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mutadayen

Flaring...the back foot?

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Ok, so i've been heavily practicing over the past week and the last three times i've gone out to range, i've been doing the complete opposite of what i've been doing for the last few years and what they teach you in lessons and magazines.  I've been prone to slice and have been getting it somewhat controlled, but I have found that if do the opposite of keeping my back foot parallel to target and my front foot either parallel or flared a little (meaning I keep the front foot parallel and the back foot flared out a little), my drives are much straighter and my hip turn is much easier.  In the three days I worked on this at the range, I found that exactly 73% of my drives where within 5-10 yards of my target line.  If it was one day, id be skeptical but I am quite enamored by these results.

I only do this with driver, woods, and long irons (3 and 4).  Everything else goes back to parallel with the shorter irons.

My question is is whether anyone has ever heard of this or experienced this?

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Are you saying you close your stance a little with longer clubs? I pretty much have to close my stance up with any wood or driver, and maybe even my hybrids or 4 and 5 iron. For me it's about getting my arms to release, and closing my stance stops my hip rotation a little earlier.

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Originally Posted by mutadayen

My question is is whether anyone has ever heard of this or experienced this?

It's something I would highly recommend doing but I like both feet flared out.  Like you found out, helps the hips turn and the rear knee release some flexion so the shoulders and hips can turn on an incline plane.  Also helps the right foot bank on the downswing and prevent injury in your hips.

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Originally Posted by Jwat381

Are you saying you close your stance a little with longer clubs? I pretty much have to close my stance up with any wood or driver, and maybe even my hybrids or 4 and 5 iron. For me it's about getting my arms to release, and closing my stance stops my hip rotation a little earlier.



No, I meant the opposite.  With my Driver, woods, and 3-4 irons, I actually flare out my back foot while keeping my front foot parallel or very slightly opened to parallel to the target.  With my shorter irons, both my feet are more parallel to the target (little to no flare with the back foot or front).  I've tried the entire "flare your front foot out some 10 degrees or so" and its just so uncomfortable for me and gets me all out of whack.  Im really focusing on the back foot now...

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What you're saying is not uncommon. Flaring out your back foot does allow for more flexibility turning in your backswing. I think even Ben Hogan advocated this.

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Originally Posted by pjsnyc

What you're saying is not uncommon. Flaring out your back foot does allow for more flexibility turning in your backswing. I think even Ben Hogan advocated this.


"THERE IS ONE CORRECT BASIC STANCE: THE RIGHT FOOT IS AT A RIGHT ANGLE TO THE LINE OF FLIGHT AND THE LEFT FOOT IS TURNED OUT A QUARTER OF A TURN TO THE LEFT." - Ben Hogan in "Five Lessons" (page 41-42)

(note the capitalisation is from the book, not me shouting)

I started out flared, decided I didn't get enough torque with the ground and turned the foot perpendicular and like that for a while but recently have found myself gravitating back to slightly flared as it's more comfortable at address. I reckon I'll keep swapping it around depending on what feels best at any given moment which is no doubt a bad idea. lol

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"THERE IS ONE CORRECT BASIC STANCE: THE RIGHT FOOT IS AT A RIGHT ANGLE TO THE LINE OF FLIGHT AND THE LEFT FOOT IS TURNED OUT A QUARTER OF A TURN TO THE LEFT." - Ben Hogan in "Five Lessons" (page 41-42)

(note the capitalisation is from the book, not me shouting)

I started out flared, decided I didn't get enough torque with the ground and turned the foot perpendicular and like that for a while but recently have found myself gravitating back to slightly flared as it's more comfortable at address. I reckon I'll keep swapping it around depending on what feels best at any given moment which is no doubt a bad idea. lol


Yeah Hogan wasn't a fan but the trail knee still lost enough flexion to turn the hips and he obviously got the hands inward.

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Originally Posted by MiniBlueDragon

"THERE IS ONE CORRECT BASIC STANCE: THE RIGHT FOOT IS AT A RIGHT ANGLE TO THE LINE OF FLIGHT AND THE LEFT FOOT IS TURNED OUT A QUARTER OF A TURN TO THE LEFT." - Ben Hogan in "Five Lessons" (page 41-42)

(note the capitalisation is from the book, not me shouting)

I started out flared, decided I didn't get enough torque with the ground and turned the foot perpendicular and like that for a while but recently have found myself gravitating back to slightly flared as it's more comfortable at address. I reckon I'll keep swapping it around depending on what feels best at any given moment which is no doubt a bad idea. lol



Hmpf, must've gotten him mixed up with someone else. In any case - flaring either of your feet (as long as its not overdone) can't hurt to at least try. Just make sure your heels are aligned properly. Its easy to forget that your toes don't necessarily serve as the best visual cue for alignment.

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I have done it both ways.

Started out with both feet flared, went back foot parallel for 3 years, went back to double flare. About 2002, I re-adopted the Hogan method with back foot parallel.

I started in baseball, and have a tendency to spin out in the hips if I don't watch it. The parallel back foot has been effective at taming this.

