Golf tip: Heel's the clue to a powerful swing

Lift, then plant the left heel like Watson for a more powerful, better golf swing

By Golfmagic Staff on Thu, 19 Sep 2013 - 11:09

You'll get more power in the downswing with the left heel up at the top (right) than you will with it down (left)

A golfer can have a great looking backswing but if the downswing is not started in the correct sequence, power and accuracy is lost. The transition between backswing and downswing is a crucial part of the swing and makes the difference between a great shot and one, which misses the fairways and greens.

Start the downswing correctly by learn to plant the left foot. it will help trigger the correct downswing sequence - and give you extra power.

At the top of the backswing your weight should be transferred onto the right side and with the body coiled ready for action there will only be about twenty per-cent of your weight remaining on the left side. At this time the heel of the left foot may well have come off the ground.

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Watson in action at The Open with his raised left heel

If you watched Tom Watson in action at the Open this year you'll have instantly spot how a pronounced the lift is with the left heel. He showed that, even at aged 59, he can still riup it out there.

How much the left heel rises is determined by how supple a golfer is and the action is similar to that when a baseball pitcher poised to throw the ball at the batter with the right hand and raises left leg comes off the turf.

To start the golfer's downswing in the correct sequence, the left heel needs to be driven back into its original position. You can practise this without a club and to make it more dynamic it’s best to have a pronounced lift of the left heel on the backswing. The harder you slam the heel back into the ground the more potential speed you generate.

John Hoskison is attached to the Newbury Golf Centre and plays on the European Seniors Tour, having earned a conditional card after finishing 10th at Qualifying School at the Pestana. He returned to the UK to rebuild his career in tournament golf after spending time in China, where he was instrumental in the building a driving range for underprivileged children Fuzhou. He won the 2005 Jamega Tour Order of Merit with six victories from 12 starts. For further information visit John's website at www.johnhoskisongolf.com.

A golfer can have a great looking backswing but if the downswing is not started in the correct sequence, power and accuracy is lost. The transition between backswing and downswing is a crucial part of the swing and makes the difference between a great shot and one, which misses the fairways and greens.

Below, check out how Tom Watson uses his heel to create power in this article or look at our Golf's Toughest Drives instructional piece or work on the top driving practice drills for more help.

Start the downswing correctly by learning to plant the left foot. it will help trigger the correct downswing sequence - and give you extra power.

At the top of the backswing your weight should be transferred onto the right side and with the body coiled ready for action there will only be about twenty per-cent of your weight remaining on the left side. At this time the heel of the left foot may well have come off the ground.

Watson is not the only player to have a powerful swing, Johan Edfors makes sure he has a closed stance to increase his power while Rory McIlroy has a huge shoulder turn to whip the club around.

If you watched Tom Watson in action at the Open in 2009 you'll have instantly spot how a pronounced the lift is with the left heel. He showed that, even at aged 59, he can still rip it out there.

How much the left heel rises is determined by how supple a golfer is and the action is similar to that when a baseball pitcher poised to throw the ball at the batter with the right hand and raises left leg comes off the turf.

To start the golfer's downswing in the correct sequence, the left heel needs to be driven back into its original position. You can practise this without a club and to make it more dynamic it’s best to have a pronounced lift of the left heel on the backswing. The harder you slam the heel back into the ground the more potential speed you generate.

First published December 2009. Updated September 2013.

Want anymore tips? Check out our top guides to...

How to fade your driver
Driving into the wind

A golfer can have a great looking backswing but if the downswing is not started in the correct sequence, power and accuracy is lost. The transition between backswing and downswing is a crucial part of the swing and makes the difference between a great shot and one, which misses the fairways and greens.

Below, check out how Tom Watson uses his heel to create power in this article or look at our Golf's Toughest Drives instructional piece or work on the top driving practice drills for more help.

Start the downswing correctly by learning to plant the left foot. it will help trigger the correct downswing sequence - and give you extra power.

At the top of the backswing your weight should be transferred onto the right side and with the body coiled ready for action there will only be about twenty per-cent of your weight remaining on the left side. At this time the heel of the left foot may well have come off the ground.

Watson is not the only player to have a powerful swing, Johan Edfors makes sure he has a closed stance to increase his power while Rory McIlroy has a huge shoulder turn to whip the club around.

If you watched Tom Watson in action at the Open in 2009 you'll have instantly spot how a pronounced the lift is with the left heel. He showed that, even at aged 59, he can still rip it out there.

How much the left heel rises is determined by how supple a golfer is and the action is similar to that when a baseball pitcher poised to throw the ball at the batter with the right hand and raises left leg comes off the turf.

To start the golfer's downswing in the correct sequence, the left heel needs to be driven back into its original position. You can practise this without a club and to make it more dynamic it’s best to have a pronounced lift of the left heel on the backswing. The harder you slam the heel back into the ground the more potential speed you generate.

First published December 2009. Updated September 2013.

Want anymore tips? Check out our top guides to...

How to fade your driver
Driving into the wind