Among our fine professionals, it has become standard practice—as uniform as the grip—to raise the left heel only a shade on the backswing. When they are playing the six-iron through the wedge, the left heel never leaves the ground. On a full shot with a driver, calling for the fullest pivot and the greatest exchange of weight and the longest arc, the left heel is never lifted more than an inch and a half off the ground. There are, in fact, a few players, myself among them, who prefer to play all their shots without ever raising the left heel off the ground.
My reason for calling this to your attention is that most average golfers have the habit of lifting the left heel far too much on the backswing, sometimes as high as five inches. This tends to pull the golfer's head "off the ball" as he nears the top of the backswing. Furthermore, when you lift the left heel too high, nine out of 10 times it will be replaced on the downswing to the right or left of the position it occupied when you started your swing. Replacing your heel an inch to the right or left can change your line of flight as much as 20 yards. On the other hand, raising the left heel the bare minimum is a major step towards achieving consistency and greater firmness at impact.
from SHELLEY MAYFIELD, Meadow Brook Club, Westbury, N.Y.
Shelley Mayfield demonstrates the correct position of the left foot at the top of backswing on a full shot
CORRECT: HEEL LIFTED ONLY SLIGHTLY
INCORRECT: HEEL LIFTED MUCH TOO HIGH
NEXT WEEK: HAROLD SARGENT ON THE STRAIGHT LEFT ARM