Golf Swing – Left Knee Movement is a Key

Hi, Robin here. I want to talk a little bit
about the way your left leg, particularly your left knee and your left foot works during
the backswing. In recent years you’ve seen a lot of players, and instruction focusing
on really restricting the left side. The left knee, the left thigh, providing a lot of restriction.
Now, in my opinion, if you have a lot of flexibility, you’re almost hyper-mobile, this can work
quite well for you. But for most players out there, I think that’s really not a good idea.
It really doesn’t encourage a good wind up in the backswing, and it definitely doesn’t
encourage a free flowing or very instinctive good transition. I like to see players having a little resistance
at the start of the swing, but then as they complete their backswing, the rotation that
is working down through the shoulders into the stomach into the hips and into the legs
allows your left knee to work across. As you can see I put a stick here. It’s a good way
for you to get a feeling for this. I see a lot of players when I work on this initially
with them is that they move their knee right at the beginning. So, what I want you to get
a sense of is a little of resistance at the start, but then as you wind up you let that
rotation pull your left knee across. Your left knee moves in from your foot, you’ll
feel a little bit of a rolling effect of the left foot. You might almost feel like your
left heel comes off the ground or has a very light pressure on the ground. Now what I find when I see players do this
is, is from here to very instinctive transition, the left hip transitions itself back over
the left foot almost automatically. The pressure goes into the ground under the left foot almost
automatically. The lower body is leading the downswing. There’s a little bit of separation
between lower body and upper body. Again, fairly naturally so, for me say not unless
you’re hyper-mobile, this is a much better left leg movement. Don’t focus too much on
overly restricting the left side. Now, this stick, is a good way to get a feeling
for this movement in the backswing. It’s very difficult to hit shots because then when you
come through in the follow through your right leg will want to hit it. So get the feeling
in the backswing first of all with this drill, develop the sense, take the stick out, go
ahead and try to repeat the same feelings. I think this can help you strike the ball
more solid, get in more clubhead speed, and definitely improve swing plane issues. Anybody
who’s coming over the top getting steep, this movement is going to help your lower body
lead the downswing. Again, that’s going to help a straighter shot but also more solid
with more distance.

43 thoughts on “Golf Swing – Left Knee Movement is a Key

  • Yes. Great video. I started doing this after seeing one of your earlier videos a few months ago and it has made a huge difference. At times though I get lazy and tend to roll away too early in the take away, usually leading to inconsistent shots.

  • Dosn't the left knee moving promote too much lateral slide? I find I get too far left and lose my pivot point….pulls, pushes, flipping

  • hi robin , I am a 15 handicapper and its been 10 days since I am feeling my left knee stiff in rotating I mean I cant bend it to the normal extent and rotate it normal ..will that be a problem for me ?

  • good advice, thanks.
    could you advise how the weight moves to the ball of left foot and heel ? i have heard that during the downswing the weight should shift to the heels to counterbalance weight and force of the club head.

  • Just a thing….when you show to let the lower body lead the down swing…. it would be another subject, but why not have your right elbow in the correct position when you demonstrate this movement,
    one of the last things I learned late, was to the keeping in of the right elbow and of its importance…. just saying

  • Robin..I like your vids..they are not too wordy..presenting so much to remember that it's tedious and boring!…thanks for your clear, concise and memorable lessons!

  • Having taken golf up as an adult, unlike most of you pros who started as kids,i have taken your thoughts one step further! I start the swing with a powerful but small turn of my hips legs ankles feet! against the ground then let the body arms flow. this is the complete opposite of when i first started golf but has improved my golf tremendously,i think that when pros learnt golf as kids they had to use this sequence using their strong muscles but maybe cant feel it anymore. to conclude, for me it feels an early strong powerful move but when veiwed face on looks hardly anything just the classic squat infact beginning to think 90% of backswing done by the time club is at 8 oclock! hope this makes some sense.

