Jim McLean is a leading authority in the world of golf instruction and has used his innovative teaching methodology, known as the X Factor, to strengthen the games of Major champions like Lexi Thompson and Keegan Bradley. In this month’s guest blog, he explains why a lack of stability in your feet can put your swing in dangerous territory he calls the “Death Move”.
Nothing in golf can match the exhilaration of striking a long, straight drive with a slight draw down the center of the fairway. But what’s the secret to consistently smashing that perfect shot? Footwork and ground connection.
In golf, mastering footwork is a crucial element that often goes overlooked. Just like in any other sport, a strong connection with the ground is essential for achieving success. Poor footwork can lead to an over-reliance on arm strength and upper body movement, which ultimately hampers the golfer's ability to strike the ball effectively.
Footwork goes well beyond your set-up—it’s about the efficient transfer of weight through the arc of your swing, but also about the movement of your body in relation to your feet. To go back to basics: through the downswing your weight centers in your trail foot (your right foot if you’re a right- handed golfer), then transfers to your lead foot for striking and follow-through. The key to real success is stability through your core—even though your legs are working through a large range of motion, the movement in your head and chest is minimal, leaving you centered over the ball. I regularly see golfers who attempt to keep their head down while shifting their weight to the trail leg. But without proper balance, this almost always leads to a lower body sway and weight shifting to the outside of the trail foot, rather than remaining centered and stable.
This common mistake, which I refer to as the "Death Move," severely limits rotational movement and has a catastrophic negative impact on the power potential of any golfer.
Why do I recommend SQAIRZ to my players struggling with the Death Move? Because their design allows the toes to spread naturally in the shoe, providing exceptional stability to the lower body during weight shift. SQAIRZ optimize a golfer's ability to transition weight (and pressure) seamlessly, facilitating a powerful coil within the swing.
This is precisely what we strive for when teaching a strong and effective golf swing–the perfect combination of kinetic force and stability. Often golfers are coached to keep their heads down, but you’ll notice that Tour professional golfers do not keep their heads completely frozen in place during the backswing coil, (except for specific situations like wedge or chip shots). On longer shots, where power is crucial, their heads naturally move as the weight shifts into the trail side, creating an opportunity to unleash a powerful drive. While nothing will take you from hacker to Pro immediately, the right choice of golf shoes can make a significant difference in achieving this optimal weight transfer and rotational golf footwork—this is what I like to refer to as the SQAIRZ advantage.
For the average player, finding balance in a full golf swing (especially with your driver), can be an ongoing challenge. But with SQAIRZ shoes, I’ve seen golfers experience the benefits of a footwear solution that enhances stability, allowing them to feel confident as they execute a world-class backswing. SQAIRZ shoes offer a distinct advantage to players looking to elevate their game. The significance of proper footwork in golf cannot be overstated. It is the foundation upon which a successful swing is built.
Stay connected with Jim McLean:YouTube @McLeanGolf, Instagram @McLeanGolf, Twitter @McLeanGolf, website: www.JimMcLean.com