SI Vault
 
Try your footwork to waltz time
Jack Nicklaus
May 30, 1966
Learning the footwork for a golf swing is a little like learning the waltz. You are attempting to develop tempo and rhythm, and the best way to do it is to go off somewhere by yourself and give it a try: one-two-three, one-two-three. Begin by taking a narrower stance than normal, for this allows you to exaggerate the rocking motion of the feet. Now try a chip-shot swing—with or without a club—and feel how the feet move. Then extend the swing by degrees as you get loosened up, until you eventually are using the body action required for a tee shot. The left foot should be rolling in on the backswing, and the right foot rolling in on the downswing. As your swing gets longer your heels are going to come off the ground slightly, the left heel on the backswing and the right heel on the follow-through, but this should be kept to a minimum. Ideally, it would be better—without disrupting the rest of your swing—if you could keep the left heel on the ground all the time, but I can't. My own left heel lifts when I extend my swing to the four-or five-iron. In addition to helping your footwork, this exercise will also improve your hand action.
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
May 30, 1966

Try Your Footwork To Waltz Time

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue

Learning the footwork for a golf swing is a little like learning the waltz. You are attempting to develop tempo and rhythm, and the best way to do it is to go off somewhere by yourself and give it a try: one-two-three, one-two-three. Begin by taking a narrower stance than normal, for this allows you to exaggerate the rocking motion of the feet. Now try a chip-shot swing—with or without a club—and feel how the feet move. Then extend the swing by degrees as you get loosened up, until you eventually are using the body action required for a tee shot. The left foot should be rolling in on the backswing, and the right foot rolling in on the downswing. As your swing gets longer your heels are going to come off the ground slightly, the left heel on the backswing and the right heel on the follow-through, but this should be kept to a minimum. Ideally, it would be better—without disrupting the rest of your swing—if you could keep the left heel on the ground all the time, but I can't. My own left heel lifts when I extend my swing to the four-or five-iron. In addition to helping your footwork, this exercise will also improve your hand action.

1