Arnold Palmer’s powerful lower body action, explained in 4 steps

March 6, 2020

Arnold Palmer used his lower body to power his golf swing and propel him onto a legendary career. So, during the week of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, I wanted to look back on the King’s swing to see what we can learn from his powerful move.

1. Lift The Left Heel

The ever-controversial picking up of the left foot is something Arnie had mastered. Typically, when I see amateurs lifting the left heel in their backswing it causes the head/chest to move laterally too far, making it challenging to make consistent contact with the ball. Ultimately, there is no issue with picking up your left heel if it helps you rotate your hips and chest more effectively in your backswing. However, your head needs to stay relatively steady over the ball or you will see an array of inconsistent shots.


2. Press The Left Heel

To initiate the downswing, Arnie would press his left heel back down into the ground. The key takeaway from the left heel in Arnie’s swing is that you should feel a stomping down of the left heel or a pushing into the ground of the left heel to start your downswing. The best players in the world actually do this slightly before they finish their backswing.


3. The Power Squat

The initial downswing movement with his legs creates MORE space between his legs, not less. It is similar look to squatting. You may have seen drills where someone swings back with a ball between their legs, then drops the ball as they start their downswing. This is a high power move that allows the body to stay synced up and hit solid shots consistently.


4. Straighten The Lead Leg

His left leg then straights through the ball as it pushes off the ground for an extra burst of power and clubhead speed. Another key here is that his right foot doesn’t come up and through until after the ball is gone. This allows for the arms to swing powerfully through the ball without getting stuck behind him.


If you can get your lower body working effectively in your swing, you will see longer, more consistent shots. Arnie used his lower body to create incredible power and hit consistently strong shots.

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