There’s no getting around it. Your legs impact your swing more than you realize. In fact, they impact it more than any other body part except your hands and feet. Unfortunately, golfers fail to realize this. Even good golfers fail to realize it. They swing the club as if their legs didn’t matter. To create a great swing-one that shaves strokes off your golf handicap-learn to use your legs to increase clubhead speed and power.
Sometimes, golf lessons focus on the role of the hands, feet, and arms in the golf swing so much that players forget everything else. So do golf tips. Other times, golfers either don’t think about the legs’ because they’ve learned legwork and footwork instinctively, or they concentrate so much on their arms, they forget about their legs. These players are missing a golden opportunity to take their swings to a new level.
The Legs Function
The legs have three functions. The first is to support. The second is to balance. And the third is to increase the centrifugal force created by the arms and hands when you swing. In other words the legs function in a golf swing much like a boxer’s legs when he or she unloads a punch. They increase power with good leg drive. Without good leg drive, the punch and the golf swing lack power.
These three functions-support, balance, and speed-enhance two kinds of movement, lateral (slide) and rotary (turn). To maximize power, these movements must support each other during the swing. Confusion about the importance of these movements leads to a misunderstanding about the correct use of the legs. Even students attending golf instruction sessions or studying golf tips religiously fail to understand how important both movements are in creating power.
This misunderstanding leads to trouble. It causes players to focus more on the turn than the slide in their swings, creating a power gap. But when it comes to generating power in a golf swing, the slide is every bit as important as the turn. Once you understand this, you’re less apt to undermine the synergistic contribution of these movements by favoring one movement over the other.
Two Exercises That Help Out
The Return-to-square Drill determines if you’re combining the turn and slide in your swing synergistically. Here’s how it works:
Stand at address in a doorway with your clubshaft flat against the wall in front of you. Sing the club back and down slowly, returning it to its original position against the wall.
Is it easy to bring the club back flat against the wall? Or are your hands and the top of the shaft getting there first? If the latter is the case, you’re probably pulling your front hip away from the target line too quickly as you swing into the ball, emphasizing turn over slide. If the clubhead reaches the wall first, chances are you lack the required lateral leg movement needed to maximize power. In short, you’re emphasizing turn over slide.
Do this drill over and over again until your arm and legwork are in sync. In addition, try this drill when at the range. Play 10-yard to 20-yard iron shots from a tee creating the feeling that your hitting the shots entirely with your legs. This exercise gives you an idea of the vital support your legs provide during the swing.
Your legs key a dynamic swing. They provide speed, balance, and support, and enhance the slide and the turn. Unfortunately, golf lessons and golf tips often over emphasize the turn over the slide. This short-circuits power. If you want to develop a dynamic swing-one that shaves strokes off your golf handicap-learn to use your legs to increase clubhead speed and power.
Jack Moorehouse is the author of the best-selling book How To Break 80 And Shoot Like The Pros. He is NOT a golf pro, rather a working man that has helped thousands of golfers from all seven continents lower their handicap immediately. Free weekly newsletter available with the latest golf tips, lessons and instructions.