  • I'm amateur as they come but love golf like a religion. All I can contribute is from experimenting different concepts (as flexible as I like to think I am) my swing is so much more in sync from not restricting left side like you have said. I suppose many pros are over flexible & can still get to the top of the swing easily with restricting….for example Anthony Kim is all torque with a restricted left side perfect for him! Cheers Robin for helping my game with all the '1 percenters'. Can I ask you if you could put me onto a video that shows the feeling or position my wrists/hands should be in at the top, I use a strong left grip & my right is weaker like the right palm equals club face at set up.

  • Probably the number one thing average golfers are missing, weight shift, Arms move but they don't realize how to get on one side of the body to the other. without it you can't load up and will never have any real power in your swing, best example to get the idea is watching a batter, he lifts his leg pulls all his weight to the right side then steps in to hit a is no different..except we pivot off the left foot and dip the knee to shift…if you can do that…you will hit a golf ball like you never hit a golf ball before….good video..but you need to drive home the point..that without weight shift you don't have a golf swing you're just hitting with your arms…no pop and compression.

  • here'w what I think. I stopped a lot of left knee movement, I used to bring it closer to my right knee to start off with.
    Pro's do dip the left knee, but they don't seem to bring it closer to the right knee.
    Is that pretty much what you are trying to achieve here?

  • Excellent video. I have been working on quieting my lower body during my swing. I noticed resisting with my left knee a bit during the backswing helps promote weight shift and improves impact. Watch the lower body movements by amateurs on the range and the pro's on TV. Marked difference. There is something important here.

  • I've always been told to push my knee out and not in and I always tried to do that but I can't get turned deep into my backswing – so I always turned my left knee in versus out and I was always told it was wrong – now after watching this, I don't feel so bad.

  • You have a teaching style that really works for me, Robin. I am a few weeks in on this movement and have seen quite an improvement of my lower body action, and my turn, because of it. Thank you.

  • Like another reader said "I figured this out on my own but you confirmed it".Thanks. It makes a huge difference for me.

  • Interesting, how many PGA Tour events have you won with this technique? Sam Snead (82 PGA Tour Victories) adopted a one piece takeaway where everything went back together in sync; right leg has to stay firm at all times so that the right hip rotates and does not sway laterally.

  • I struggle mightily with this issue. I notice my left knee actually moves towards the target in the backswing. I have to be extremely conscious of it, but it still creeps in.

  • I feel like I"m getting golf instruction from Ian Poulter! … That's a definite compliment btw. Thank you!!

  • Thanks for explaining the left knee movement in the backswing. Can you explain how it works in the downswing as well?

  • This drill will really help keep a nice Rhythm as well.Your videos are aimed toward those of us seeking information in this format.I like that they are to the point and simply explained.

  • Very nice thank you! But it seems that weight is going on outer side of right foot and hips are overturning in backswing. Looks like right knee and hip is almost collapsing in backswing. Then a big slide with hips in start of downswing. Is this really correct? Best Regards.

  • This video has validated the problems I have been having in my golf swing. I had a serious knee injury and resultant surgery about 20 years ago. Although my knee has been repaired, I realize that I subconsciously limited the left knee rotation (flex and rotation behind the ball) for many years. It took some courage to regain this full movement but it has freed me up finally. The lack of rotation caused many problems… I took the club outside and up, with limited rotation and it caused the downswing to be full of compensations. Once I allow the knee to move back, I can easily coil, I can bring the club inside and because I rotated the left knee back I can now shift my weight and rotate back through on the downswing. Thanks Robin !!

  • From a learning process point of view, I think it very much depends on the golfer experience.
    Assuming we are decomposing the swing development of a new golf learner into a roadmap…
    I do think learning to minimize the left leg movement is a first step, prior to talking about transition which indeed requires more ample movement of the left leg.
    Any thoughts, if that make sense?

  • If your looking for a "magic" golf tip, this is it! You will be hitting the ball so solidly. For me, I do think about starting the downswing with left knee moving back over the foot. Works great!

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