I’m a big believer in having drills that will give my students the best opportunity to feel what he or she needs to — to swing straight, for instance. Once you feel it you have a much better chance of repeating it.
I’ve used the right foot back drill in my teaching with every level of golfer from scratch players to beginners.
In fact, I’ve use this drill often for my own game.
I was introduced to this drill in the mid 1980s by PGA professional Craig Harmon. I was working on my game with Craig and was struggling with hitting pulls and blocks.
He suggested this drill and after a few swings I started hitting the ball great! To this day whenever I feel I’m a little off I fall back to this drill to get the “feels” that I want with my own game.
Here’s how it works.
- Start with a seven or eight iron and put it on a small tee. Assume your normal stance. Make sure your ball position is close to the middle of your stance (this position will help produce that little draw.)
- Now pull your right foot back off the target line until your right toe is even with your left heel (Figure a). Be careful not to get too far from the ball. This stance will give you the feeling that you can easily approach the ball from the inside.
- Starting with small, easy swings, shift your weight on the line of your feet. On your backswing (Figure b), shift your weight to your right foot, and on the beginning of your downswing (Figure c) feel your weight shift toward your left toe. This weight shift will help keep the club on the inside as it approaches the ball.
- Don’t be afraid to exaggerate the feeling of the club coming from the inside and your weight shifting from your back foot to your front foot on the line of your feet.
Ben Hogan once said the weight shift in the golf swing goes from the right heel on the backswing to the left toe on the start of the downswing, and then to the left heel at the finish (Figure d).
In addition to helping your path, this drill will also help you with your backswing pivot. With your right foot pulled back you should be able to make a bigger shoulder turn and hip turn. That should help increase clubhead speed.
Try this drill —I’m confident it will help.
Jim Roy, PGA, is Director of Instruction at Bellevue Country Club in Syracuse, New York. Visit him on Facebook at Jim Roy Professional Golf Instruction