What’s the proper footwork in the golf swing? Here’s how it should look

Chris Ryan shows what the proper footwork in the golf swing should look like, giving players a more fluid motion for better ball contact

Because your footwork plays a crucial role in how well you hit the golf ball.

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Many amateurs think that the golf swing is only made up of what happens above the hips. Just because we use our arms and back to rotate through the shot doesn’t mean that our feet aren’t just as important when it comes to hitting the ball effectively.

But what should the proper footwork in the golf swing look like? To answer that question, instructor Chris Ryan provides some tips in the video below, focusing on the positioning of your feet and how they work in unison with the hips to produce a fluid golf swing.

Check out the video below, and then scroll down to see some written advice to determine the proper footwork in the golf swing. Better shot results should soon follow.

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The proper footwork in the golf swing

In the video, Ryan says the first thing he’d like to see as an instructor is for a player to simply hit a shot with a high iron. After hitting the ball, Ryan says he wants to see the front toe (on the left foot for right-handed players) just a little bit off the ground.

Next, he points out how his back heel (the right foot for right-handed players) is also raised off the ground. He adds that that same foot is angled to the inside of his body (which you can see in the photo below).

These should be the three checkpoints that a player is aware of when it comes to their footwork in the golf swing.

Ryan demonstrates the proper footwork with the front and back feet. YouTube/ChrisRyanGolf

In order to get the feet to these points, Ryan says a player must move their hips in a “pretty functional manner” both at impact and at post-impact. This means having them slightly forward and slightly rotated.

“I’m going to shift my pelvis towards the target, and I’m going to keep it forward as I add some rotation,” Ryan adds. “As I add some rotation, we start to see those things happening in the feet — my lead toe starts to raise up, my trail heel starts to raise up, and my trail foot starts to bank in. All because of what my hips have done.”

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While this should be what the proper footwork in the golf swing looks like, Ryan knows that some amateurs may struggle with having these three elements work together. He offers a common issue: Because the pelvis is often too far back and under-rotated.

“We know that, if those hips and the pelvis move correctly, that’s generally reflected in what the feet are doing. That’s really, really important,” he says. “Improving what your feet do won’t always give you great results, but improving what your pelvis and your hips do really can have some positive effects on your whole golf swing and through impact.

“A golfer who has good hip action is also generally going to have good footwork; and they’re generally going to have good impact conditions where they’re striking the ball well.”

So for players searching for the proper footwork in the golf swing, Ryan says it all starts with the hips and pelvis. When both are rotated properly, they will influence your feet, which will help produce a better ball strike.

Nick Dimengo

Golf.com Editor