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Why Flaring Your Feet at Address Makes Golf Easier

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So I have a question about the bowed feet, particularly with the back foot. Now I do bow out my front foot in my swing but the back foot has me questioning.....for someone who tends to slide their hips back in the backswing, wouldn't that make it easier for them to slide back? I always tried to keep my back foot square if not slightly closed to make it hard for me to slide back. Or would the bowed back foot give me more room to make a good turn and not slide? I guess the best way to figure it out is give it a test run next time I'm at the range.

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I flared my back foot for a long time, but I have found that the problem with me flaring my back foot is that it makes it a lot easier for my back knee to break down in the backswing, which costs me a lot of power.   Right now, I'm trying to keep my back foot more square, since I believe this will keep my back knee also more square and my back knee will not flex to the rear. 

It's a process.  I'm slowly inching my right toe more and more and more square.   It's costing me a little bit of length in my backswing, but at the same time, it's cutting down on this wimpy little sway in my right knee and giving me a better brace in my back leg.  

So my advice to my fellow hackers who want to try this flared back foot is, make sure it doesn't lead to that wimpy little backward flex in your back knee.  This is just my opinion as a hacker.  

Edited by Marty2019

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4 hours ago, Snipehook16 said:

So I have a question about the bowed feet, particularly with the back foot. Now I do bow out my front foot in my swing but the back foot has me questioning.....for someone who tends to slide their hips back in the backswing, wouldn't that make it easier for them to slide back? I always tried to keep my back foot square if not slightly closed to make it hard for me to slide back. Or would the bowed back foot give me more room to make a good turn and not slide? I guess the best way to figure it out is give it a test run next time I'm at the range.

 

The back foot will not cause more sway if you allow the back knee to straighten, as it will move the back hip back and towards the target instead of straight back behind you.

 

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6 hours ago, Snipehook16 said:

So I have a question about the bowed feet, particularly with the back foot. Now I do bow out my front foot in my swing but the back foot has me questioning.....for someone who tends to slide their hips back in the backswing, wouldn't that make it easier for them to slide back? I always tried to keep my back foot square if not slightly closed to make it hard for me to slide back. Or would the bowed back foot give me more room to make a good turn and not slide? I guess the best way to figure it out is give it a test run next time I'm at the range.

People tend to sway less with the back foot flared out, in my experience. The square foot - like Sergio Garcia's sway - seems to almost help that.

But the best way to not sway is… to learn to turn properly, not to sway.

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5 hours ago, Etzwane said:

 

The back foot will not cause more sway if you allow the back knee to straighten, as it will move the back hip back and towards the target instead of straight back behind you.

 

Straighten your back knee?? In the backswing?? I was told that was a huge no no....

That drill sounds pretty good @iacas. Makes a lot of sense when I think about it

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27 minutes ago, Snipehook16 said:

Straighten your back knee?? In the backswing?? I was told that was a huge no no....

You were told incorrectly… (so long as by "straighten" you just mean "extend" - "locking out" because you went beyond "straight" is likely still bad):

Virtually every good player extends the trail knee in the backswing.

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On 8/22/2016 at 3:48 AM, Marty2019 said:

I flared my back foot for a long time, but I have found that the problem with me flaring my back foot is that it makes it a lot easier for my back knee to break down in the backswing, which costs me a lot of power.   Right now, I'm trying to keep my back foot more square, since I believe this will keep my back knee also more square and my back knee will not flex to the rear. 

The knee will release some flex in the direction it's pointed, reason why the "bowed" knees at address are good. Will help the trail hip turn back and around, create a little "gap" from the trail hip's address position to the top of the backswing.

On 8/21/2016 at 11:33 PM, Snipehook16 said:

So I have a question about the bowed feet, particularly with the back foot. Now I do bow out my front foot in my swing but the back foot has me questioning.....for someone who tends to slide their hips back in the backswing, wouldn't that make it easier for them to slide back? I always tried to keep my back foot square if not slightly closed to make it hard for me to slide back. Or would the bowed back foot give me more room to make a good turn and not slide? I guess the best way to figure it out is give it a test run next time I'm at the range.