Originally Posted by mvmac

It's something I would highly recommend doing but I like both feet flared out.  Like you found out, helps the hips turn and the rear knee release some flexion so the shoulders and hips can turn on an incline plane.  Also helps the right foot bank on the downswing and prevent injury in your hips.

But now, mvmac's comments on possible hip injury give me pause. I was diagnosed with an arthritic right hip two years, and have been working on exercises and stance adjustments to try to get my swing stabilized.

mv, Any particulars on the nature of the hip injury potential?

Also, any tips on flaring both feet without spinning at hips?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by WUTiger View Post

Also, any tips on flaring both feet without spinning at hips?


Spinning the hips on the backswing or downswing?  Flaring the feet out helps the knee linkage (below) occur and allows the left knee to flex forward on the downswing.

Originally Posted by WUTiger

But now, mvmac's  comments on possible hip injury give me pause. I was diagnosed with an arthritic right hip two years, and have been working on exercises and stance adjustments to try to get my swing stabilized.

mv, Any particulars on the nature of the hip injury potential?

Also, any tips on flaring both feet without spinning at hips?


I'm not sure exactly what ailments it can lead too but I'll do my best to explain how the hips are designed to move.  I actually talked to Dana Dahlquist about this and he is going to do a video on it tomorrow.  I was taking notes when we talked and this is what I got from the conversation, might be a little over kill, lol

The hip is a ball and socket joint. The thigh bone (femur) ends with a rounded projection or ball (femoral head), which fits into the socket (acetabulum) of the pelvic girdle.



Both the ball and socket are lined with cushioning tissue called cartilage. The joint is sealed inside a tough synovial capsule, which contains lubricating fluid to further aid smooth motion. The ball is anchored firmly into the socket with tough connective tissue called ligaments. The muscles of the legs overlay these ligaments.

The Iliopsoas consists of two muscles, the Iliacus and Psoas Major, they contribute to hip flexion, which means bringing the thigh up towards the abdomen.  The Iliopsoas is important for walking, standing or running.  The Iliacus originates on the pelvic crest and attaches on the femur.  The Psoas Major, the longer of the two muscles, originates on the lumbar vertebrae and attaches to the femur.  On the other side is the gluteus maximus, the main hip extensor.

Not shown in this picture is the Rectus Femoris. It is one of the four Quadriceps muscles and the only one that crosses the hip joint. This crossing of the hip joint enables it to operate as a hip flexor as well as a knee extensor (straightening the knee).

hip-flexors-anatomy.gif

The hips go from flexion to extension.  Flexion of the hip occurs when the angle between the torso and thigh is decreased. When this angle is increased extension occurs.  Ok so what does all that mean?  We play golf on an incline plane and to get the hips to accomodate for that, the trail knee has to lose, release flexion.  Check out Rory and Sam Snead, their trail hips are higher than the left at the top of their back swings, it will be the opposite on the followthrough.  Flaring the feet our helps the trail knee lose flexion.

The toothpicks and clay was an example Dana gave me (below)  If we try to turn the hips level, staying in address flexion, that's when we're working against how our bodies we designed to move.

Rory A1-4 Posterior.jpg

Snead A1-4 posterior.jpg

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As the others have said, flaring out your back foot does help you make a better turn, especially if your flexibility is lacking.

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Originally Posted by Apotheosis

This there any truth to the idea that you lose power the more flared your back foot is?

No.

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Originally Posted by Apotheosis

This there any truth to the idea that you lose power the more flared your back foot is?

Originally Posted by iacas

No.


I could argue more power...

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i have been flaring both feet for the past month. i have been hitting the ball more solid but i have a nasty pull draw with my long irons. is there a way i can fix this?

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7 hours ago, kegan116 said:

i have been flaring both feet for the past month. i have been hitting the ball more solid but i have a nasty pull draw with my long irons. is there a way i can fix this?

I recommend starting a My Swing thread in the member swings section. It is hard to give appropriate help without seeing your swing.

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On 3/16/2012 at 11:51 AM, pjsnyc said:

What you're saying is not uncommon. Flaring out your back foot does allow for more flexibility turning in your backswing. I think even Ben Hogan advocated this.

Exactly, it comes up a lot in some of those "senior" golf tip sections on TV and in Magazines. We don't have those twist-o-flex spines anymore like we did in our 20's, so a little head start helps. But I think ANYONE can use it to help rotation. We may THINK we get around a lot, but sadly if you saw yourself on video... not so much.

9 hours ago, kegan116 said:

i have been flaring both feet for the past month. i have been hitting the ball more solid but i have a nasty pull draw with my long irons. is there a way i can fix this?

Then I wouldn't do it with the long irons. :^) 

But seriously, folks... I run into this as well and it's my hands... I will tend to flip and steer the club trying to get the perfect ball flight. Hands get ahead and it's pulled or hooked. REALLY trying to keep my head behind the ball and WATCH the club hit the ball helps a bit, though. Good Luck.

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