A technically proficient golf swing requires the transfer of weight toward the target as the clubhead moves through its impact on the ball. A golfer's feet must operate as both a stabilizing element and a means of propelling the transfer of weight. As a result, the feet factor heavily in timing and generating power in every golf shot.
The Importance of Weight Distribution
The proper orientation of weight in the golf swing affects a wide variety of swing elements crucial to successful shots. Ben Hogan says weight transfer through a shot as part of a sequence of movements brings greater power than a swing that relies on arm rotation alone. Similarly, if a golfer's weight remains on the back leg through the entire swing, it makes proper clubface angle and solid contact difficult to achieve.
Proper Stance and Balance
For the feet to aid in maintaining balance through the golf swing, they must be positioned far enough apart in the stance to provide an adequate base. In "Five Lessons," Hogan teaches that most shots require a shoulder-width stance for this balance. However, when facing a shot on uneven ground, you should widen the stance enough to feel that making your swing won't throw off your ability to keep your feet stationary into the follow-through.
As you draw the club back during the backswing, a moderate weight transfer in that direction will occur. Maintaining connection between your feet and the ground during this portion of the swing is important. Feet coming off the ground can disrupt timing, proper weight transfer and orientation to the ball. According to "Golf For Dummies," the best way to keep the feet in place is to allow the knees to flex in the direction of the backswing.
The Downswing and Follow-Through
The feet continue to provide a stable base as the downswing begins and weight starts its transfer toward the target. The feet also provide a means to drive the knees forward through contact with the ball, leading to a full weight transfer. Hogan says the back foot comes up until resting on the toe at the completion of the follow-through to allow the hips to face the target.