Pulling the right foot back (just a little) while addressing the ball – can result in a dramatic improvement in your golf swing.
A lot of people stumble upon this discovery on their own – and are surprised at the solid contact they suddenly start making (on just about every shot). At some point though, in spite of their success, they start doubting themselves. To their knowledge, no other player (especially among the pros) seems to address the ball this way.
Rest assured – this technique has a great legacy – and a star cast of believers. Some GREAT (and I mean Ben Hogan great) players used this technique to achieve their spectacular iron play. See the visual below showing Ben Hogan with a slightly pulled back right foot.
Here’s another Pro’s take on it
Don’t take my word for it. Here is Jason Dufner (2013 PGA Tour Champ and multiple winner on the PGA Tour), describing this very technique in this video. He clearly explains some of the consequences of pulling your right foot back
- A better shoulder turn – thereby improving your backswing.
- A shallower angle of attack – thereby improving your downswing.
What can go wrong? The Devil’s in the details
This should sound simple enough – and for the most part, it is. Just pull your right foot back – how difficult can that be? However, like everything in golf, there are a few details to watch out for:
- How much should you pull it back? 2 inches? 6 inches? The answer is – as much as you need to create turning room for your left shoulder. Some people may need 2 inches – some may need more. Hogan (above) seems to only pull it back 2 inches. Jason Dufner pulls it back a good 6 inches or so.
- Another thing to watch out for – is ‘how much weight should you have on your right foot?. If you pull your right hip too far back, you will have no leg (right leg) to stand on (no weight on your right side). This is not what is desired. You should still feel weight on your right foot – it is just that the right side is pulled further back (compared to the left side). In other words, try and plant your right heel on the ground – instead of standing on the toes of your right foot.
- Stability – As you separate your feet in this manner, you may end up not feeling as strongly balanced – or firmly gripping the earth. If so, simply turn your knees inwards (towards each other). That should provide you with the stability you need. Dufner (in the video above) refers to this as ‘criss crossing’ the legs.
A good shoulder turn is sometimes difficult for amateurs. Their own body (their right side) is what typically gets in the way – and restricts a good shoulder turn. If you were to somehow suppress (or eliminate) the right side completely, you would be left with an unobstructed shoulder turn.
This is easily accomplished by pulling your right foot back. This simple modification can produce a dramatic change in your swing – and in your ability to strike the ball powerfully. Try it on the range (or the course) and see if it helps you make better contact.