Tuesday, June 1, 2004
Dare To Flare
45° To The Target Line
If you turn your left foot out about three or four inches (or 45 degrees) from perpendicular, you’ll discover the foot position most professionals use. It’s the most common left-foot position by far since it allows a full turn of the torso and balances the amount of pelvic sliding and turning. I recommend you play 70 percent of your full-swing shots from this position.
The 45-degree position is used mostly for swings with the mid-irons. Swings with these clubs require a certain amount of pelvic sliding to clear the body and give the club freedom to work down the line through the impact zone.
20° To The Target Line
This foot position is about the maximum amount you can comfortably turn out your left foot (about six to eight inches from 90 degrees) and still hit a golf ball. This is one of my favorite foot positions because it does many different things, including greatly inhibiting your hip rotation and minimizing upper-body turn to the top. The result is a shorter, more controlled backswing. This is good for golfers who can’t seem to control their hip or shoulder rotation to the top and who typically overswing.
Another benefit of the 20-degree foot position is it guarantees virtually no pelvic sliding on the downswing and a ton of rotation through the ball. This will maximize your rotation and centrifugal force production through impact, allowing for greater distance with less effort. Try it, and you’ll be amazed how easy it is to turn through the ball, and how much faster you’ll be able to swing. Tour pros use the 20-degree left foot all the time, particularly on long-iron, driver, and fairway wood shots.
Tom Stickney is the director of instruction at the Club at Cordillera in Vail, Colo. For more of Tom’s instruction, visit www.tomstickneygolf.com.
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