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mecoleman

Left Foot on Backswing

14 posts in this topic

I just recently picked up golf. I am a competitive runner, but I've always wanted to learn the sport. Anyway, I've tried both ways with my lead foot (left) on the backswing. I pick up my heel sometimes, and at other times, I try to leave it planted. What are your thoughts on this? I feel that my heel comes up when I'm trying to swing too hard.
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I struggled with the same thing. I'm no amazing golfer, but it seems to me that your left foot needs to stay planted. It acts as an anchor and provides consistency. If you raise it, there is no guarantee that you'll raise it the same every time, making consistency near impossible. Hope that helps
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I'm pretty sure many great golfers lift their left foot on the backswing, however they do this without swaying off the ball so that is what you need to be careful with!
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Depends on the golfer, some do and some don't. I think majority of golfers don't lift the front heel off the ground.

To me the issue is that most amateurs will lift the heel because they made an improper turn.

Jack on the left at address. I drew a line to reference how centered he turns. On the right is the top of his swing, before he starts his transition by planting that heel back down. Notice how his left hip doesn't shift to the right. Notice how steady his head stays.

You can lift that heel as long as it isn't because you are moving to much laterally to the back leg, and as long as your head does not move too much.

Keep a steady head and keep a centered turn (pivot) and the front heel doesn't matter as much. Though it makes it easier to keep a centered turn with the front heel on the ground, in my opinion.

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Some golfers lift it, some don't. You don't want to keep it on the ground just for the sake of keeping it on the ground. If you need to lift it to make a full turn, you should.
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I just recently picked up golf. I am a competitive runner, but I've always wanted to learn the sport. Anyway, I've tried both ways with my lead foot (left) on the backswing. I pick up my heel sometimes, and at other times, I try to leave it planted. What are your thoughts on this? I feel that my heel comes up when I'm trying to swing too hard.

Welcome to the site. You've gotten some good advice so far. As long as you're basically doing this (video) what the left heel is doing isn't that important.

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Thanks for all of the responses.  I haven't been on here in quite a while.  Anyway, I've really improved on my overall swing and stance.  I just wish it was warmer so I could continue with my practice outside.  I've been using some inside training aids during inclement weather.

Thanks again!

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Oh man. When I first read the 1st post I thought what my left foot did. Did it raise up, or stay down. I honestly did not know. I had to go out side and take a few swings. It raises a little. Auto pilot can be an amazing thing. :-P I guess.

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It's funny how we don't realize the little things that can make such a huge impact on our game.

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My left heel comes up. I have to be very careful not to laterally shift my left knee to the right. If I do that it will start a hip slide. I need to make sure I'm braced on my right leg and my axis is remaining centered. My left heel coming up allows me to get more of a hip turn and thus more of a shoulder turn. My shoulders are rotated back, but when I plant my heel at the top, my hips straighten and I have the torque. It's a bit of a compensation for my age and reduced flexibility. It's fine as long as I don't laterally slide. Makes note to take another video.....

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Wow i always try to concentrate on my hips not shifting so didn't really think about my feet too much apart from weight transfer. I just found out not only do i lift my my left heel up i sometimes end up on my left front toes. I struggle with shifting my left hip/knee to the right on my back swing so maybe if i concentrate on keeping my left foot planted a bit more my knee wont shift as much.

Does the lifting too much have an affect on my hips shifting as i'm not balanced enough?

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Wow i always try to concentrate on my hips not shifting so didn't really think about my feet too much apart from weight transfer. I just found out not only do i lift my my left heel up i sometimes end up on my left front toes. I struggle with shifting my left hip/knee to the right on my back swing so maybe if i concentrate on keeping my left foot planted a bit more my knee wont shift as much.

Does the lifting too much have an affect on my hips shifting as i'm not balanced enough?

It's typically a good thing for the left hip not to shift back. The hips turn but should stay centered. The left knee moving inward somewhat helps with that. I don't think it's a big deal if the heel comes off the ground or not.

Here's some info on the motion of the hips.

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Thanks mvmac
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I lift my left heel to take some pressure off of my back.  I was having a lot of problems with sciatica, to the point where I didn't play for 6 months at one stretch.  Letting my left foot drift up naturally, instead of keeping it firmly planted, has been a big help.

The thing I have to guard against -- and which is repeating several other posters -- is (1) Lifting the left knee and dipping down into the ball, or (2) Swaying back off the ball.

If I find myself doing either of those things, I have to remind myself to just let it happen naturally.  The swing thought I use is, "Flow like the river."  What I mean is that water flows smoothly and naturally, but it is contained by the river bank.  In other words, don't get so loosey-goosey that the swing loses definition, but also not in such a planned out way that I anticipate the movement.

It took me about 2 months of working on it before I felt comfortable enough with it.

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