“My right heel is coming off the ground”

I hear a lot of complaining about this by the the offender and to the offender by others “in the know.”

I then see and hear people actively trying to keep their right foot flat through the swing. Guess what you are doing to yourself? You are cutting off you hip turn. This is another in a long line of “body restrictions” that people are imposing on themselves that doesn’t work. Actually it hurts. Your are not supposed to “keep your head down” or “restrict your hip turn.” Trying to keep your right heel flat falls into this category.

Get in a golf stance without a club and rotate the hips as if you were making a downswing. Feel the right knee bend and drive toward the target and the right heel come off the ground. That is natural body mechanics and if you fight the heel coming off the ground, the hips won’t clear properly and you will slow your rotation.

Like most things in the golf swing, a floundering body part is not what you fix and force to work correctly, you find out what other body part is is creating the problem.

For example I did a video saying restricting hip turn is bad. All you have to do is turn the shoulders properly and the hips will turn the amount they are supposed to. Again, it’s not about forcing the right things to happen, it about avoiding the bad things and allowing the right things to happen automatically.

The right heel coming off the ground too much is sometimes a balance problem, a changing spine angle problem or the back foot being flared too much and the right knee driving out from the hips instead of toward the target…or any other number of infinite problems for infinite body types.

The hips leading too quickly out of sync is a big one too. However, you don’t solve this by trying to keep the right foot flat, you solve this by getting everything to turn in sync.

I am sure some of you can come up with a few others I have missed.

The important issue is, don’t fight it and try to keep it flat. You are masking the real problem with another problem.

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12 Comments

  1. Steve Wood

    “All you have to do is turn the shoulders properly and the hips will turn the amount they are supposed to.” That statement is huge, and eliminates another guru item, the hip-turn. When you’re swinging, you’re basically turning at the waist, and that turns the hips too.

    Personally, the idea of shoulder turn doesn’t work for me either. Instead, I like the idea of allowing my chest to turn with the swing.

    One thing about using a “shoulder” thought is that they can “dis-locate,” and fool you. While standing still, I can bring my left shoulder to touch my chin. Fred Couples mentioned this in a Golf Channel playing lesson. When I watch PGA tour players..I just don’t see a conscious shoulder-turn happening. However, if you allow your chest to turn with the swing, it gives the appearance of shoulder turn.

    That plays into my downswing, when I want to feel my chest turning and both arms swinging my hands to the ball. It’s getting simpler for me. I want to feel that with chips & putts too.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Steve, great post. everyone’s brain works differently and need a different understanding to create the same action. I try to use the most generally accepted terms to describe things. I use the term straight spine to talk about setup…well, the spine isn’t straight. 🙂 Military posture?

      Reply
      • Nick

        Maybe this is a bit of nit picking, but I have always felt that if you turn your chest (or sternum) its actually a different turn than turning around your spine or turning off your center line. I don’t feel that either is wrong, just very different. If you want an example see my coaches website, not the clearest writing, but great visual examples. http://newhorizonsgolf.com/P3G-Power.html BTW scroll down to Axis of Symmetry.

        Reply
        • Monte Scheinblum

          Not nitpicking. when you read tomorrow’s post you will see I agree with you.

          Reply
          • Nick

            BTW I also agree with the hip rotation. It happens naturally. In my golf swing my hips turn quite a bit as I rotate around my center line. My leg comes close to straightening, but its none of the x factor crap. Also although this tends to look like I am a an S+T’er I actually don’t rotate around my left leg as they suggest, its all around the center line of the body.

  2. bobbyp

    Both turning shoulders or turning chest make sense to me. However, either of them on their own open up debate such as Steve’s response about dislocation. Personally, I can turn my chest but leave my arms near their original setup position by forcing it to happen just to introduce a disconnection. I like to feel that my arm pits are glued to my sides (like the towel underneath the arm drills) and this helps me turn back everything in sync. I’d be interested in what you have to say about that feeling, Monte.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      A lot of people like that connected feeling you talked about. You just have to be careful. If your shoulders turn level to the ground isntead of level to the spine, you are going to be stuck. However, if your shoulders turn properly, you are gold.

      Reply
      • bobbyp

        Right on, Monte! That is exactly the issue I had with connected arms (stuck behind me) until I stumbled across your videos on turning level to spine and proper release. That was the light bulb moment for me.

        Reply
        • Monte Scheinblum

          Great. I really want to make clear that my philosophy is there is no one right way to do it. You only have to fins things that makes sense to you and eliminate anything that gets in your way. My info is a guide to find those things.

          Reply
  3. Carrera

    The “right foot flat” idea seemed to gain a lot of attention because of Kenny Perry’s focus on it during his swing. But like anything else in golf, a lot of moves may work for one body and not another. I have very flexible ankles and can (but I don’t, usually) keep my foot flat well into the downswing without much effort or restriction. But most folks can’t, and as you said trying to do that will only restrict their rotation through the release. I

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Awesome post C. I was waiting for someone to bring up Perry and exactly the point you did. Copying what one guy on Tour does because he won that week ruins golfers all over America and the World.

      Reply
      • Bogeydog

        The only time the Kenny Perry flat right foot works for me is if I have to hit a high hook. If I tried to swing like that all the time, I’d pull hook every other shot I hit……

        Reply

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