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The impact of using the legs to play golf, especially when making the swing is mostly neglected by most of the amateur golfers. They do believe that the hands and wrist form the crucial part of the golf swing. To be quite candid with you, this is not an authentic approach to think about golf swings. It is commonly being said that an excellent golf swing relies on two main body part – the upper body parts which include your hands and wrist and the lower body parts – majorly your legs and hips.
In the words of Jack Nicklaus, being a leg person, he emphatically stated that the hands and wrists are followers, the legs lead. Therefore, “the power of a golf swing is in the hips. However, accuracy and control lie in the legs.”
Using the legs to your greatest advantage might seem challenging when you start to practice by following what will be said in this article. Don’t fret, it is worth it. By the time you know how to use the legs in your golf swings, you will realize what you have been missing. The first step to know how to use your legs to play golf is to read this article further and thoroughly. Enjoy!
How the Lower Body Parts Should Move
As stated earlier, the lower body part consists of the hips and legs. Here is how they should move in regards to an excellent golf swing.
Correct Hip Movement in the Swing
Before you can make your legs effective in your swings, you have to work on your hips movement. The hip turn plays a key role in golf swings and should not be neglected.
Position your Hips in Place
At address, one side must be pointing towards the target while the other facing the opposite direction. Now make an attempt to start your swing, you should slowly allow the front hip bone to point down into the ground. It shouldn’t point directly to the golf ball, but it should at least shift a bit from the original position that was pointing towards the target. At the same time, you will notice your back hip bone slightly facing the sky.
Visualize the Club Shaft running through your Waist
At this point, you should allow the golf club to point into the ground just about a distance to the golf ball while the other end of the club is facing the sky. This position will allow you to coil your upper body around your spine. This will create torque and unleash power on the golf club.
When you get atop of your golf swing and have made the right hip turn and feeling comfortable with it, then you should begin your downswing. Remember that during your backswing, your arms move first, however, in a downswing, your hips and waste move first to impact.
The main objective of this movement is not only to return your hips to the original position but to move them a little bit in front of your target. With the twisting of the hips, you generate more power than your hands alone could provide
Proper Lead Leg Work
Now is the time to take a gander at the legs. However, we will start with the lead leg – left leg if you are a right-handed player or vice versa
- To aid the hip turn, your front knee needs to bend as you take the club back and twist your hip
- Your knee should dip down slightly towards the ground and also backwards towards your back leg
- This is just to make things easier for your hips
There are techniques associated with the lead or front foot. You will notice the likes of Jack Nicklaus and Phil Mickelson slightly raising the front heel through the backswing. This could generate more power for you because you will be using the ground to your advantage, plus you will have more freedom to move.
Another technique is keeping the left foot on the ground throughout the entire swing. This is actually a modernized technique. However, we recommend the technique you feel comfortable using. You could practice the two and check for yourself. If you lift your front heel and you discover you seem imbalance, or you feel uneasy through impact, then go for the modernized technique.
The front leg and foot should return to their original address position on a downswing and should remain like that for the remaining part of the swing. You will notice your knee straightening. The front leg also helps you to balance throughout the swing.
Correct Trail Leg Footwork
The trail legs require less movement than the front, especially during the backswing.
- The back knee should stay straight to get the correct tilt and twist to your swing. This applies to when the front knee is bending
- Your back knee should turn or twist slightly in the direction away from the ball instead of bending
- This back leg is preparing itself during the backswing to unleash its full force through impact
When you start your downswing, the bend of the knee should change. Remember, your front leg was doing this before, but as the downswing elapse, your back knee will bend and move towards the golf ball
Proper Footwork and Leg Action Drills
Here are some of the best drills for proper footwork and leg action for a better golf play
- Grab the golf club with both hands
- Put one hand on the grip and the other by the head
- Rest the club around your Waist
- Imagine you have made your swing while you have the twist of the backswing in mind
- Observe that in the backswing, the golf club should point down towards the ground while the other end face the sky
- On the imagined downswing do well to point the back end of the club toward the ball at impact
This drill will improve your back leg throughout the impact
Another drill for your lower body is to :
- Hold a golf ball in your throwing hands
- Aim to throw the golf ball like a baseball
- Observe the hip turn forward
If you can do everything stipulated in this article, you will be sure to improve your legs for a better game of golf. There will be a huge improvement in your swings in regards to the direction, trajectory and even distance. However, when you are first setting out to do all these, it might seem challenging, but remember that with consistent practice comes perfection.