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I'm straightening my right leg too much on the backswing


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#1 KMeloney

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 07:51 AM

Hey all,

My driver is suffering as of late, and some of it has to do with the fact that I'm straightening my right leg too much on the backswing.  I know that this sets off a chain reaction of awfulness, but I'd imagine that this action is also because of something else going wrong BEFORE it, too.

What are the main causes of straightening the right knee too much?  Is my hip turn too up and down (as opposed to being level)?  Is it a function of swaying?  (I don't have a reverse pivot problem, but I can sway with the driver.)  Is it a function of taking the club inside as the first move?

I know this is getting me out of sync, off plane, and all the rest.  Need to correct this.  

Thanks for any help!

/< / /2 /<


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#2 SpeedyPro

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 08:41 AM

My knowledge and experience is not that of other experts here, but I think I can contribute some.

From my observation, because I had the same problem also, the reason why you straighten up your right leg too much so you lift your upper body as a result is: "You are not compressing your lower body". Due to the lack of flexibility, or misunderstanding of loading of torsion to your body, you let your lower body freely move while you concentrating on sending (turning) your upper body as far back as possible. That way, you feel like you'll hit a powerful shot (because your upper body has turned a lot, also your club is far away from the ball), but you know what gives you the power is not how far your club is from the ball, but how much energy you stored between your lower body and upper body.

How to fix it? I cannot give you the best answer to fix the problem, but here is what worked for me. Bend your knees a little bit more at address, and then try focus on maintaining the angle of your bent kees. You will feel great resistance from your waist and legs. Maybe it's too much for you if you are not flexible enough. Then try a 3/4 swing. You'll see how far you can hit with 3/4 swing this way.

Again, this is my opinion, I just want this be helpful to you.

SP

#3 KMeloney

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 08:59 AM

Thanks, SP.  I'm not *sure* if flexibility is my problem.  I'm 37 (not young anymore, I know, but...), am in good shape, play hockey on the side, etc.  But, maybe I'm not as flexible as I think... Anyway, are you talking about the "X-factor," where the idea is to create more turn in the shoulders against a minimal hip turn to create power?  If so, isn't there some debate as to whether that's truly effective, or "ideal?"  

I know everything works better when I don't take the club back too far.  And I think that's part of it here.  I have a tendency to take the club back too far which pulls my hips around further, and probably helps to straighten that right knee.  Then I'm stuck with no leverage from that point.

Thanks for your reply.

#4 PurePursuit

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 09:05 AM

Get a knee brace, should help you be more cognizant of its flex.

#5 slicefixer

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 09:10 AM

View PostKMeloney, on Oct 7 2008, 07:51 AM, said:

Hey all,

My driver is suffering as of late, and some of it has to do with the fact that I'm straightening my right leg too much on the backswing.  I know that this sets off a chain reaction of awfulness, but I'd imagine that this action is also because of something else going wrong BEFORE it, too.

What are the main causes of straightening the right knee too much?  Is my hip turn too up and down (as opposed to being level)?  Is it a function of swaying?  (I don't have a reverse pivot problem, but I can sway with the driver.)  Is it a function of taking the club inside as the first move?

I know this is getting me out of sync, off plane, and all the rest.  Need to correct this.  

Thanks for any help!

/< / /2 /<

Poor SET UP/bad angles at address is the most common cause in my experience.......when the angles are poor (normally too vertical a spine/too high a right hip) the right hip will want to slide to the right away (to varying degrees) from the target and the head will want to turn "down" and forward.........when this happens the right knee will lose it's flex with all kinds of bad things occurring as a result.......the first thing I'd do is get the SET UP corrrect and then focus on TURNING/winding INTO the inner right thigh/right leg/right side while maintaining the flex..........I use one of those neoprene knee braces as a teaching aid.........just strap er' on and hit balls.......the brace won't let the right knee straighten.......it's perfectly ok if it straightens slightly, but, never let it straighten out as that causes lots of problems for most........OVERroation of the hips/reverse pivot/armswing that is too long and waay off-plane......etc. etc. etc.

Edited by slicefixer, 07 October 2008 - 09:11 AM.


#6 SpeedyPro

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 09:24 AM

View PostKMeloney, on Oct 7 2008, 09:59 AM, said:

Thanks, SP. I'm not *sure* if flexibility is my problem. I'm 37 (not young anymore, I know, but...), am in good shape, play hockey on the side, etc. But, maybe I'm not as flexible as I think... Anyway, are you talking about the "X-factor," where the idea is to create more turn in the shoulders against a minimal hip turn to create power? If so, isn't there some debate as to whether that's truly effective, or "ideal?"

