balance.....if done properly this will keep the hips and shoulders on plane thru impact


#6 Nature Boy

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 06:19 PM

Honestly I don't know if this is right but I have had problems shifting my weight in the past. I now have no problem doing it when I think to get my right heel off of the ground at the top of my backswing to start the downswing. . This automatically gets me to bump my hips, shift my weight, and I make a nice turn through the ball. Even though I think about it I don't think this is the first move that occurs, that would be impossible.


#7 gspjeb



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Posted 20 August 2011 - 08:23 PM

not sure how much validity there is to it but when I was a two plane style with a sling type of release I rolled my heel like the pics showed....mainly because I had to make that lateral move.  I have since switched to a rotational type swing and my heel is definitely off the ground as it rolls left.  Again....this is just my observations and it would stand to reason that it really depends more on what type of move you have to make to the ball or swing type than anything else.....probably not one right answer.


#8 cch1976



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Posted 14 January 2012 - 06:08 PM

View Postatlanta golfer, on 07 November 2007 - 09:55 PM, said:

I'm certainly not a swing guru but my understanding is that the proper lower body move down starts with the left knee moving out, and certainly not with anything the right foot would do.  But I'm ready to listen and learn on this one.

According to my physio therapist it is impossible to start lateral movement with anything except shift of weight, anatomically that is. So the "start your swing with your left knee" is a myth, apparently.


#9 tofur99


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Posted 17 January 2012 - 06:14 PM

I've got a question regarding the left foot in the downswing.  Is it okay if the toes start coming off the ground as the club approaches impact and from the hips square to the ball through past impact?  Or should the whole foot stay planted?


#10 MizunoJunky


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Posted 27 December 2012 - 07:07 AM

Any new thoughts? Would love to hear more about the transition from the top of the backswing to impact and beyond.

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#11 jurr80


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Posted 27 December 2012 - 07:23 AM

Man...I thought and thought about this...
and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that if you keep your posture firm and just swing that club, you typically end up sequenced correctly.

Most swing faults stem from the beginning- setup and grip.

The rest is like throwing a ball...your body just takes it over.
Keep that right knee kicked in a little before you swing, bring the club back, and go.
I think 99% of people will see the weight roll off of the instep and into a finish.


#12 sblack5


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Posted 27 December 2012 - 03:35 PM

When moving from one foot laterally to another in golf or anything you must use the inside edge of the foot to transfer the weight in a balanced manner.  If your weight gets on the outside of your foot you will not be in a balanced position to move anywhere.  

As an exercise put your feet shoulder width apart and shift your weight so that the instep of your right foot comes off the ground.......yeah.....try moving anywhere in the room now.......not gonna happen.

That rolling off the instep is a function of correctly keeping your weight on the inside of the rear foot in the backswing..........and yes,  the left foot will be on the ground at impact
hit is with so much authority
that when you find it
and it sees you, it is trembling.


#13 marte


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Posted 28 December 2012 - 01:52 PM

I found this interesting...footwok of some older greats.  The back foot appears to slide < a bit in the forward swing.  Haven't seen a video like this pertaining to today's players regarding what their feet do.  This Video was originally posted by "flopper" on the "squish&turn" thread...page 34.

Edited by marte, 28 December 2012 - 02:44 PM.


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