Foot back for more turn
There's a trendy new swing move at the PNC and older golfers should take note
ORLANDO — Time comes for us all, and it's especially cruel to golfers.
As we get older, our body naturally sheds two things: muscle mass and flexibility. By some estimates, by the age of 70 we lose, on average, about 30 percent of the range of motion. And worse yet, not each area of our body is affected equally. Some muscles, like our shoulders and hips, tighten up even more.
Given that those muscles are crucial in generating the kind of backswing turn that creates powerful drives, it puts older golfers in a real predicament.
But true to form, the legends in the field have figured out a way of staving off the effects of tight hips: dropping their right foot back at setup.
Nick Price is among the players in the field doing it. Looking at his setup, you can see that his right foot is more behind him than his left. This has the effect of sending his footline out to the right, relative to where his clubface is aiming, as you can see below.
Trail foot back for more hip turn
By positioning your trail foot like this, you're opening your hip joints in the opposite direction, the 65-year-old says, which will make it easier to turn your hips. You're effectively giving them a head start, so you have to do less work when your swing actually starts.
"It gives your hips a little kick start," Price said. "My ability to turn with my hips has gotten so much less over the years. I need that extra power, and this helps."
For Price, it also helps him get his swing back into a position where it was in his prime.
"I always felt I hit the ball at my best when my upper and lower body were moving in unison," he says. "When I couldn't make a full turn with my hips on the way back, they would spin out on the way through. My upper and lower body weren't working together."
Price is far from the only player in the field doing it. Tiger Woods will drop his trail foot more behind him when he's reaching for a little extra distance. Nick Faldo has been practicing the move, too, as has Lee Trevino.
"I'm like a lot of the older guys. We drop our foot back to get a bigger turn," he says. "We start hitting draws. I abandoned my fade a long time ago."
It's a means to an end, Trevino says. A simple solution to a problem plaguing their distance. And one which, perhaps, will give us a glimpse of these legends swinging back to their very best.