Leg action in the golf swing
Your weight should be spread roughly 50/50 at address. For all but the shortest of shots, you should move around two thirds to three quarters of your weight on to the right foot at the top of the backswing.
The transition down is a gentler move, similar to a sprinter on the blocks when they go to ‘set’, and he lifts his backside into the right position. The hit is then the release as your weight transfers, with 90 per cent moving to the left foot.
Learn from other actions
The leg action for skimming stones and hitting full golf shots is surprisingly similar, right from the set-up through to the weight shift.
It’s a similar concept in other sports, too, such as javelin throwing. When you watch top players in those sports, they instinctively shift their weight on to the back leg, so their throwing centre is then automatically behind the release spot. However, leg action in the golf swing seems to come less instinctively for many club players.
Golfers often get into the wrong position at the top of the backswing. Rather than turning on to the right side and allowing their weight to go across, they keep too still, then get flat-footed through the ball.
Worse still, they shift their weight towards the target on the backswing (top photo), then fall back on to their right side through impact (bottom photo), usually because they lock the right knee – a classic reverse pivot.
Keep the right levels
Everything below the belt is the platform from which you play, and that platform has to be wide enough. It’s then about keeping your levels.
I don’t mind the legs moving right to left – to a degree they need to – but what I don’t want to see is any up-and-down movement.
The angle in the right knee must stay pretty constant to keep the right levels. If it locks out, it changes the height of the hips and shoulders; if it sways away to the right you’ll probably have too much sideways movement on the way back.
A great way to improve your balance and leg action is to practise barefoot. You need a little bit of purchase on the ground still, but if you drive across too much from right to left you’ll slip. If you maintain your balance, you’ll find you can hit the ball nearly as far as with your shoes on.