Heel Up or Down?

A golfer at the end of her golf swing.

There has always been plenty of debate throughout the years about what to do with the front heel in your golf swing. Should it come up, or should it stay down?  The modern golf swing encourages the heel to stay down, but is that the best practice for you?

How you handle your front heel is really just a matter of recognizing your flexibility.  Perhaps the most fundamentally important aspects of the golf swing is the ability to make a full shoulder turn.  Your shoulder turn is an important component in hitting the ball farther, and that’s everybody’s goal.

If you can make a full shoulder turn while keeping your front heel down, you tend to create a tighter rotation in your swing. This can contribute to greater speed, resulting in greater distance.

However, if you are unable to make a full shoulder turn while keeping your front heel down, then I strongly encourage you to begin making some swings while allowing that heel to come up.

The flexibility and range of motion will increase significantly in the swing.

With this increased range of motion, your timing becomes much more important. This makes sense because with more moving parts, there are more things that can go wrong.  However, with enough repetition, you will develop better timing and your golf swing will benefit.

While determining what to do with your front heel, it’s important to recognize that we are all different with regards to our flexibility. What works for one person doesn’t’ necessarily work for others.

That’s the beauty of golf.  We are all unique.

Challenge yourself to determine your ability to make a full shoulder turn. If you can keep your heel down while making this turn, this is probably your best option. However, if lifting that heel off the ground is the only way for you to make that turn, I encourage you to let that happen.

Figure out what works best for you, and enjoy the process of getting better.

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