How To Use Ground Force For Speed

In this video, Rotary Swing Instructor Chris Tyler shows you how to use ground force for a big boost in clubhead speed. You'll see the difference in speed when not using your legs vs. using your legs like a tour pro.

  • 3/4 swing
  • As the hands and arms reach the top of the swing, step out into stance width. 
  • Push the lead foot into the ground and release the club with speed. 

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Dave
So, what muscles are first used to initiate the weight shift to the lead side? Is it the right foot push? Or pull from the left foot? Or hip bump?
July 16, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dave. In the video above it will be (in order) the external rotation of the lead knee, inner lead thigh adductors and lead glute.
July 16, 2021
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Joost
Great video. Keen to take it to the range. Question: Should you, in the final product, post-up during the release? Or before the release? In the DEAD drill Chuck posts-up before the release; his post-up is finished when his lead hand reaches the trail leg. But in another video (You hit with your legs)) he seems to start around the start of the release. The latter seems logical if you want speed at impact. Or am I over analyzing, maybe?
January 27, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Joost. The DEAD is in sequence with stops. When going at speed the post up will finish just before the club head snaps through. The feeling is to start positing up after the weight has transferred to trigger the releasing of the club.
January 27, 2020
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Fred
When he did the full swing it looked like he almost did a hop with his post up leg.
December 29, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Fred. Hoping would be a little too exaggerated for a stock shot. But, being more aggressive with the legs will help with power. Why you see some tour players completely leave the ground (You Hit the Golf Ball with Your Legs Video).
December 30, 2019
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Frank
Great video. I look forward to using this drill! No discussion of left shoulder in this video. What should happen with left shoulder as left leg extends? Seems like lifting and opening left shoulder should also increase vertical speed of club handle and downward speed of club head. However extra upward movement of left shoulder may cause other problems.
January 6, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Frank. The lead shoulder should be pretty stable. Take a look at Moving the Fulcrum Video and You Hit the Golf Ball with Your Legs.
January 7, 2018
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Dan
My troubles in doing this are stopping my body rotation and flipping, and standing up/maintaining my spine angle through the shot.
April 13, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Dan, I would take a look at the winter series left arm drills that Chuck did. This will allow you to work on properly shifting into the lead side and then releasing the club. Also, check out the fixing weight transfer video that I put together that shows you a drill on how to use your legs to get back over to the lead side perfectly while maintaining the tush line.
April 13, 2016
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Mads
Hi Chris To me it looks a bit like you're losing your tushline in the downswing. I'm struggling a bit with gaining more speed (app 104 mph now) and losing my tushline and always thought those two things were connected. But in case my eyes deceive me and you're not losing the tushline, could a loss of tushline affect the swingspeed? Also, when pushing off the ground with the lead leg, I can really feel the club speed up and rotate, but it often ends up with a snap hook. Am I pushing off the ground to early (thereby releasing to early) or do need to have my hands further forward at impact? Thanks Mads
February 29, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Mads. Losing Tush Line can affect speed because the hips start moving towards the ball instead of away from the ball. Typically, followed by loss of spine angle and a little bit of an early release. You might be snapping back the lead leg too fast. Not getting a good transition into the lead side then straightening. I think you need to blend the transition into the post up better. Use the Straight Left Leg Video and Perfecting Lower Body Stability Video. Don't waste the speed burst directly from the top.
February 29, 2016
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Frank
How do I find the straight left leg video you reference?
February 7, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Frank. We replaced the Straight Left Leg Video with You Hit the Golf Ball With Your Legs and Perfecting Lower Body Stability.
February 7, 2018
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Steven
I don't think the comparison you use is really valid. I haven't seen many amateurs putting their feet together to hit a drive. I have seen a lot of amateurs who have their feet the normal distance apart, but do not transfer weight to their lead side or post up their lead leg in the downswing. Have you measured your swing speed with your feet the normal distance apart, but with no weight shift and no pressing against the ground with your left heel? That is the number that should be compared to your 114 mph speed doing everything correctly.
February 28, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Steven -- I can make another video and show the data from not pushing into the ground but you will see that if you shift your weight to start the downward move then maintaining the flex in the knees can be extremely dangerous to MY knees when demonstrating because it will be shifting my primary balancing pivot point down to my knee and with the speed of the club it can try to force the knee to rotate, which there is only about a degree to a degree and a half of rotational space available in the knee.
February 28, 2016
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Steven