@iacas already answered but people that tend to slide the hips do so because they're restricted from turning, a "square" right foot does just that.

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I was originally taught to flare my lead foot and square my back foot.  I'm not sure why.  But, after reading the OP and a few other posts in this thread, flaring both feet makes a lot of sense.

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2 hours ago, Limpinswinger said:

I was originally taught to flare my lead foot and square my back foot.  I'm not sure why.  But, after reading the OP and a few other posts in this thread, flaring both feet makes a lot of sense.

Because that's the way Ben Hogan wrote it in Five Lessons and over time it became accepted as truth. Most don't even have a good reason to tell people to do it.

I read somewhere that Hogan only put the square back foot in because SI wanted him to address swaying in the backswing, which is a common fault of amateur golfers. I don't know whether that is true or not but you can definitely still sway with a square back foot.

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On 9/24/2016 at 8:20 PM, billchao said:

Because that's the way Ben Hogan wrote it in Five Lessons and over time it became accepted as truth. Most don't even have a good reason to tell people to do it.

I read somewhere that Hogan only put the square back foot in because SI wanted him to address swaying in the backswing, which is a common fault of amateur golfers. I don't know whether that is true or not but you can definitely still sway with a square back foot.

Thanks for the explanation.  Of course, now I have to go look at vids of Hogan to see what he actually did.  :-D

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If you look at this video by Ed Tischler (I have one of his books describing swing patterns) , I suspect how you flare your feet is probably dependent on whether you have a  pure rotary swinger, a thrower or hitter action . It also depends on your swing anchor and weight shift pattern that is compatible with your unique body makeup.

 

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2 hours ago, DownAndOut said:

If you look at this video by Ed Tischler (I have one of his books describing swing patterns) , I suspect how you flare your feet is probably dependent on whether you have a  pure rotary swinger, a thrower or hitter action . It also depends on your swing anchor and weight shift pattern that is compatible with your unique body makeup.

There's really no such thing as a hitter, a thrower, or whatever. Every player uses a part of everything. TGM would tell you otherwise, of course, as would disciples of that… but biomechanics says you do a bit of everything.

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EA Tischler says virtually the same in his book and categorises each action with reference to its primary source of power. Example is a 'Hitter' whose primary source of power is muscular thrust but may also use a degree of  'weight shift' (primary source of power of a thrower) and 'rotation'  (primary source of power for a swinger). Tischler has added the 'throwing'  action which is not mentioned in TGM.  

It's interesting seeing modern day players like Day, Spieth Mcilroy all with less rear flared foot and pelvic turn still compete for power with the big hip turners like Nicklaus, Jones, Palmer, Snead.

One of the theories out there is less angulation (ie, thigh not rotated in as much) between the rear femoral head and foot, which allows an earlier internal rotation into the hip joint. This means the rear femur is more vertically aligned over the rear foot and makes it easier to weight pressure/stabilise the rear foot/leg and allow a more efficient stretch/contraction of the pelvic rotator muscles (in the backswing and hip squaring phase). Not sure how all this is going to improve my swing but interesting to read about.

Edited by DownAndOut
missed out a word

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24 minutes ago, DownAndOut said:

EA Tischler says virtually the same in his book and categorises each action with reference to its primary source of power. Example is a 'Hitter' whose primary source of power is muscular thrust but may also use a degree of  'weight shift' (primary source of power of a thrower) and 'rotation'  (primary source of power for a swinger). Tischler has added the 'throwing'  action which is not mentioned in TGM. 

It's an interesting approach to describing differences, but with a 'thrower' to claim their power mostly comes from a weight shift does not agree with most good physics models of the swing. Weight shift / lateral movement contributes to speed, but the rotation delivering the 'flail' is the primary source of power for any 'style' of swing.

