Footwork & The Pivot
In 2011 I uploaded a video to my YouTube Channel showing the footwork of a lot of famous golfers from throughout the years. That video attracted a lot of attention as I zoomed into the feet of these players (including myself) and showed a very different activity in the footwork than what most people noticed or modern instruction had distinguished should occur in the golf swing.
The close up of the feet allowed the viewer to see a very distinct rear foot drag in all the swings. This grip and grind in the feet whilst not a goal in the golf swing is definitely a vapour trail of wonderful ground pressures into the feet as a balance and support system to help move the club void of stalling the body or over using the hands.
In the video above of George Knudson we can see a distinct "closing of the gap" at strike point- where the knees and thighs pinch in towards one another. Modern instruction focuses mainly on the downward vertical pressure into the feet and bypasses the horizontal pressure in the feet and legs that Knudson and the other players in that video exhibit.
This horizontal pressure of the feet & legs in a one-two combination is an important but very misunderstood and understated part of the glue that helps hold a repeatable golf swing together.
Knudson is putting his leg/feet pressures vertically into the ground AND horizontally into the ground- basically multiplying his body weight and compression to enable a massive force to the earth via Newton's 3rd law that allows the body to then be able to use as resistance and have an equal opposite force reaction against.
This is ALL about being able to make the pivot stronger after impact as the body then has a force to work against and can rotate and turn much better than when theire is minimal ground resistance to move against.
If you watch his right foot it gets pulled...and his left leg pant flap actually flies up......ground pressures and grind in the legs and feet...allowing his left side core and oblique extension to pull beyond impact and take over and keep his core and trunk and shoulders moving through the strike and not just stall near impact to let the arms and hands swing thru on their own accord.
Knudson's heels are almost pressuring together like Dorothy and her ruby slippers....that is pressures working in intense opposite force directions. His left foot is being pulled more open and right foot is getting pulled back...all reaction of pressures of the pivot firing and pulling him around the strike and the feet get torqued and moved in the direction the pivot is moving towards..
Excellent application right here to learn from. The players in this YouTube video felt this and knew how to apply it even if they never understood the logic behind it.
This is very much the heart of my Drill 2 program. I teach my students the pressures and forces of a solid golf swing that enable the other parts to function to the best of that person's ability.
Next time you watch a PGA Tour event you will see most players today pushing into the ground on the downswing but then not applying any horizontal force across their feet and legs near the strike and they tend to then spring upwards and lose their footing, often straightening their legs and standing up on the toes of both feet and stalling their pivot as it doesn't have the resistance to work against and the arms and hands race by independently of the core and trunk. All which contribute to timing issues of clubface control and ball flight control.
I didn't know I was actually doing this in my swing but once I started teaching more and studying more and watched a lot of my old videos I saw the difference and knew immediately what had happened.
I honestly believe this is a very misunderstood part of the golf swing and I know once this footwork was evaporated from my game the golf swing became a lot more difficult to motivate and control.
Remember groundwork is not just down vertically there is a horizontal aspect also that can really help tighten the nuts on either side of the bolt that is your golf swing.