I obviously not clear. I was suggesting no lower body movement. I certainly wasn't suggesting anything dangerous for you. So you could either start with your weight on your left leg, or not shift any weight. My guess is that, due to your excellent lag, even if you did not shift any weight and didn't push down on your left heel, your swing speed would still be between 100-105 mph. In other words, my guess is that leg action would give you an extra 10-12% in distance, not the 28% suggested by your video.
February 28, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Steven, I understand what you are saying as the movements I show are with weight shift and ground force. I am going to be doing a series on this once we have our data collection source all sorted out and will provide specific data on how much shift attributes and how much ground force as well. Stay tuned. Thanks as always for the feedback.
March 1, 2016
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David
How do the pros actually come off the ground when they swing-Bubba, Patrick Reid... I believe the ground does push back.
February 27, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Newtons 3rd law, that is I did not mention in the video, law of reaction which is exactly what ground force reaction is.
February 28, 2016
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David
Yes. But how do they actually get off the ground? Are they "jumping"? But then again, I truly do like Rickie Fowler's leg action. His feet stay on the ground and he hits it as far as any of them if not longer. And for his height, he is longer than a jumper!
February 28, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Yep, they are pushing into the ground so hard they are jumping. Rickie makes great speed with an awesome sequence and tremendous hand action at the release point. I don't think he needs to add this move to his game to pick up any more speed that is for sure. He loves to stay in balance which I am a big advocate of.
March 1, 2016
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Michael
Very cold weather still can you do this drill with an impact bag and what accomodations do you need to make for it.
February 27, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
No big changes. Just make sure at impact your hips have stayed back and your body lines all still look the same. Use the auditory feedback from the bag to see if your speed is increasing.
February 28, 2016
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Robert
Is this a viable technique to use with a 3 wood on the fairway ? What about other clubs ?
February 27, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
You can do this with longer clubs but you better make sure you swing in a really good spot before trying to add this in. Think of this as an advanced move that should be treated very delicately.
February 28, 2016
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Stewart
Surely it is the leg muscles that are driving the body up? The ground is totally inert, so it is not possible for it to 'push back'. I believe it is misleading to use the term 'ground force', as there is no action coming from the ground; the only source of power is the leg muscles, that use the resistance provided by the static ground surface to obtain a reaction, as Mr Newton would have said, if he had been a golf instructor. Stewart
February 27, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
This falls under Newtons 3rd law - Law of reaction. The ground is reacting to the force that we're pushing against it when making a move like this. I was simply trying to make it GRF easy to understand for the masses of people.
February 28, 2016
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Robert
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground_reaction_force I don't quite understand it either but I think by pushing into the ground their potential energy ready to spring the other direction (through the body). That energy is "sourced" in the ground.
February 27, 2016
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Tom
The drill at the end looks like a perfect way to add speed to my swing now that I have some of the other basics generally under control. Nice job. Tom N.
February 26, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Yes sir, this is a graduate level move that can give you a boost in speed for sure.
February 28, 2016
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David
Chris can you comment on the effect of driving up with your legs and launch angle. Does the increase in swing speed negate the upward movement of hands or is there little or no change. I've seen players working on this move, initially they have a tendency to raise up and lose their spine angle or become the goat humper. Are you still moving up during impact or peaked right before? Lastly effect on club face contact position, ball position, and ball height. Thanks.
February 26, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
The only thing that should be effecting the launch angle would be the tilt to the spine. The only thing that should be moving up is the leg. The spine angle may have to increase depending on how much ground force you are trying to use. I am finishing the move up as the club is impacting the ball. This is a graduate level move and should only be used when you have good control of the face and have proper sequencing in check. There should be no changes in the clubface or release when adding this move in.
February 28, 2016

Today we're going to be talking about leverage coming from ground force. This is a great way to start to speed your golf club up pretty drastically. I've got FlightScope out here today that's going to show us the differences between using our legs and not using our legs, how much speed you could potentially be costing yourself. I'm also going to be showing you a great drill towards the end of this video that's going to allow you to start transferring your weight and start leveraging the ground for more club head speed than you've ever had before. Let's go ahead and get started.

