Struggle with distance? Keep your trail foot down and extend your trail leg more at impact

By GolfTEC Digital

While a golfer’s swing is as individual to them as their own fingerprint, a common challenge we’ve seen across the board after millions of golf lessons taught at GolfTEC — one causing a loss of power and consistency — is poor use of the lower body.

Trail foot down at impact common problem
The trail heel lifting and leg bending too early in the downswing can lead to loss of distance and poor contact

Golfers often tend to focus only on what the hands and arms are doing during the swing. But as our SwingTRU Motion Study has proven through data analyzed from thousands of golf swings, how the lower body moves is an integral component to good ball striking as well.

So, GolfTEC’s Patrick Nuber is back in the video below illustrating how a key mistake in this area — the trail leg bending and foot lifting too early in the downswing — can be drastically improved with a simple drill.

Explained simply, this common problem moves the hips too much toward the ball and away from the target at impact. This wastes the transfer of energy and leverage from the ground needed to create maximum power. It also creates contact issues because the hands and arms often then get out of position, and must compensate to hit a good shot.

What we want instead, as Nuber shows, is to feel like the hips move toward the target in the downswing along with a more straightened trail leg. This creates more power from the ground, and better consistency with contact from an ideal position of the hands and arms.

So, as he illustrates with his Trail Foot Down at Impact Drill, keeping your trail foot down longer in the downswing through impact, and trail leg straighter while moving it more toward the target, can be a great step toward improvement. 

So, take a look at this key move at impact for more power and consistency in your golf swing!


VIDEO: Create more power by keeping your trail foot down at impact


Trail Foot Down at Impact Drill

This drill is very simple and can be practiced nearly anywhere. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A mid-length iron
  • Enough space to make slow, half-swings

Your goal is to keep your trail foot on the ground as long as possible through the point of contact, while also feeling your trail leg straightening and moving toward the target along with your hips.

As Nuber illustrates in the animations below, you can see this move done correctly on the left, and incorrectly on the right.

Notice on the left how he maintains his posture through impact and the follow-through, compared to the right where his hips move in and toward the ball, from the bent trail leg and raised trail heel. This improper movement illustrated on the right is a common contributor to both fat and thin shots, and the dreaded “over-the-top” move with little power so many golfers struggle with.

Right foot down at impact side by side final GIF

As you get more comfortable demonstrating this movement at impact with the slow, half swings prescribed, work up to full swings and you’ll be hitting longer, more consistent shots on the golf course in no time!


Not sure if this drill is right for you? Find a GolfTEC near you and talk to a Coach who can help today!

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