Skip to main content
Original Issue

Starting with the left foot

When you are at a course with weekend golfers, you are struck by the high percentage of players who swing at the ball and in the same motion let their whole weight shift back. They want to hit through, we know that, but they simply can't. Because of what has gone before in their swing, they have lost the means to follow through.

Too many golfers make the mistake of taking the club back with their hands only. They want to hit the ball really hard. You can see it in their shoulders. But that is exactly where they defeat their purpose. As the hands whip the club back, the left knee sags out and the player stiffens his left leg. On the downswing, consequently, the left leg tips him back toward the right just as he begins to straighten the leg. He is forced finally to swivel his body feebly around and lash at the ball as he falls back. He's trapped.

The correct execution of a golf swing depends on the timing of the hands and feet. They should go back as one piece. The golfer will put himself on the right track if he realizes that the left foot actually starts the swing. Specifically, it is a steady push from the outside toward the inside of the left leg. The push starts the hands and arms moving back, and with the correct synchronization. When you swing down to hit the ball you will be on balance and completely relaxed. If you begin with your feet and hands together, they will stay together in your swing.

FRED NOVAK, St. Andrews Golf Club, Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.





NEXT TIP: Wiffi Smith on trusting the long irons