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Why Flaring Your Feet at Address Makes Golf Easier


mvmac

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I've been attempting to make a swing in which my backswing is less upright and steep and a closer match to my downswing so that I don't have to be as athletic (as Fred Couples, Bubba, Furyk, and Ryan Moore who have large angular differences (loopiness) between backswing and through swing and have great rhythm and timing).

Is it true that flaring my right foot at address will not help me in this regard and will lead to too much of a weight shift onto the right foot at the completion of the backswing?

Yes if you wanted to make a backswing where the arms worked more inward and with your pivot then I would recommend flaring the trail foot out. It will help because the hips will be able turn more which helps the arms gain more depth than if the hips were "restricted". The hips turning, right hip moving up and around, keeps the hips centered. So the right foot being flared wouldn't lead to you swaying back or having "too much weight shift" . There is more on the pivot stuff in the OP.

For a golfer that has the problem of rotating too much on the backswing (past 90 degrees to the point of pulling the eyes off the ball), would you recommend keeping the trail foot perpindicular to the target line (or minimally flared) as a way to limit the over-rotation?

Would have to see the swing but I would guess that the problem isn't the over-rotation but that the pitch of the shoulders and hips are too shallow (if the golfer loses sight of the ball). There are plenty of great players that rotate past 90 degrees.

Mike McLoughlin

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  • 3 weeks later...

For older golfers like myself flaring and or offsetting the feet becomes a function of age, body part aches, arthritis, and bursitis. It is done to favor your body parts to compensate for the pain. How much or how little to flare or offset depends on the pain. Younger golfers can follow your advice. All golfers should consult a kinesiologist before they ruin their joints.

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For older golfers like myself flaring and or offsetting the feet becomes a function of age, body part aches, arthritis, and bursitis. It is done to favor your body parts to compensate for the pain. How much or how little to flare or offset depends on the pain. Younger golfers can follow your advice. All golfers should consult a kinesiologist before they ruin their joints.

It's better to flare your feet at any age. I think that younger people heal faster and can get away with it, as with many other physically strenuous movements.

I am not young any more either, so everything I wrong thing I do gets me injured, and it takes weeks to heal. In another decade or so, maybe it will take months or years? Who knows, but the best thing is to not strain any part of the body.

The best person to tell you if you are doing something wrong is your own body. If it feels uncomfortable there is a good chance it will eventually injure you.

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Thank You for your response. Essentially, I am in agreement with you.Where I am not in agreement with you is "not strain any part of the body" should perhaps be "minimize strain on any part of the body" The golf swing is not an ideal movement for the human body. For the past hundred years this subject has been discussed by how it feels. It should be discussed with advice from experts i.e. a Dr. who understands kinesiology.

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Thank You for your response. Essentially, I am in agreement with you.Where I am not in agreement with you is "not strain any part of the body" should perhaps be "minimize strain on any part of the body" The golf swing is not an ideal movement for the human body. For the past hundred years this subject has been discussed by how it feels. It should be discussed with advice from experts i.e. a Dr. who understands kinesiology.

Yeah, I was trying to think of a way to say it. Kind of like a strain without strain type of thing. :-P

The best way I can describe what I am doing is to move as smoothly as possible. If I give a number from 1 to 10 on the amount of "strain" I can feel on any part of my body, I would give walking uphill a "2" on the calves. "5" would be running downhill on the quads.

If my golf swing puts more than a "5" on any part of the body, I try something different.

Flaring my feet out creates the sense of a "2" on the ankles, knees and hips. Keeping them straight creates a sense of "6" to me.

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For older golfers like myself flaring and or offsetting the feet becomes a function of age, body part aches, arthritis, and bursitis. It is done to favor your body parts to compensate for the pain. How much or how little to flare or offset depends on the pain. Younger golfers can follow your advice. All golfers should consult a kinesiologist before they ruin their joints.

I think maybe we can also say, that by flaring your feet helps prevent pain to a certain degree. I have probably complained about my bad back on here more than others (sorry guys) so I do whatever I can within reason to not only make a good golf swing, but also to prevent, or at least try to minimize any pain. Just fyi, I have a curved, and twisted spine, and have arthritis in my lower back, so from the get go, I flare my feet about 25 degrees, even for short pitch shots. Now, what flaring my feet helped me do was, allowed me to make a much better hip, and back turn, which also translates to more power, without having to swing hard.

As of late, my back may hurt for about 1/2 hr. then stops..the other night at the range, I hit 150 balls, and had No back pain at all, so I have greatly reduced my pain, with good posture, both on, and off course, stretching exercises, and flaring my feet imho.