I know everything works better when I don't take the club back too far. And I think that's part of it here. I have a tendency to take the club back too far which pulls my hips around further, and probably helps to straighten that right knee. Then I'm stuck with no leverage from that point.

Thanks for your reply.

You're very welcome.

Yes I was using the concept of "x-factor" but I didn't use the term because it can be debatable, but you know the basic idea.

Anyway, for me it was my tendency to concentrate only on my upperbody turning and trying to send the club as far back as possible, I did it in hope for hitting it long. But compare John Daly and J.B. Holmes. John hits long with his very exaggerated back swing, but JB does not turn that much. So (big back swing) does not always mean (long drive).

Good luck.

SP

Edited by SpeedyPro, 07 October 2008 - 09:27 AM.


#7 KMeloney

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 10:26 AM

View Postslicefixer, on Oct 7 2008, 10:10 AM, said:

Poor SET UP/bad angles at address is the most common cause in my experience.......when the angles are poor (normally too vertical a spine/too high a right hip) the right hip will want to slide to the right away (to varying degrees) from the target and the head will want to turn "down" and forward.........when this happens the right knee will lose it's flex with all kinds of bad things occurring as a result.......the first thing I'd do is get the SET UP corrrect and then focus on TURNING/winding INTO the inner right thigh/right leg/right side while maintaining the flex..........I use one of those neoprene knee braces as a teaching aid.........just strap er' on and hit balls.......the brace won't let the right knee straighten.......it's perfectly ok if it straightens slightly, but, never let it straighten out as that causes lots of problems for most........OVERroation of the hips/reverse pivot/armswing that is too long and waay off-plane......etc. etc. etc.

Slice -- I suspect that part of my hip turn is related to a poor shoulder turn as well.  I've heard conflicting info about the shoulder turn.  I've seen where analysts have talked about someone's left shoulder "working nicely down and under" on the backswing, and I've also heard that one should make a "level" turn back.  Certainly the hips have to turn back "level," right?  But if the left shoulder starts higher than the right at address, then where, exactly, should it be in relation to the starting level at the completion of the backswing?  It HAS to work downward in front of you to some degree, I'd think.  But how much?  What's the practive swing thought there?  I know it's all affecting my plane.  If I can get the set up right, and then rotate correctly, so many other things have to fall into place.

Thanks!

#8 dfw1500

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 07:21 AM

The hips will turn on a flatter shallower angle and the shoulders will turn on a more inclined angle due to them turning around the top of the spine..........if you think of the lower body and the upper body turning inside 2 barrells, the lower half will move in the shallower barrell and the upper body will move in a more inclined barrell.

The amount of tilt in the shoulders and the amount the left shoulder works downwards is all dependant on the degree the spine is tilted "forwards" at address........to see the amount of shoulder tilt you will make start off by standing upriht and hold a club across your shoulders.....in this turn you will see that your shoulders are parrallel to the ground at the top, now bend forward a few degrees and repeat the turn and you will see a small amount of angle in the shoulders and that the left shoulder is lower due to the spine tilt.....continue this until you get to your setup angle and you will then be able to see the shoulder turn you make and the amount of tilt it creates with the left shoulder lower down..........the shoulder lowering has all been a reaction and has not been forced  ;)

If you start with a "high" right hip then the hips will turn on an "angle" which in turn will force the upper body to move "towrds" the target as the right knee pierces out to the ball and the right knee reacts by straightening :cheesy:

As a secondary factor make sure that you are not pulling/sucking/rolling the club to the inside in the 1st move getting the club to move behind you and in turn pull your centre of gravity backwards which will get the right knee to straighten as the upper body slides forwards "towards" the ball as a counter balance........keep the club "infront" of you in the 1st move.

#9 KMeloney

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 07:29 AM

View Postdfw1500, on Oct 8 2008, 08:21 AM, said:

The hips will turn on a flatter shallower angle and the shoulders will turn on a more inclined angle due to them turning around the top of the spine..........if you think of the lower body and the upper body turning inside 2 barrells, the lower half will move in the shallower barrell and the upper body will move in a more inclined barrell.

