One of the most neglected aspects of the golf swing is learning proper footwork. The timing, tempo & rhythm of how your body moves in harmony with the golf club is critical for solid contact, hitting the ball straight and with good distance. Sam Snead once wrote, “golf should be played in a state of grace” and “your feet are the keys to the engine“.
When watching tour players, notice the effortless and unhurried movements throughout the golf swing in its entirety. Ernie Els and Fred couples come to mind and how smooth they look hitting a golf shot. Observe the freedom in their feet, knees, and legs. Resisting anything in the lower body is a no-no and will rob all speed and tempo in an efficient swinging motion as well as lead to hip and back injuries.
Here are some tips to improve your footwork:
- Allow your heels to roll in word and up both ways
- Allow your knees to bend, flex, and extend both ways
- Allow your hips to load, coil, and unwind both ways
Remember, your balance is dictated from good set-up and a stable, yet free movement from using the ground. Imagine yourself in the seat of the swing set and flowing back-and-forth. The pause or stall when getting to the top is not rushed but smooth. As the momentum builds, the seat swishes through the bottom to a full high finish. Your golf swing is should feel the same way. The seat is the club, the chain is your body, and the bar is the ground.
The bottom line is that in all stick sports – hockey, tennis, baseball, and golf, the proper sequence starts from the ground. Therefore; your feet, which are attached to the ground, must have freedom to move. You too can learn to dance with the ball.
By Buck Mayers
Buck Mayers is the Director of Instruction at Escondido Golf & Lake Club in Horseshoe Bay, Texas. He can be reached at www.buckmayersgolf.com