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There are a number of websites giving advice about causes of fat shots. However, I am experiencing a very bizarre "bug" in my golf swing: I keep lifting my left knee so that I end up on my left toes at impact (with the majority of my weight on my right side). This is causing fat shots which are landing about 4 - 5 inches behind the ball.

It is easy to say "well, stop raising your left foot!" and indeed that would fix the problem. Unfortunately, it happens instinctively and I cannot control it. Perhaps this is just a symptom rather than the cause.

Can anyone give any drills for curing this jumping left foot of mine? A mental image or exercise to ensure correct weight transfer from right to left on the downswing would be good.

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4 Answers 4

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This is tough to judge without actually seeing you, but I'll give you the best advice I can.

First off, let's look at posture at address. Do you line up your ball in between your front heel and the middle of your stance? Is a majority of your weight on your back foot at address? At address, I suggest your weight to be even.

Next, at your end of your backswing, some golfers prefer to be on their toes of their front foot. My feet stay quiet during the swing, so I do not do this. However, when these golfers start their downswing, they slam their heel to the ground. Perhaps you can do this to work on your "bug" and your timing between backswing and downswing. Also, weight transfer goes from middle - back foot at the end of your backswing to the front foot at the beginning of your downswing.

Furthermore, at impact, more weight should be on your front foot than your back foot. During practice, I would lean into your shots. This forces the front foot to have more weight on it. If you're feeling adventurous, then I would look into the Stack and Tilt, which preaches 90% weight on the front foot at impact to promote hitting the ball first. I do not personally recommend Stack and Tilt, but it may work for you.

More or less, focus on having weight on your front foot from the start of the downswing and through impact...hit the ball before you hit turf. You will notice that this is only possible if you have more weight on your front foot than your back.

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Went out today with the thought of "slam left foot down" on every shot and didn't chunk a single one on the front 9 – thanks! (I also put a lot of thought into restricting wrist break – my backswing is too long – and keeping the wrist arch straight / square, which might have influenced things as well) –  fommil Sep 3 '12 at 19:32

I'm a fan of the Stack and Tilt swing, which I learned primarily from the book. While you don't have to entirely switch to S&T, some of their pointers might help. I'm assuming you are a right handed golfer. Switch things around if not.

Start with more weight forward (say 65% or more) and try to move the weight even further as the swing progresses. They suggest doing this by straightening the right leg on the back swing.

One drill they recommend is placing an empty soda can under your left foot and trying to crush it on the down swing.

Another drill is to swing with your left eye closed. You shouldn't lose sight of the ball. That will also keep your weight forward.

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Thanks for the tip – I've now read about "Stack and Tilt" and frankly I don't see what they are adding to the golf swing that is supposed to be novel. Compare to Nicklaus' Golf My Way. I tend to put more weight on my left side when I get to the higher lofted clubs, but this initial distribution seems to make no difference to fat shot frequency. –  fommil Sep 2 '12 at 16:49
    
@fommil, I hear the same argument all the time. That there really isn't much new to S&T. I'm fairly new to golf, so I haven't been through all the older material. –  mikeazo Sep 2 '12 at 18:10
    
S&T preaches ball contact first. It is important to point out that pro golfers (Aaron Baddeley, Mike Weir, for example) who have tried it have switched back to a traditional golf swing. S&T restricts hip movement, which restricts power. –  edmastermind29 Sep 2 '12 at 23:32
    
ball contact first isn't anything new either – but restricting hip movement would be a minor modification. I get most of my strength from my hips, so I'll not be touching this approach. –  fommil Sep 3 '12 at 19:30
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Just wondering...does any swing philosophy not promote ball contact first? –  edmastermind29 Sep 3 '12 at 23:34

If you are looking for a drill to help you keep your left foot down through impact here is a simple one. Practice hitting shots while balancing on only your left foot. Start with a wedge (preferrable a pittching wedge or 9 iron) and make very small swings not trying to hit it very hard. Focus only on hitting it solid.

As you progress, start making more full swings. Also, focus your mind on hitting the front of the ball. You want your divot to start just in front of the ball for any irons.

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A simple, easy tip to stop you ending up on your toes on your left foot is to place a golf ball under the front of your left foot. This will stop you from raising your heel and ending up on your toes.

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