Yes that’s right, you need to grow up. You see your golf swing is in many ways very similar to a tree, which of course as we know grows from the ground up!
I am a PGA professional and a TPI fitness coach, and have been teaching golf for a little over 10yrs now. But as the years roll by, I learn more and gain more experience. This inevitably intrigues me to learn even more.
My experience so far has brought me to the conclusion that even though there are a lot of different teaching methods and new technology out there to help us understand the golf swing better, there are still a few old sayings in golf that have proven to stand the test of time. One of those being,
GOOD FOOTWORK, GOOD GOLF!
I will always consider myself to be a student of this awesome game, and of course, a student of life in general. Perhaps that’s how I came up with this “goofy” analogy of the golf swing and the tree. After all a tree is living and growing, just like your golf swing. And in many ways the success of both is due to how well they are rooted in the ground.
Now, everybody’s golf swing is different due to muscular and skeletal differences, as well as age, height and or any physical limitations or dysfunctions. So depending on how efficiently your body can or can’t work will determine how you will need to “grow” your golf swing.
In the golf swing it is our relation to the ground that will determine how well we can hit the ball. And because the golf swing is an athletic movement, the pressure on the ground through our feet needs to be moving and working to our advantage in order to transfer that energy through the legs, trunk and arms into that little white ball.
So because there are no two people that are the same, we all need to “grow” our golf swing up differently. This means your feet need to be connected differently to the ground depending on how efficiently your body can move.
The Advanced Golfer
Now when I’m teaching golfers of all different levels of experience, I’ll often grow (develop) their golf swings up using this analogy. For example, a golfer that has good ankle, hip, upper spine, shoulder and wrist mobility on both the lead side and trail side, as well as good loading and weight shift patterns might be classified as advanced. This could mean that their golf swing might benefit from being tightened up a little to help improve stability, which in turn might improve their efficiency and timing throughout their golf swing. This can be done by adjusting their feet slightly wider and or by pointing their feet straight forward. Though this is never an absolute, because there can always be other factors such as footwear that doesn’t support their foot form properly.
The “Not So Mobile” Golfer
Though if I have a golfer that lacks mobility somewhere in their body and is unable to turn effectively, perhaps swaying as a result of this in the backswing. Then I might give them a narrower stance between their feet and or have them flare their feet, depending on how efficiently they can move.
I am often also guilty of having players lift their lead heel in their backswings as well, giving them more freedom of movement and enabling them to rotate their hips easier. But I also love having them lift their lead heel because it can help give them a powerful leaver to start their transition into their downswing.
In fact by just having them focus on planting that lead heel back on the ground again, I can get them to start their downswings in the correct sequence, forcing them to shift their weight back to the lead leg as well as getting them to rotate back towards the target helping their body’s move more efficiently.
I love it!
The “Bad Weight Shift” Golfer
Lastly, if I have a golfer that has poor timing and weight shift, as a drill I might have them lift their lead foot completely off the ground in their backswing, then start their downswing by planting it on the ground again and then finishing off their swing by lifting their trail foot completely off the ground. This exercise demands coordination but usually can be mastered within a few swings, and is fantastically rewarding because it forces them to adapt a great rhythm aswell.
All golf swings require movement, balance, ang ground force dynamics to create any kind of consistency. The more efficiently you can move your body, the more accuracy and power you can transfer from your body to the golfball. So be sure to work on improving your body’s movement capability’s, but at the same time develop your golf swing with what you’re capable of at the moment by growing your golf swing from the ground up!
I hope this helps you understand how the root to your golf swing is in your feet!
“Good foot work good golf!”