No Spin Zone
By Erika Larkin on 5/2/13
I have taught many former recreational baseball and softball players and have found some common body language that carries over to golf and causes some problems particularly for iron shots off of tight lies... The dreaded spin back on the right foot (for a righty). This one move typically makes the golfer's weight stay back too long, causes a flat swing and affects the timing of the body turn through impact. Remember we are hitting at the ground not in the air so we have to maintain our golf posture and this spin move causes the spine to get too vertical leading to fat, thin, topped pushed or pulled shots. So enter the no-spin-zone!

If you finish your swing and you are still balancing yourself on the ball of your right foot, follow these tips and drill recommendations:
  1. As you start your downswing try to roll off your right foot so that your ankle rolls inward and then onto the toe of your shoe. Put a club shaft or small alignment rod under your right foot the long ways so it runs under the length of your shoe. swing and feel the rocking and rolling motion as your foot tilts. If you try to spin or "squash the bug" you will slip and possibly loose your balance on the rod so be careful.

  2. Watch your head. Let it slide a little more left than usual during the downswing. If you try to keep it back it will only encourage poor footwork. Ideally we want the golfer's head to in line with the ball at impact for an iron shot.

  3. Try a step through drill swing: make your normal swing but try to walk through by taking a step with your right foot past your left straight to the target ( not sideways) to help exaggerate a more complete weight shift and letting your head stay centered or even a little left through impact.

  4. Double check your posture: former ball-players usually want to stand more upright. So back up and bend over and stay there as long as possible through the swing.
Thanks for reading and good luck practicing.

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 Enjoy!

[ comments ]
GolfSmith7 says:
I've been working on my footwork, although my issue isn't staying back on my right foot, I tend to raise my right foot before impact and that too leads to inconsistent shots. I am learning to roll my right foot forward and then let it raise after impact. The results have been tremendous, straighter shots with more distance. Its amazing how little instruction is giving to proper footwork.
jpjeffery says:
"lose" not "loose"!

Apart from that typo, this is a great article, for me at least. Having played baseball for 21 out of 22 years here in the UK I can understand why I seem to be doing at least what drill #1 is trying to address.
bsta93 says:
After 22 years of baseball / softball I have this exact issue. It's extremely difficult to break those old habits.
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