Question: Golf Swing Takeaway
Any drills to help a student whose left knee collapses when he is at the top of his backswing?
D.C. - USA
Thank you for sending in such a great question. It is amazing how many elements there are to a golf swing. These elements can be simplified or made more difficult. Hopefully this lesson will simplify the movement of the left knee, as it does play an important role in a solid golf swing.
If a players left knee breaks down it is usually during the backswing. The key to maintaining your knees, which leads to great footwork, is to maintain the space between your knees. Start by taking your address your position and taking a peak down to see the distance between your left and right knee. This space should be maintained right until the the finish position of your golf swing.
Sometimes a swing thought can be the most effective way of learning a new swing move. When the left knee collapses on the backswing it will usually ends up pointing at your right foot. This will shrink the space between your knees and will lead to poor balance.
Think:"Point your left knee at your golf ball."
Stabilize your golf swing by pointing your left knee at your ball during your backswing. By making this move you will improve both your footwork and your hip turn.
1) Hip Turn
At the end of the swing thought piece I mentioned the hip turn. The left knee break down can be a result of an improper hip turn. One of the key differences between a good and bad golf swing takeaway/backswing is how you make your turn, specifically with your hips.
You have all heard how you need to shift your weight onto your back foot during your backswing. There are many people who shift all their weight (upper and lower body) onto the back foot which causes their hips to slide sideways. This causes the right hip to pop out and up. When this happens the left knee will fold towards the right foot. It is very hard to recover from this position to hit a solid shot.
The key is to allow you hips to turn. One way to feel this action is to feel your right pants/shorts pocket go straight behind you. A quick drill is to take your golf stance and pinch the edge of your pocket with your right hand, then simply pull your pocket straight back behind you. This will give you the feel of the hip turn.
By creating the proper turn you will then only get the weight of your upper body moving towards your back foot and this will help keep the left knee from collapsing.
2) Ball-Knee Drill
The next drill is to take a basketball and stick it between your knees. Once in place take your golf stance and make your backswing. The ball will help you make the right rotation and maintain the space between your knees. Maintaining this space is necessary for great balance in a golf swing.
Please remember that a swing change does not happen overnight. Try to do one of the drills for at least 15-20 minutes per day. Unfortunately it is hard to suggest how many days to do these drills. All I can say is to take the number of days it takes you to feel perfectly comfortable with the movement and then do the drill for 5 times as many days.
Thank you for your great question regarding the collapsing left knee and the golf swing takeaway. I hope you found this answer helpful. If you have anymore questions please send them in by clicking below.
Kris at free-golf-lessons.com