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Extending the Right Knee on the Backswing

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First of all, let us see what the great players and instructors of this game can tell us.

Source: Peter Kostis
In your backswing especially. Once you get your flex at address, you want to feel like your right knee cap doesn't move much as you take the club back. If you really let it straighten, and let this leg lock, sometimes all you're gonna do is make this over the top move. So try to maintain some flex in your knees as you go back.


Source: Nick Faldo
The right knee has to be solid

*Nick hits a drive*

Arhh... a little bit too much fade



No wonder he swung out-to-in if his hips didn't turn properly, rotating too early on the downswing and pulling the arms across the ball.

Here is a montage of the 20 best players in the world (except Furyk, his swing is too weird). With the exception of 3-4 players, everyone straighten the right leg pretty much. Not so far that they lock it, which you should not do, but definitely not keeping the same flex as at address.

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Not to mention that the old guys like Palmer, Snead, Floyd, Trevino, etc, all displayed similar characteristics with their right leg on the backswing. I wonder where Kostis and Faldo get their information from...

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Well you shouldnt lock it, lol. I think were seeing some kind of optical illusion. Most of them maintain flex in their knee, it just looks like the leg straitens because of the hip turn. if your hips go back and your knee stays where it is, it will look like youre straightening the leg. Im no physiologist, but that is what i think happens.

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Never said you should lock it, but it will straighten. There is no optical illusion.

The knees never stay in the same position, they should not. The left knee gets closer to the ball, the right knee moves farther from the ball.

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most golfer that straighten their right knee tend to lift up and not turn parallal with the ground causing you to hit the ball thin.

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Thats because when golfers straighten there right leg they don't get there weight over to that leg. Then when they swing down there weight shifts to there right leg and they can't get off it. This causes them to lift up and out of the swing, thinning shots.

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We want to rotate the body around it's center, being positioned in the middle or slightly forward. This means that the right hip will move back away from the right foot. Tell me please how the hip can move away from the foot, lifting up slightly, and still have the same flex in the knee. It's not possible. Only way to keep the right knee flex constant is by rotating the body using the right foot as the center axis. Which would mean moving the entire body back over it. From there, everything has to move back forward. A very hard and unnecessarily difficult way to learn golf. You don't gain any significant distance either. If done perfectly you may hit it slightly farther, but you've also got a golf swing with the potential of errors that is far greater.

If someone hit it thin, that is because the weight is too far back, not because of a right knee straightening.

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Well yes there has to be some leg straightening, unless you have some wierd golf motion. But i don't think people should be conscious of it, if there in an athletic stance and take the club back on plane the knee should straighten to were its natural for that person.

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Well yes there has to be some leg straightening, unless you have some wierd golf motion. But i don't think people should be conscious of it, if there in an

Bingo. I'm not sure where this new obsession with leg straightening is coming from - it's natural - you never lock any joints while playing a sport unless you want some torn ligaments. It's a no-brainer really.

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As has been said, you certainly don't want to lock it. Also, is Faldo really saying not to straighten? He just says you want it "solid." Hogan advises not letting the angle of your right leg change during your swing and advises propping a club along it to verify that you're maintaining that angle. On one of the recent threads that had a face-on shot of Tiger hitting a 5W (IIRC), I noted that during his backswing, that angle was rock solid. I'll see if I can find the link.

Edit: here it is.

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As has been said, you certainly don't want to lock it. Also, is Faldo really saying not to straighten? He just says you want it "solid." Hogan advises not letting the angle of your right leg change during your swing and advises propping a club along it to verify that you're maintaining that angle. On one of the recent threads that had a face-on shot of Tiger hitting a 5W (IIRC), I noted that during his backswing, that angle was rock solid. I'll see if I can find the link.

his right leg has clearly straightened out on the back swing. it does not lock. it does straighten, not to mention the rotation of the right hip on the backswing.

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his right leg has clearly straightened out on the back swing. it does not lock. it does straighten, not to mention the rotation of the right hip on the backswing.

Yeah, I don't see any way you can both maintain the angle AND rotate your hips without increasing the length of your right leg a bit by straightening it.

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It is commonly taught that you should maintain the bend in the knees. I heard it for years. It just isn't the case. You can't rotate your hips as shown by many great golfers without that decrease in flex in the back knee.

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The knees control hip level. Alteration of hip level just over-complicates the swing, adding the dimension of up and down to the primary dimension of rotation. Straightening of the right knee is a "natural" reaction of resisting the "pain" of compressing the coil. It also encourages reverse pivot, because when the hips alter level, the torso tries to compensate in order to maintain balance. This is not to say you can't play by straightening the right leg, but it makes a difficult task just that much more difficult. I agree with Hogan; keep the knee angle the same as at address. It's harder to learn than the natural" straightening, but the reward of simplicity once learned is significant.

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The knees control hip level. Alteration of hip level just over-complicates the swing, adding the dimension of up and down to the primary dimension of rotation. Straightening of the right knee is a "natural" reaction of resisting the "pain" of compressing the coil. It also encourages reverse pivot, because when the hips alter level, the torso tries to compensate in order to maintain balance. This is not to say you can't play by straightening the right leg, but it makes a difficult task just that much more difficult. I agree with Hogan; keep the knee angle the same as at address. It's harder to learn than the natural" straightening, but the reward of simplicity once learned is significant.

What Hogan did and taught are two different things. I am sure someone on here can get some pics of him in hist backswing. I will take a guess and say he did straighten his knee just like almost every single player on the PGA tour. You can't rotate your hips at all if you have a serious flex in your knee.

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What Hogan did and taught are two different things. I am sure someone on here can get some pics of him in hist backswing. I will take a guess and say he did straighten his knee just like almost every single player on the PGA tour. Y

Sure you can, you'll just have swing as weak as a kitten and bulging disks by the 3rd hole.

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Golf.com has some good golf sequence pictures with commentary. I like Els golf swing. They talk alot about his hip motion during the swing. But basically i think its impossible to get a correct shoulder turn with out having your leg straighten up. Unless you seriously put a ton of weight on your right side. Because the way the joint works.

Your foot is flat its a fixed point. The knee doesn't rotate its bends up and down. The hip is a ball and socket joint so it can do all directions of motion. So when you rotate your shoulders around your spine, your muscles create torque by bracing againts the knees. You can't go a full 90 degree turn with out having your hips rotate, usually 45 degrees. If your hips rotate back. your foot is planted on the ground, your bones are fixed lengths. So your moving your right hip back, and that is extending the length away from the knee. The only way for you to make this move is to have your knee straighten some.

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Note: This thread is 2209 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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