Beginner Golf Swing Instruction – Good News! For Better Swing Performance, No Fancy Footwork Needed!

Beginner golf swing instruction programs teach their students the importance of proper footwork and its place in the overall swing pattern.

Many students in beginner golf swing instruction programs however, fail to fully appreciate the true role footwork plays in a successful swing pattern.

Beginner golf swing instruction programs are truly puzzled by this.

Correct positioning of the feet is an essential element of swing mechanics and performance. The feet serve two vital functions in the swing pattern: providing balance to control the golfers swing axis and anchor points from which the golfer can generate swing power.

In the book, “How to Master the Irons, an Illustrated Guide to Better Golf”, authors Gene Littler and Don Collett provide some beginner golf swing instruction on proper footwork and positioning.

They write;

“In the over-all concept of the swing, the importance of good footwork is sometimes neglected. If a golfer can learn the basic position of the feet early in their career, this important facet of the swing will give them little trouble in later years. At the outset, they will learn that a perfectly balanced and coordinated swing can only be achieved through proper footwork. It is possible to become a fair golfer with a swing that looks good from the waist up, but you cannot become an accomplished, consistent player unless you are properly balanced from the waist down. And that means good footwork.

While we mentioned earlier that there are three different stances, the basic position of the feet in relation to one another does not change.

THE LEFT FOOT

The left, or front, foot is always turned out slightly to the left. With the foot in this position, a player can transfer their weight to the left side more easily and quickly on the downswing. They can also hit through the ball with greater power and comfort because the directional force of the swing is toward where the left foot is aiming—to the left. You can test this yourself by purposely positioning your left foot perpendicular to the line of flight and swinging a club. There is no noticeable discomfort or awkwardness on the backswing, but as you move into the downswing you should be able to feel the strain and restriction of power in the left side, particularly the left leg.

THE RIGHT FOOT

Position the right foot so that it points almost straight ahead. A common mistake is to address the ball with both feet pointed out, whereas only the left foot should be in that position.

With the right foot positioned so that it points ahead, or almost so, instead of to the right, the weight shift on the backswing becomes more centralized around your spine rather than on the extreme outside of the right leg and right foot.

Check yourself on this point the next time you take a practice swing. If your weight is on the outside of the right leg and foot, the spikes on the inside sole of your right foot will be off the ground. Don’t allow this to happen or you will have trouble balancing yourself during the swing. When a good player reaches the top of their backswing the weight is centered on their right foot and heel. There is a definite feeling of the weight being there, and you can create this feeling by stopping at the top of the backswing for a few moments in the correct position. Repeat the procedure until you can swing back and down through the ball without your weight moving to the outside of your right leg and right foot.

Positioning the right foot in the manner prescribed above does one other important thing: it restricts the hip turn slightly while allowing a full shoulder turn on the backswing, thus creating a live tension in the hips and left side. It is much like stretching a rubber band—the stretch is performed on the backswing, and the counter action, or snap back, takes place when the hips initiate the downswing. The spring-like tension that is built up in the left side muscles through this stretching process of turning the shoulders fully while restricting the hip turn slightly results from the correct positioning of the right foot.“

Beginner golf swing instruction programs know both proper footwork and foot positioning are critical to swing success.

Try incorporating Littler and Collett’s expert advice on footwork into your next practice routine.

Check back soon for more beginner golf swing instruction articles and posts to help quickly improve your golf swing and game!

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