Jack Nicklaus Golf Tip: Open Your Back Foot for More Windup

Illustration by Jim McQueen

Illustration by Jim McQueen

Have you ever heard a golfer blame his rear foot for a mis-hit? The fact that you almost certainly haven’t does not mean that its role in shotmaking is unimportant.

For normal shots, the ideal positioning of the rear foot is either square to the target line or slightly toed out. This promotes a low takeaway along the target line for the first several inches and sound lower-body action starting down.

When seeking to hit the ball longer and higher, however, a small adjustment in this area can be a big help, in two ways:

  • Angling the back foot farther away from the target line promotes a fuller and more powerful upper-body coil going back, while preserving balance.
  • On the downswing, it helps keep the body behind the ball, promoting a shallow, sweeping impact that results in solidly struck, longer shots.

Experiment during practice to discover the exact alignment that works best for you.

Next week’s topic: Adjust Your Left Foot for Stronger Uncoil.

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