                Okay, so I know a lot of us watch golf on TV on the weekends and we see some of these longer players get completely airborne up off the ground when they're using their drivers. I wanted to discuss how important this move is to club head speed. I want to think of this as more of a graduate level move but it's a good way to start to understand how important your legs are in the golf swing. When you see a player doing this sort of move, they're gaining club head speed through leverage. This is through ground force. What they're trying to do here is that when they start to move into their lead side, is that they're using their legs to push into the ground. When they're pushing into the ground, their body's going up and the club head is going down. Now, that effectively is speeding the club up pretty drastically, so that's exactly what ground force really means in the golf swing. That's a good source of leverage for those of you players that are still trying to pick up more and more yards on the golf course.

                Now, in this video I'm going to show you the differences between using your legs and not using your legs. I'm going to actually do a drill where I keep my feet together and I'm just going to swing as hard as I can. I'm going to track the data, and then I'm going to show you how important it is to transfer your weight and start to use the ground as a good source for power in your golf swing. Okay, so in these first few shots that I'm going to hit, I'm going to eliminate or I'm going to isolate the lower body completely. I'm going to stand with my legs together and I'm going to make swings as hard as I can with just using my upper body, no legs at all. Let's go ahead and hit a few shots here. We're going to measure what kind of swing speed I can create here just by getting my upper body to do all the work here.

                Hit that pretty good. Very odd feeling, swinging with your feet together like that. Let's do it one more time here. Feet together. I didn't hit that one as well. It's hard to do. Let's go ahead and take a look at those numbers now, we'll see how we did. Okay, so now that you've seen me hit some golf balls with not using my legs here, I'm going to go ahead and get myself into my normal stance width here. I'm going to go ahead and start to really push my lead heel into the ground to see if I can get some ground force here. Let's see how much that ramps up my speed today. Okay, let's go ahead and get our golf setup on. Okay. All right, that went really good there. Let's try one more and let's look at the speed differences. Okay, make sure I'm transferring my weight and then using the ground. Hit that one good too. Quite a bit different how much the ball flies here. Let's go ahead and take a look at the difference in the numbers now.

                Okay guys, so now that you can see how important it is for us to use our legs in the golf swing, you can see how much speed I was sacrificing by not using my lower body at all. I want to show you a really simple drill that I use with a lot of our students that helps them get the idea of how to transfer their weight, number one. Number two, what it's like to actually feel ground force or how it feels to actually leverage the ground for power. It's a drill I call The Step and Push Drill. Our goal here is that we're just going to make some 3/4 golf swings going back. My hands are going to go up to about shoulder height here. From a down the line perspective, my hands and arms go up to about shoulder height. As my hands and arms are starting to near the shoulder height position, what I'm going to do is I'm going to step out with my lead leg, and I'm going to push it into the ground. Okay?

                You're going to see me, as my hands and arms start to near this part of the golf swing, I'm going to step out. Don't step out too wide, try to land in your proper stance width. You can put some markers on the ground if you need to. We're going to step out, and we're going to push into the ground to the point where my hips actually start to open up and my lead leg starts to almost go to a fully straight position here. It'd be more of like a passively straight position. For those of you that don't know what that means, if you were to have a conversation with me, just standing here, your legs would be fairly straight but they're not locked straight. That's what I mean by passively straight. Our goal is when we start to step out, as we push into the ground, and you're going to see that my hip starts to open up and the leg moves to a passively straight position. At that point, you want to go ahead and let the club fall and release. That should just feel like relaxed rotation of your wrists and your forearms.

                If I were to swing back and forth with no body, or no legs, I'm sorry, just nice and evenly paced. Now I add that weight shift and then I leverage. You can start to hear the club to get some massive speed to it pretty quickly. The way that I want you to do this, step, push, release. Step. Now you can really hear me getting the speed up here. Okay. You'll start to feel your glute muscles on that lead side starting to really contract if you really focus on pushing that heel into the ground. Use this golf swing drill. Do about five or six reps of this and then go ahead and hit a golf shot. You'll start to feel what it's like to transfer your weight properly in your golf swing and you'll start to feel the ground pushing back and starting to add some speed. 

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