The amount of tilt in the shoulders and the amount the left shoulder works downwards is all dependant on the degree the spine is tilted "forwards" at address........to see the amount of shoulder tilt you will make start off by standing upriht and hold a club across your shoulders.....in this turn you will see that your shoulders are parrallel to the ground at the top, now bend forward a few degrees and repeat the turn and you will see a small amount of angle in the shoulders and that the left shoulder is lower due to the spine tilt.....continue this until you get to your setup angle and you will then be able to see the shoulder turn you make and the amount of tilt it creates with the left shoulder lower down..........the shoulder lowering has all been a reaction and has not been forced  ;)

If you start with a "high" right hip then the hips will turn on an "angle" which in turn will force the upper body to move "towrds" the target as the right knee pierces out to the ball and the right knee reacts by straightening :cheesy:

As a secondary factor make sure that you are not pulling/sucking/rolling the club to the inside in the 1st move getting the club to move behind you and in turn pull your centre of gravity backwards which will get the right knee to straighten as the upper body slides forwards "towards" the ball as a counter balance........keep the club "infront" of you in the 1st move.

Thank you.  I will work on it all.  Sucking the club to the inside has been a real problem as of late.  Everything you say here is true/sound.  Thanks for the response.

/< / /2 /<

Edited by KMeloney, 08 October 2008 - 07:29 AM.


#10 generalbolg

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 07:54 AM

sometimes when i get lazy, i have this issue with my driver. two things i like to think about to fix it:

1- roll your back foot inward. i like to think about trying to touch my back knee to my front by kinda pinching the back one it. when you do this, you just kinda roll most your weight onto your big toe. now try to hold that position when you take you backswing. for me, my back foot will return to its normal flat position almost immediately, but if i keep thinking about pinching my knee in, my hips will stay parallel to my target line.

2- i like the first one better, but the second one i think about sometimes is sitting back on back hip. a tiny transition of weight to the back hip, just like youre sitting down, and your backside becomes stable. this seems to more of a fix for my shorter irons and wedges than my driver though.

good luck


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#11 generalbolg

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 07:54 AM

sometimes when i get lazy, i have this issue with my driver. two things i like to think about to fix it:

1- roll your back foot inward. i like to think about trying to touch my back knee to my front by kinda pinching the back one in. when you do this, you just kinda roll most your weight onto your big toe. now try to hold that position when you take you backswing. for me, my back foot will return to its normal flat position almost immediately, but if i keep thinking about pinching my knee in, my hips will stay parallel to my target line.

2- i like the first one better, but the second one i think about sometimes is sitting back on back hip. a tiny transition of weight to the back hip, just like youre sitting down, and your backside becomes stable. this seems to more of a fix for my shorter irons and wedges than my driver though.

good luck

#12 KMeloney

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 08:07 AM

Good stuff,

I determined yesterday that a lot of my woes, including straightening my leg, stemmed from a head dip on the back swing.  Seems that in an effort to pivot centrally I was dipping my head (and entire upper body) on the back wing.  When I focused on keeping my head and shoulders level in a good posture, my weight shift stayed in control, and my right leg didn't want to straighten nearly as much.

The domino effect in the golf swing is just amazing.  (And, like many rounds, I didn't "figure out" what I was doing wrong until @ the 16th hole.  LOL)

Thanks!

#13 Choclab

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 10:00 PM

Found this old thread in a google search...

I've been going badly lately and, for the first time, took some video of my swing.  I'm straightening my right leg horribly right as I take the club back.  Ugh... I can't believe how bad it is.  :bad:

Fortunately, I've never had to wear any kind of knee brace before.  Is the type I'd use here just a common one that I can find at Walmart or somewhere?  I'd like to get this corrected ASAP.

Edited by Choclab, 11 July 2009 - 10:01 PM.


#14 UTGolf73

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 12:01 PM

What are the typical misses caused by a straightening right leg?  

Does the right leg straighten at all in the backswing or should it remain with the same amount of bend as at address?

#15 KMeloney

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 07:41 AM

View PostUTGolf73, on Jul 17 2009, 01:01 PM, said:

What are the typical misses caused by a straightening right leg?  

Does the right leg straighten at all in the backswing or should it remain with the same amount of bend as at address?

Wow, I started this thread awhile ago, and it's back.  LOL

I think that straightening the right leg too much can allow you to roll your weight over on the way back so that you actually roll your back foot (as opposed to "turning into the inside of your back leg").  Once you (or I, I should say) do that, you tend to not be able to shift your weight to your front foot on the down swing.  When I get stuck on my back foot, I close the face of the club early, and hook the crap out of the ball.

Shortening my back swing helps me from over-rotating and over-straightening my right leg.





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