You can extend your right arm all day in a 'hit' that won't go anywhere until you turn away from the ball and rotate into it while extending the right arm and allowing the wrists to hinge/rehinge.

Not saying thinking about 'styles' can't help people, though.

If you find anything solid about that femoral head idea, please share it in the thread. I'd be interested.

Clearly there are good players who've had square trail feet and some with slightly flared trail feet. I've never seen this, though:

Ballet_feet_2nd_position.png

Edited by natureboy

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3 hours ago, DownAndOut said:

One of the theories out there is less angulation (ie, thigh not rotated in as much) between the rear femoral head and foot, which allows an earlier internal rotation into the hip joint.

Do you mean less of the right knee "kicked in" at address?

3 hours ago, DownAndOut said:

EA Tischler says virtually the same in his book and categorises each action with reference to its primary source of power. Example is a 'Hitter' whose primary source of power is muscular thrust but may also use a degree of  'weight shift' (primary source of power of a thrower) and 'rotation'  (primary source of power for a swinger). Tischler has added the 'throwing'  action which is not mentioned in TGM.  

Yeah I wouldn't place any importance in that, rotation and arm speed are big sources of power and you can't change which one is the primary source from swing to swing or pattern to pattern. I think he's just going off what he's "seeing" not what is really going on.

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The detailed explanation about optimal pelvic rotation is in Dr Jeff Mann's article. To be honest , I'm not a big fan of his personality but his articles are very detailed and seem to make more sense than most. He claims to also have an MD degree with a BSc degree major in anatomy and physiology and has improved his handicap significantly using whatever knowledge he's learned via books and articles on golf biomechanics.

Be warned , this takes some reading but I managed to get through the most important parts (many hours yawning through the excessive detail). He has a series of You Tube videos to complement his article, the urls are on the website. Note that he is also providing an alternative explanation that disproves any X-factor 'coil'  between upper and lower body (in the backswing anyhow , not sure about downswing).

http://perfectgolfswingreview.net/pelvicrotation.html

 

 

Edited by DownAndOut
added a few more words

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4 hours ago, DownAndOut said:

The detailed explanation about optimal pelvic rotation is in Dr Jeff Mann's article. To be honest , I'm not a big fan of his personality but his articles are very detailed and seem to make more sense than most. He claims to also have an MD degree with a BSc degree major in anatomy and physiology and has improved his handicap significantly using whatever knowledge he's learned via books and articles on golf biomechanics.

Be warned , this takes some reading but I managed to get through the most important parts (many hours yawning through the excessive detail). He has a series of You Tube videos to complement his article, the urls are on the website. Note that he is also providing an alternative explanation that disproves any X-factor 'coil'  between upper and lower body (in the backswing anyhow , not sure about downswing).

http://perfectgolfswingreview.net/pelvicrotation.html

One of the best things about Mann's pages are the 'critical look' at some theories that are out there. Even if you don't agree it gives you some 'grains of salt' to consider. He also assembles a number of ideas and theories together in one place which helps for understanding many of them better. Many of his graphics are very useful for visualization of certain ideas.

On the negative side, his videos are over-long as is his text. I suspect some of that is to more effectively refute the 'biomechanical analysis' of Kelvin Miyahura's posts as Dr. Mann seems to view Kelvin as underqualified and frequently incorrect. He should start every page with an 'abstract' so you can see if it contains what you're interested in without having to read it all. I think a lot of his ideas / preferences make a lot of sense. However, I think using a long driver swing (Sadlowski) as a model might not be as applicable to golf on a course that requires much greater accuracy and consistency.

I suspect Dr. Jeff is a little bit Aspie. He is very didactic and seems to be pursuing the idea of 'the one correct swing'. IMO there's more than one way to skin the cat, and his focus on 'only one way' leads to some conclusions I don't always agree with.

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