Power Fundamentals

Get ready to hit it big

This Article Features Photo Zoom


The angle of your feet at address directly impacts your hip alignment. Look at these six photos and pay attention to how the slightest foot flare affects my hip alignment, and thus my swing.




When both my feet are perfectly straight, my hips are square. Being square at address helps free your body so you can make solid, powerful contact. Not only will you be properly aligned (raising the chances of hitting it straight), but with square body lines, you can make a swing that’s not compromised or “locked” in any way.

When my toes are flared, however, my hips rotate to the right, or close. This not only causes me to overrotate in my backswing, but also sends my club traveling “across the line” at the top of my swing. These two faults cause me to get “stuck” in my downswing, so I don’t fully rotate through the shot. Shots tend to be thin and weak, because I’ve approached the ball from a shallow angle. I may also get very “handsy” at impact, and either hook the ball or hit a shot that goes straight and to the right.


When you have heel flare (where your heel opens up), your hips rotate left, opening up so you get stuck in the backswing. This limits your backswing rotation (so your shoulders don’t rotate 90 degrees) and produces a steep approach angle toward the ball. This leads to fat shots, pulls, slices and blocks, and, when hitting irons, divots that go from right to left. Why does this happen? Well, just because your shoulders stop rotating, it doesn’t mean your arms and hands don’t. They continue to turn back, causing the club to work up in the backswing. As a result, your downswing club path will follow your open hip line and create a steep “over-the-top” motion.


When you look at my setup, it looks like more of my weight is on my right side than on my left. But it’s not. It’s actually distributed 50-50 because I’ve “bumped” my left hip higher. Why? Well, being right-handed, my right-hand grip naturally loads more weight on my right side. Raising or bumping my left hip toward my target until my weight is evenly balanced gets me balanced, and good balance is the key to power.


Add Comment