Everyone wants to hit the ball a long way, especially junior golfers. They’re enamored with the idea of launching the ball higher and further. However more often than not certain elements in their golf swing don’t allow them to take full advantage of their athleticism as well as they should. A very common fault I see not just in juniors but in many amateur golfers is the excessive movement of the lead knee (left knee if you’re a right-handed golfer) during the backswing.
Most amateurs that come visit me at the Joey D Golf Sports Training Center are committed to working hard and making a change. Since our goal is to find the simplest most efficient movements that the human body can perform we get right to work. Let’s go over what this knee should be doing and clarify a couple of things.
I’ll use my student Heidi Wenzel as an example, Heidi’s a young golfer and a great athlete who has had the common fault of letting her lead knee dip downwards and move out towards the ball during her backswing.
If we look at her setup position (above) notice how both her knees are on the same level – demonstrated by the green line.
Instead, Heidi hung on her left (lead) side and failed to create power at the top of her swing. With her upper body being so far in front of the ball she was unable to generate the speed necessary to hit the ball the distance that she was truly capable of. It also affected her ability to return the club face back to the ball in a square manner which affected her direction.
What we worked hard on was helping her maintain her knees at the same level during her backswing. (below)
Why was this important? If you notice in image 2 when Heidi lets her lead knee move too much she’s unable to load properly onto her right (trail) side. By keeping her knees as level as possible it allows her to load properly onto her right side and be in a much more powerful position at the top of her swing. From this position, she can now generate power and speed and increase the likelihood of returning the club face back to square every time.
Many people will say that they are not flexible enough to turn that much or strong enough to hold certain positions in the golf swing. To that, I always say, “Let’s get to work then”. The worst thing I can do is give someone a band-aid fix, I refuse to do that. Working with top athletes I see commitment day in and day out. Golf is no different than any other sport. It requires us to maintain our physical condition as best we can in order to perform out on the course. I much rather help them create more mobility, strength, flexibility, and stability than just giving them a temporary fix, especially my junior golfers.
If you’re interested in working with me and the team at Joey D Golf follow the instructions here.
About Marvin’s Student.
Heidi Wenzel is 16 years-old and attends The Kings Academy in West Palm Beach, Florida. “I’ve been around golf for about 8 years now. I would go with my dad to courses to mess around, but grew an even greater interest in it my freshman year in high school. I love to challenge myself in all aspects of life, so golf is the perfect sport for me personally. It’s taught me patience, pace, and confidence. I hope one day to go pro and play for as long as possible!”
Marvin Sangüesa is a PGA Professional Golf Coach based at the Joey D Golf Sports Training Center in Jupiter, Florida.
More information about Marvin Sangüesa is available on his website www.marvinsanguesa.com and on Youtube where he posts regular instructional videos. You can also follow Marvin online on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram.