ONE of the swing’s most repeated axioms is to retain the right or trail knee’s set-up flex through the backswing. The theory is that it lets you retain your set-up height and angles.
Not only is that theory flawed because retaining trail knee flex can actually hurt your swing, but it also tends to kill hip turn.
When the trail hip can’t turn back inside, you have to lift the club up – putting the club outside the ideal plane and setting up a slicing attack on the ball.
Here is a drill to help you feel a better hip rotation that allows that back leg to straighten. Repeat the drill until the hip turn begins to feel more comfortable. When you feel ready, bring those same sensations into your regular backswing. Check your position three-quarters of the way back.
Look for your arms swinging much more readily inside the ball target line.
The lead arm, which runs parallel to the ball-target line in a restricted, flexed-knee backswing, should now point out to the right of the target. From this wider, deeper position you can coil correctly and attack the ball from the inside – the path to a powerful and repeatable draw.
Take your normal set-up posture. Now place a golf club between your legs, its shaft running behind the lead thigh (left for right-handers) and in front of your trail thigh. Apply some gentle pressure to the back-leg thigh.
Now, simply pull the head of the club back. Increase the pressure so the hips start to turn. Let that trailing knee straighten. Feel how your torso makes a much freer rotation, with no loss to your set-up height and angles.
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