Instant Lessons with Mark Lye – Extend The Backswing For More Distance
As we all get older, our swings tend to get shorter. Not just on the backswing, but also on the follow through. This is a result of our loss of flexibility due to age. There is a solution to this problem, however, that will allow one to cheat father time by a few more years. It is a simple change.
I T ’ S A L L I N T H E F E E T
In the photo on the left, I want you to look at my feet. This is a foot position that I used as a younger man. My feet were not flared out as they are now, like the photo on the right.
Because my hips were “looser” at a younger age, I was able to move my right hip back more on the backswing, and on the downswing, I was able to clear the left hip with no trouble at all. To achieve this today as an older guy, I simply flare both feet out a little more at address. (photo on the right) This change in foot position gives me a little more ease with my turn away from the ball, and on the follow through.
As you look at the photos of my foot position, look below at the photos that represent the foot position, and the freedom on the backswing in the photo on the right will give you. By flaring out my feet only slightly, I can get very close to parallel on the backswing, just like I used to do as a kid. This gives me a little more “wind up” on the backswing, and translates to a little more swing speed as I come into the ball. As you can see on the photos on the left, my backswing does not get back to near parallel at all. That’s because my joints are tighter and not as flexible as they used to be.
With my “new” foot position, I can now move with ease through the golf shot. It has really helped. So, the next time you are watching the PGA Tour on television, watch these younger guys hit the ball, you will notice that their hips are a huge part of the swing. They build up speed by turning on the backswing, and clearing the left hip on the follow through. With your new ”flared out” foot position, you can build up more speed in your swing too. Good luck.
Mark Lye played the PGA Tour for 18 years, and just finished up his 18th year in broadcasting on Golf Channel. He is now the Director of Membership at The Old Collier Golf Club. To inquire about membership at Old Collier, please call the club at 239 254 8402.