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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Step on the Gas to Stop a Sway

This is a simple tip that I use with my own swing. It helps stabilize your lower body without creating a lot of tension in the legs and hips.

Here's a photo of Jack Nicklaus from an old Golf Digest article about the takeaway. What I want you to notice is how his trailing foot is angled slightly away from his target. You can actually turn your foot a bit farther back than Jack; Arnie did, and he was a power hitter as well. This older post has a video of Arnie's swing; you can see this position at the :22 second mark.

Jack Nicklaus starting his backswing

You've probably seen this address position recommended if you aren't as flexible but need a bigger hip turn. But the position is useful for far more than that.

It can be very difficult to "dig in" with the inside of your trailing foot to keep your hips from sliding away from the target and causing a sway. But if you angle your trailing foot back like this, you can stabilize your lower body by merely "stepping on the gas" -- that is, pressing down with your trailing foot as if you were pressing the gas pedal in your car.

Instead of digging in with the side of your foot, this position allows you to press almost straight down with the ball of your foot. It uses your trailing calf muscles more than your hip muscles, which reduces the strain on your hip.

With this position, it's much easier for your trailing hip to move backward, away from the golf ball, instead of sliding sideways away from the target. That creates a better turn away from the ball while keeping your upper body positioned over the ball during the swing.

It's an extremely simple move, but it's also extremely effective. And as I said, it doesn't place nearly as much stress on your trailing hip as the more common "square" trailing foot setup does. I've found it much easier to do consistently. Try it -- you might like it.