Proper footwork, weight distribution, and weight movement are fundamentals that many players can improve if they understand and practice properly while working on their golf game indoors.
That’s where a good friend of mine and Golf Digest Top 50 Instructor Todd Sones is teaching these days: indoors. In the winter months, Todd works out of the Buffalo Grove Dome located 45 minutes northwest of Chicago. Todd is on the Golf Academy of America’s National Advisory Board and says when you’re practicing inside, you should always wear your golf spikes.
So often, Todd sees people come in to practice off the mats wearing their tennis shoes. While it’s convenient, the problem is that your tennis shoes are designed for heel-toe motion, a linear motion. Golf is a rotational motion.
It’s important that you’re on your feet properly. The best players move in a circular motion. Their weight is more toward the balls of their feet at address, their knees are slightly flexed, and their lower body is engaged. As the body rotates, a good player loads the heel of the trail leg and then on the transition to the downswing, drives into the instep of the lead leg before rotating back into the heel of the lead leg.
Although you start on the balls of your feet in the set-up position, you really swing from the heels throughout the backswing and the downswing into impact. When you’re wearing tennis shoes that push your weight more toward your toes, you can’t swing the club nearly as forcefully as you can if you’re swinging with proper weight distribution.
When someone wears their tennis shoes, you’ll see their head move forward into their toes, and then they back up away from the golf ball during the swing. Here’s the link to Todd’s video demonstration: