Another “Using The Ground” Flying Foot Myth – Debunked

I got an email from a WAX Nation reader (hey there, R.H.) who had asked me about a video he watched where the “pro” move is to have the hands moving upward at impact, creating a more level or shallower “swing bottom,” to increase consistency in ball-striking.

I actually don’t disagree with this analysis, but my disagreement is in the implication that it takes a special move or manipulation in order to do this.

It doesn’t, and this also would apply to the “flying foot syndrome” golfers who are being excused by analysts on TV when their leading foot flies around at impact (the analysts can’t figure out how to eliminate it or what causes it, so they have to praise it as a great thing to do or worse, they actually think it’s a great thing).

Witness:


In that regard, the “flying foot” seen above is described at times as “using the ground,” which is ridiculous, we all know.

You’ll also however be told that by having the leading foot leave the ground at impact, it raises the hands at impact and creates the upward attack angle with the driver.

So, you do want the hands moving upward at impact, but it requires no “flying foot,” nor any other special move other than swinging with a proper setup and mechanics.

I have the proof from a nearly-three-year-old swing gif. I created for reasons I don’t remember – it was likely to show the effectiveness of an upward attack angle on the ball with the driver, and it is here below, from August 2015:


As you can see, the yellow dots marking where my right hand is at each given frame show that at impact, my hands are moving upward, and that’s without any special manipulation or “flying foot syndrome” move.

And it doesn’t matter if I’m swinging the driver or the irons/wedges which have a descending impact (the face strikes the ball first, then the turf), because as we all know, the MCS setup has the hands in the same position of stance for all clubs!

So, impact would happen with my hands in roughly the same spot, and there you would have the effect of a shallow swing bottom, giving one more consistency and room for error when hitting balls with the iron or wedge.

I’m not a PGA Tour player, so the fact that my hands are moving upwards at impact is not a secret “pro” move, just the effect of having set up with the MCS address and ball position, and simply swinging down and through from the top.

Another myth debunked.

The “Flying Foot Syndrome” is mainly caused, I’ve said many times, by the swinger failing to release the trailing foot through impact and the follow-through, so the leading foot has to jump and turn to avoid injury to the players’ lower body (ankle, knee, hip or lower back) because trying to swing with both feet nailed to the ground to the very finish is very, very dangerous (think “Reverse-C Finish”).

So if the trailing foot isn’t going to release to permit the hip turn to the finish, the leading foot will:


I showed this move in Patrick Reed’s swing after he won the Masters, and it’s a compensation for a swing flaw, that being the failure to shift completely to the leading foot and release the trailing.

You can have great players who have this flaw, because as I’ve said, you don’t need a perfect swing to play good or great golf – but there is no reason to try to emulate the flying feet of the guys who aren’t releasing their trailing foot.

Golf instructors are always talking about the swing as similar to throwing something – now tell me, would you throw a ball hard with the footwork shown above, or would you do it more like this below:


This is why the MCS swing model has the release of the trailing foot as an essential component, either with the “short-stop slide” or with the “step-around” demonstrated by the late great long-driving Mike Dunaway above, and what I’m doing below a few weeks ago:


If you set up with the proper MCS Golf Swing setup and follow the correct mechanics, you’ll get the hands going upward at impact, and you won’t have to worry about if you’re doing it consciously – it will simply happen.

And forget about the “flying foot,” which is nothing more than poor weight transfer and footwork.


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4 thoughts on “Another “Using The Ground” Flying Foot Myth – Debunked

  1. Mike Divot

    Classic instance of “cargo cult science”.

    “I see this guy doing this move, so if I do that same move, I wlil get the same results as him.”

    TV golf experts seem particularly prone to this.

    1. D Watts Post author

      Reminiscent of the magazines’ always featuring the latest major tournament champion with “Copy So-and-So’s move for winning golf!”

      Why on earth would I want to copy another player’s swing flaws and compensations? That they play so well despite the flaws is to be noted, not emulated.

  2. Chief Cowpie

    For the most part I agree with you about the myth of the flying foot but with Patrick Reed you have missed the mark.

    He definitely has some type of incendiary device (probably an M-80 under his shoe) as the laws of physics in no way can account for such a heavy man’s foot such as his going flying as it does. I would’ve thought your readers would be crying foul for this building of a stance.

    1. D Watts Post author

      The more I watch that move, the more I marvel he’s been able to win 6 events, including a major. Such is the testament to this young man’s talent and grit.

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