What football and golf have in common, according to a Top 100 Teacher

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Football and golf have more in common than you may think.

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Despite what the naysayers proclaim, golf is indeed a sport. Although it may not incorporate the fast-paced nature of others, golf still fits the definition of a sport and is played by some of the best athletes in the world. And despite not being as fast-paced as others, having talent in other sports can vastly improve your golf game.

That’s the theme of this week’s Home Practice series — incorporating skills from another sport, specifically football, to improve your golf game. You won’t be tackling any competitors on the course any time soon (unless you’re Happy Gilmore), but football still has many aspects that can assist your golf game.

Watch the videos below as GOLF Top 100 Teacher Brian Mogg explains how to incorporate football skills into your game.

Quarterback arms

Although a quarterback taking a snap from under center is becoming more and more rare, it still does happen on occasion. Next time you see your favorite team’s quarterback taking a snap under center, observe his posture. Knees bent, arms away from his body with plenty of freedom to make an athletic move. This is the kind of posture you should strive for when setting up to the golf ball.

“You want to be in a position where you’ve got natural space in between your hand and your legs,” Mogg says. “Your hands are outside your shoulders, never under … Now I’ve got all this room to swing with a big arc.” 

If you can mimic the setup position of a quarterback under center, you’ll have plenty of room to make a full turn for a powerful and athletic swing.

Inside path

Whenever a kicker lines up for a kick, you’ll notice they are typically a little offset from the ball. As they approach the ball, they come from the inside and swing their leg on an in-to-out path. This is very similar to the path you want you clubhead on as it comes into the ball.

“Just as I go to lead with my right heel, the golf swing is the same way,” Mogg says. “I want to get my path coming down. I want to lead from my right heel staying inside my toe to reinforce that inside path.”

If you can match up you club path to that of a kicker, you’ll be on the correct swing plane and on track for solid contact.

Club support

Next time you see a quarterback wind up to make a throw, notice the position of his right arm. It will typically be in a nice L-shape behind him as he supports the ball and makes a throw. This position puts him in a place where he can put all of his leverage, power and speed into it. It’s a position you want to mimic at the top of your backswing as you support the club.

“You want that right arm to be in position to support the club,” Mogg says. “My right arm supports the club. My right hand is under the club. When you swing back, mimic what the quarterbacks are doing … This is an athletic move.”

Try to think of yourself like a quarterback when you make a backswing and you’ll definitely be in an athletic position to start down toward the ball.

Balance

You shouldn’t be running very much on the course, but you do want to be in an athletic position during your swing. Look at the way a linebacker lines up as the play is about to start. Knees bent and on the balls of his feet as he prepares to make chase one way or the other. That balance is something you want to have in your swing.

“Great balance allows for great movement,” Mogg says. “When I get over my shot, I need to be on the balls of my feet. I want to make sure my center — my nose to my sternum — is between my knees … When I get over my shot, I want to make sure my shoulders and knees match.”

If you can find this balance that is seen in football and other sports, you’ll be in position to hit great shots.

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Golf.com Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF.com, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and is the staff’s self-appointed development tour “expert.”