Golf : The Importance of Lower Body Stability
Lower body stability is an important element in the golf swing as it encourages a solid platform from which you can then complete a balanced golf swing.
A good foundation is the starting point for an effective swing that allows you to coil around your upper body and return the golf club to the ball with maximum power. Watch some recreational golfers who play only occasionally and you will notice that a common fault among them is a lack of lower body stability.
Although many professional golfers will allow their front foot to lift from the ground in the backswing, this is different from the common amateur flaw where the front leg collapses inward on the backswing, resulting in a loss of firmness in the stance. Keeping the front foot connected in the stance is vital if you want to gain maximum coil. This is because the legs provide the basis for a backswing where the lower body gives you the necessary resistance to create a backswing that is full and yet in control. This produces torque, which in turn allows you to swing through the ball with full power.
Generally speaking, it is recommended that your feet be approximately shoulder width apart for the driver and reducing as you move down into the short irons. Too many golfers have a stance that is too narrow and therefore reduces the steadiness in the stance. Widening the stance slightly should give a greater feeling of stability, a more solid foundation from which to start the backswing.
The other extreme, a stance that is too wide can also have a detrimental effect on the quality of your swing. A stance that is too wide will leave you feeling restricted and unable to complete the backswing properly. Your stance has to be comfortable with being too loose or too tight, allowing you to take the club back freely. Lower body stability is essential for a good golf swing and this applies all the way from the driver down to the short irons and even the putter. When you have a stance that is firm and rooted, this should result in a golf swing that is balanced and powerful.
When you take your stance, make sure it feels natural and comfortable. Think in terms of a soccer goalkeeper waiting to face a penalty kick and this should give you some idea of what a good stance should feel like. Avoid rocking forward on your toes or back on your heels. Keep the stance solid and balanced and you can be sure it will lead to a balanced and natural swing.