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LEFT KNEE – PGA Professional Robin Symes explains his thoughts on the movement of the left knee in the backswing and how this can really improve your transition.
Hi, Robin here. I want to talk a little bit about the way your left leg, particularly your left knee and your left foot works during the backswing. In recent years you’ve seen a lot of players, and instruction focusing on really restricting the left side. The left knee, the left thigh, providing a lot of restriction. Now, in my opinion, if you have a lot of flexibility, you’re almost hyper-mobile, this can work quite well for you. But for most players out there, I think that’s really not a good idea. It really doesn’t encourage a good wind up in the backswing, and it definitely doesn’t encourage a free flowing or very instinctive good transition.
I like to see players having a little resistance at the start of the swing, but then as they complete their backswing, the rotation that is working down through the shoulders into the stomach into the hips and into the legs allows your left knee to work across. As you can see I put a stick here. It’s a good way for you to get a feeling for this. I see a lot of players when I work on this initially with them is that they move their knee right at the beginning. So, what I want you to get a sense of is a little of resistance at the start, but then as you wind up you let that rotation pull your left knee across. Your left knee moves in from your foot, you’ll feel a little bit of a rolling effect of the left foot. You might almost feel like your left heel comes off the ground or has a very light pressure on the ground.
Now what I find when I see players do this is, is from here to very instinctive transition, the left hip transitions itself back over the left foot almost automatically. The pressure goes into the ground under the left foot almost automatically. The lower body is leading the downswing. There’s a little bit of separation between lower body and upper body. Again, fairly naturally so, for me say not unless you’re hyper-mobile, this is a much better left leg movement. Don’t focus too much on overly restricting the left side.
Now, this stick, is a good way to get a feeling for this movement in the backswing. It’s very difficult to hit shots because then when you come through in the follow through your right leg will want to hit it. So get the feeling in the backswing first of all with this drill, develop the sense, take the stick out, go ahead and try to repeat the same feelings. I think this can help you strike the ball more solid, get in more clubhead speed, and definitely improve swing plane issues. Anybody who’s coming over the top getting steep, this movement is going to help your lower body lead the downswing. Again, that’s going to help a straighter shot but also more solid with more distance.
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