How to Keep the Right Leg Bent in a Golf Swing

Golfing friends teeing off

Take a trip to the driving range any day of the week and observer the golfers practicing with their clubs to improve their game. The player who has trouble striking the ball consistently or who slices the ball can be pinpointed by the action of his right leg. The struggling golfer’s right leg often straightens and locks, and the right heel lifts from the ground during the backswing. Reverse this bad habit with swing drills designed to keep your right leg bent.

Address the ball, with the width of your stance depending on the club you are swinging. Shorter clubs require you to place your feet closer together; longer clubs require your feet to be placed slighter farther apart.

Flex your knees slightly while you bend forward at your hips. Keep your spine straight and your back at about a 45-degree angle to the ground.

Place an equal amount of weight on both feet, concentrating your weight on the balls of your feet. Begin to draw your club into your backswing slowly, paying close attention to the weight shift at your hips. If your hips shift to your right, you are not flexing your left knee, and you are not rotating at the waist as you pull your club into the backswing. This action causes the right knee to straighten and the heel to lift.

Rotate at the waist and flex your left knee as you draw your club slowly into your backswing once again. You must use your upper body, not just your arms, to pull your club into the backswing. Imagine that your hips are immobile and keep your weight even on both feet.

Shift the weight on your right foot to the inside ball of your foot. This action helps keep your hips from shifting and keeps your knee from locking.

Place a golf ball under the right foot, just to the outside of the foot by your little toe. The ball helps remind you to keep the weight slightly on the inside ball of the right foot.

Have a partner stand behind you with a club head at your right hip about 2 inches from your body. As you draw your club slowly into your backswing, concentrate on not moving toward the clubhead being held at your hip.

Repeat, slowly drawing your club into your backswing while concentrating on keeping your hips immobile, flexing your left knee, rotating at the waist and slightly shifting your weight to the inside ball of the right foot. Repetition is the key to correcting the habit of straightening the right leg during your swing


Practice at the driving range as often as possible. If you find your hips swaying during the back swing, your right knee is straightening.


Before practicing, loosen your muscles with a short warm-up. This practice allows for a full range of motion and can help prevent injury.