In an effort to gain power and speed, many golfers have heard they need to "get their hips into the swing." Or they just try swinging harder and end up sacrificing control and balance. If you are finished swinging and cannot hold your "pose," check to see if your front foot has spun out of its original position. This may indicate one of the following:
Erika Larkin is the Director of Instruction at Larkin Golf Learning Community, at Stonewall Golf Club in Gainesville, Virginia. She was named the 2012 Middle Atlantic PGA "Teacher of the Year" and the 2011 "Top Golf Pro" by Washingtonian Magazine... and she's oobGolf's newest columnist! She writes on a variety of topics including instruction, so if you have a question for her or an idea for a column, email her at ErikaLarkin@pga.com. Enjoy!
- Your hips, hamstrings, or low back may be very tight. As you follow through, your foot may be releasing to allow for your body turn to occur, to alleviate stress on various body parts.
Try this: Flare your front foot out a bit; this should help you keep your foot more stable and allow for your body to turn more easily. In the winter (now), work on your flexibility and see if you can help yourself improve for the long-term.
- You may be trying to employ your hips to turn too much and too soon ahead of your arm swing, which ends up pulling your front foot out of position as your hips come spinning around. This can cause lots of errant shots and a loss of power.
Try this: Use a ground stake, brick, or something similar and position it on the outside of your front (if your toe is moving) or the inside of your front foot (if your heel is moving) parallel to your shoe. Swing and see if you can follow through and feel how the brick restricts your foot from moving. This in turn will quiet down your hips and allow your swing to get synced up again — and that is power. Take a few swings with and without the brick to help memorize these better mechanics.
- You may not be transferring your weight effectively. Actually spinning on your front foot can indicate you are really finishing on your rear foot.
Try this: Stand only on your lead leg/foot and try to hit a few shots to see if you can test your weight-shift and get comfortable standing solidly on your front foot - all the way through impact.
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