Footwork

This is the first of several posts where I give my thoughts on subjects you requested.

Footwork is mostly a diagnostic tool that can tell you something bad you are doing. It is not something you can force to be good…it is a result, not a cause.

For instance, if you rotate too far to the inside, that will make you roll on the outside of your back foot, because of the extra twisting of the body. If you upper body moves too much laterally in the back swing, you will also roll on the outside of your back foot.

If your right foot is too flat for too long after impact, you aren’t rotating properly.

I could go on for an entire book. What is important is if you start balanced in the setup, good footwork and bad footwork will tell you something is going on in your swing.

Feel free to ask any questions about some footwork issues you may have and I can suggest a couple of issues that would cause that.

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24 Comments

  1. Brett

    Thanks Monte. At the top of your backswing, do you feel more weight on a specific part of your right foot? And, is your weight distributed 50/50 or something else when you setup?

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      I do not feel any particular weight on the right foot in the backswing. If I am balanced, i feel nothing and that is good for me. If I feel it rolling to the outside of my foot, I have over rotated.

      When I setup, I feel pretty balanced. If you have proper tilt behind the ball and proper slight hip bump forward, it should be pretty close to 50/50.

      Reply
      • Brett

        Thanks. I always appreciate your input.

        Reply
      • Chad Abbs

        “If I feel it rolling to the outside of my foot, I have over rotated.” Monte when you say this what are you talking about being over rotated, the shoulders, hips? When I hear someone say your over rotating I always think of someone like long drive champ Jamie Sadlowski’s swing, I think I may just have a bad understanding of what people mean when they over rotating. I just never thought you could over rotate as long as you don’t shift your weight laterally, surely people who are more flexible than others can rotate more than others cant they?

        Reply
      • chabbs

        A reverse pivot?

        Reply
      • Monte Scheinblum

        Being over rotated to the inside is not always a reverse pivot and a reverse pivot is not always over rotated to the inside.

        Reply
  2. woody

    Footwork in golf is connected to legwork. And its also connected to one of your key concepts–synchronization.

    One of the problems with forcing footwork is that your buns are involved in hip movement, and they’re the most massive muscles in your body. And, your quads are the strongest skeletal muscles in your body. If you try to manufacture legwork, it’s hard to dial-in the correct amount at the correct time to avoid slamming a lot of force into your left knee (for right-handers).

    What’s been working for me is to just think of what I want to happen at the bottom of the arc, what Bobby Jones called the Big Punch (although I wouldn’t recommend using hands)…part of what Moe Norman called the horizontal tug & vertical drop (not generated by arms).

    By giving my brain a task instead of a list, it seems to know exactly how much of the big muscles to apply (back, leg, bun), and when to do it. Not surprisingly, your sync mechanism is located in your middle, which is why you hear pros talking about belt buckle (Jay Haas) and navel (Faldo), and others.

    Reply
  3. MSGolfer

    Finishing almost on the outside part of my right foot (right hander) so a lot of counterclockwise spin on the right foot through impact.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      That sounds suspiciously like a hip spin out from a lack of lateral hip movement/weight shift to start the downswing.

      Reply
  4. Doug Benner

    Monte – what about flaring the left foot at address? Important or not?

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Works for some and not for others. It is neither right or wrong. If it works, do it.

      Reply
      • spanky

        For me flaring the left outward a touch, made it much easier to release and also clear my left hip.

        Reply
  5. spanky

    Monte,

    Any thoughts on the weight being towards the left heel at/through impact (seen this in many articles) is it an indicator of something, or of no importance. I personally feel it evenly on the left outer and right front.

    Reply
  6. Jason

    It also relates to weight shift. It just happens, it if make it a sole focus, then you sway. I like to think I’m swinging on one leg the whole time to stay centered, but weight does shift for a fraction. You have between 30 and 40 lbs of arms and club swinging back, so by defualt, there is weight shift. How your feet are working will have a dramatic effect on this as Monte says.

    Reply
  7. woody

    I hope you watched Michael Breed’s Golf Fix (TGC) tonight.

    He showed how to hold the lag. Heh-heh.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Do you want me to get so mad and sick that I throw up?

      Reply
      • woody

        Er…just think of it this way…he just sent several million golfers on a wild goose chase.

        I think it repeats at 11:00 or Midnight.

        If it’s any consolation, he really made it look stupid.

        Reply
      • Monte Scheinblum

        woody, all kidding aside, I am sure you understand my frustration. I see all of these big name guys are giving out crappy information, or information that is not easily digestible and I know I can actually help people.

        Reply
  8. Jason

    Hey Monte, do you believe in being centered, if you do could you demonstrate your theory?

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      That’s a good question.Jason. I guess the best answer I can give is I believe in being centered, except for when I don’t.

      I have seen people that desperately need a little more movement and moving a hair off the ball helps them get behind it.

      I have seen people who get in a really good position by moving off the ball. Tiger 2000, Alvaro Quiros now and Monte 1995.

      That being said, I believe the vast majority of people should not move off the ball.

      I think Andy and Mike (The S&T guys) are really smart and I like a lot of their ideas about the swing and teaching, but I am not a huge fan of the way S&T wants people to stay centered.

      So it’s not a surprise I am not a big fan of the Foley/Tiger swing.

      Reply
  9. Jason

    Cool. Some people become too verticle and make a forward movement in an attemp to become centred, hence ahead of the ball in the downswing, or they hang back as the boby seeks it’s balance. I tried S&T, didn’t work for me, it felt retarded.

    Reply
  10. Erik J. Barzeski

    Disagree that it’s *always* a result, not a cause. You can work on footwork to fix the knees or legwork.

    Reply

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