This is a two-dimensional thought experiment for people who want to insist that a golfer’s front foot or both feet leaving the ground somehow constitutes this notion of “using the ground” when swinging a golf club.
The reason I say two-dimensional is because we all know that the club is swung in an arc around and behind the body, and then back in front and around behind the body again to the finish.
Therefore, this image or concept:
…. is not going to add anything to the experiment that will show you how useless and wrong the notion of “using the ground” by having the front or both feet fly off the ground through impact is.
Looking at a two-dimensional concept of the golf swing as a pendulum, we will see something like this:
Now, to make this as simple as possible, let’s just imagine that the above pendulum is the leading arm and golf club, or even simpler, just the golf club with the green dot being the hands.
If you wish, you can imagine that the lever is the whole arm and club together without the hand action, which doesn’t matter for these purposes, either image would be fine!
So the green dot is either the hands or the leading shoulder, correct?
And we know from science that the “club head” at the end of the pendulum will move in two directions that alternate – up & down, and back & forth, as indicated by the pink or magenta arrows in the gif. above.
We’ve taken out the 3rd dimension of away from & towards the impact point, so let’s consider the two alternate actions, “up & down” and “back & forth.”
So, the thing and the only thing that is going to move that red ball is the energy given to it by the “club head” striking it in a forward motion, and to a degree, the angle of launch as it leaves its spot.
The angle of launch will be either level or upward, and will be determined by the angle which the club head strikes the ball, correct?
And the speed with which the ball moves from its spot will be determined by the speed of the club head at impact, correct?
So, anyone who claims that jumping into the air or having leading foot leave the ground increases speed or power is asserting that the upward force of the ground adds “power” or “speed” to the ball, correct?
That is impossible, because the claimed “force” or added “power” that is supposed to come from the ground would only belong in the “up & down” category.
Not to mention, the ground itself is static, unless you’re swinging the club during an earthquake, so all it does is sit there beneath your feet – the ground cannot exert any active force to your body or swing because it isn’t moving… and I can’t believe I actually have to say that.
Now, as to adding vertical motion by jumping – even if you were to take the green dot of the hands or the leading shoulder and move it upward at the moment of impact, you would not be adding any forward speed or energy to that club head, because “up and down” are vertical vectors and not horizontal.
And because the pendulum action of the arms and club will cause the club head to come back up anyways, after reaching the swing bottom, without any help from the feet:
… you don’t even need the upward action of jumping into the air to give the ball its positive launch angle, as you can see me doing below without ever jumping or lifting my feet:
So let’s recap with the following statement:
No Upward or Downward movement to the swinging pendulum can or will add Forward force, energy or speed to the impact, as they are two different vectors we’re dealing with.
You can only add Forward force, energy, speed by increasing the forward velocity of the club head into the ball, and that has nothing do do with up & down, obviously.
And just in case someone wants to argue that the lifting of the leading foot increases speed by levering the leading shoulder upward faster, let me show you something:
That’s me lifting a 20 lbs Kettle Bell to illustrate the nature of the upward leading shoulder action providing leverage to the down swing, and that’s provided by the hips and legs, not the toes.
I don’t know anyone on this earth who would try to increase the speed of the shoulder lift by raising their leading heel off the ground – do you?
So, you can’t have it both ways – you would create more upward force pushing off the ground with the feet in full contact with it, not up on your toes.
Um… how should I put this? I know – you can’t use the ground for leverage when you’re in the air.
Do you see weightlifters standing on their toes to add momentum or speed to their clean & jerk or dead-lift?
Of course you don’t.
Nor would you see javelin throwers go up onto their leading toes on the release to add forward “ground force” to their throw:
So, nothing about the Modern Golf Swing concept of “using the ground” makes any sense, nor should it.
It’s the effort of analysts and “experts” to explain why something is happening in the swing action of certain golfers or long-drivers when they have no idea why it’s happening.
Yes, I’m saying it – they have no clue, and they’re coming up with nonsense to try to either understand it for themselves or to B.S. the viewer into thinking that they know, or that a swing flaw is actually something that talented or great swingers do on purpose.
If the “Flying Foot” added speed & power to the golf swing, Jordan Spieth wouldn’t be 81st in driving distance, now would he?
The “Flying Foot,” once again, is caused by one or both of two things – it’s a compensation reaction of a swinger who doesn’t have the optimal mechanical action through impact and:
A) Either has to snap that leading leg to keep the hips turning (because that’s what turns the shoulders and provides part of the swing speed) or
B) Because they’re not releasing the trailing foot and would break something in their lower extremities or lower back if they swung to the finish with both feet on the ground.
Back Pain or Back Injury Swinging a Golf Club?
Lacking Power, Speed, Distance and or Consistency?
Need A Swing That Is More Easily Maintained?
If You Answered “Yes” To Any Of The Above Questions, The Answer Is In The Formula For The Golf Swing: