Left Heel

I see a few players new and old who lift their left heel off of the ground during the backswing then replant it on the downswing. What do you all feel are the benefits/negatives of this move?

I feel it helps me make a better backswing and helps me use my lower body (ground forces) more on the downswing. Also seems to sequence the downswing better and doest let me to get to fast.

Nothing wrong with lifting the left heel off the ground. I would suggest it is better to be pulled of while maintaining a cohesive structure in the abdominal area and legs. Nicklaus was quite a lifter and won a lot of nice golf tournaments.

From The Vault


Can’t argue with that. The caveat to Lag’s answer is a big one though. When club golfers lift the left heel it is normally due to a loss of the leg structure and posture in general. If your left heel is raising I would check that your stability isn’t compromised.

Somehow I like the explanation of the left heel in this Peter Kostis vid:


IMO heavy versus light equipment had a huge influence in the body movements and how to use the ground…


The “Von” was a huge fan of lifting the left heel.

He told me once that he gave David Graham the tip of lifting the left heel just prior to him winning the US Open at Merion


A good lecture by Kostis. Thanks for posting.

He sure is spot on about shoulder rotation being the #1 factor in a golfer’s longevity. I would add that it is not just backswing rotational range of motion but post impact as well.

He makes a lot of similar points I would make… particularly about persimmon. Most people would whiff the ball half the time if they played one. I agree. If you can’t hit persimmon, then you don’t have a good golf swing in my opinion. Don’t use it as a crutch. Make sure you can play good with one, and if you choose a modern driver, then learning the precision from persimmon play would only be beneficial, even in the power game. Obviously I feel conditioning is very important, and not to forget the swing principals of the past generations.

I do sense a lot of these bigger spokesmen of the game would like to rip the USGA… but they don’t to protect their image or status in the game. I do lose a bit of respect for them when they don’t… meaning when I sense they really feel otherwise.
A little more integrity and backbone would be a good thing.