I also think good technique helps to either avoid, and or minimize pain. Oh,  and I'm 66, and my back feels better now, than it did 20 yrs ago.

BTW, welcome to TST..

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Quote:

Originally Posted by zeusdsk

For older golfers like myself flaring and or offsetting the feet becomes a function of age, body part aches, arthritis, and bursitis. It is done to favor your body parts to compensate for the pain. How much or how little to flare or offset depends on the pain. Younger golfers can follow your advice. All golfers should consult a kinesiologist before they ruin their joints.

I think maybe we can also say, that by flaring your feet helps prevent pain to a certain degree. I have probably complained about my bad back on here more than others (sorry guys) so I do whatever I can within reason to not only make a good golf swing, but also to prevent, or at least try to minimize any pain. Just fyi, I have a curved, and twisted spine, and have arthritis in my lower back, so from the get go, I flare my feet about 25 degrees, even for short pitch shots. Now, what flaring my feet helped me do was, allowed me to make a much better hip, and back turn, which also translates to more power, without having to swing hard.

As of late, my back may hurt for about 1/2 hr. then stops..the other night at the range, I hit 150 balls, and had No back pain at all, so I have greatly reduced my pain, with good posture, both on, and off course, stretching exercises, and flaring my feet imho.

I also think good technique helps to either avoid, and or minimize pain. Oh,  and I'm 66, and my back feels better now, than it did 20 yrs ago.

BTW, welcome to TST..


I would add that flaring reduces stress on the left knee. I have osteoarthritis in my left knee.  Flaring allows the joint to move forward with the weight transfer instead of laterally.  I has helped me immensely.

Scott

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The golf swing is not an ideal movement for the human body. For the past hundred years this subject has been discussed by how it feels. It should be discussed with advice from experts i.e. a Dr. who understands kinesiology.

As it relates to the feet flare, it's makes a few pieces of the swing easier to accomplish and puts less strain on the knees and hips.

Mike McLoughlin

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Just a thought. If you flare your left foot more than 30 degrees, would it have a negative impact on your hip turn on the backswing? I was thinking of experimenting with it, since my iron shots feel a bit off balance, and flaring my left foot even more made me feel more stable while I was practicing my swing. Should I try this?

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Just a thought. If you flare your left foot more than 30 degrees, would it have a negative impact on your hip turn on the backswing?

If you have it turned out more than 40 degrees it can inhibit the amount the left knee is able to rotate inward, limit the hip turn.

I was thinking of experimenting with it, since my iron shots feel a bit off balance, and flaring my left foot even more made me feel more stable while I was practicing my swing. Should I try this?

You can certainly give it a try and see how it goes. If that left knee is struggling to move inward enough on the backswing then I would flare it less.

Mike McLoughlin

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If it gets turned out more than 40 degrees, it could effect the rate the trail knee lessens in flex and the hip rotation on the downswing. It depends on the player.

Left foot being turned out too much could also limit rotation of the hips on the backswing.

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Left foot being turned out too much could also limit rotation of the hips on the backswing.

Yeah my bad, I mis-read the post, thought he was asking about right foot. Edited my post.

Mike McLoughlin

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If you have it turned out more than 40 degrees it can inhibit the amount the left knee is able to rotate inward, limit the hip turn. You can certainly give it a try and see how it goes. If that left knee is struggling to move inward enough on the backswing then I would flare it less.

Will give it a go in my next round (practice) and see what happens! Will also report back if I notice a difference. Thanks! :-)

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Brilliant thread - thanks for pointing me in this direction @mvmac . Off to try it in the nets now :-)

Currently focusing on: Key 4 - shorter backswing.

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I'm doing just the opposite,  trying to be more square in my feet.   I naturally walk with my feet flared and have played that way

decided to try more square to eliminate a tendency to slide towards the target leading to a too steep downswing and inconsistent

contact.   Been playing better than ever so sticking with it.

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I naturally walk with my feet flared and have played that way

decided to try more square to eliminate a tendency to slide towards the target leading to a too steep downswing and inconsistent

contact.

Sliding the lower body would actually shallow the angle the attack, helps create the necessary axis tilt .

Also you SHOULD slide your hips on the downswing.

Mike McLoughlin

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  • 2 weeks later...
I've noticed I tend to stand very square to the ball and as I have a bad back I struggle to get a full shoulder turn. Perhaps flaring my feet more will give me a little extra flexibility.

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