Which one is Better? Straight Legs or Soft Knees
Over the years, there has been a lot of debate over whether golfers should straighten their Left Leg in the downswing – or, keep flexed (bent). Over my career in golf, I’ve had teachers who were diametrically opposed on which way to go. The teachers that wanted me to straighten my left knee coming down felt that that by doing so, it would create more ‘Snap’ into my body and allow my hips to clear easier. Their argument against keeping the knees too flexed was based on the premise that by keeping the left knee flexed ‘too long’, would encourage a sliding the hips. When the Lower Body ‘slides’ too much, it can often tend to get the club stuck behind them and not release through the shot.
SO, WHICH WAY IS BEST?
My deduction is that straightening the legs too soon can actually encourage a golfer’s body to actually ‘brake’ – often times forcing the head and upper body to pop up – thus creating an early release. I can also assure you that over time, straightening the knee too soon can almost assuredly cause ankle, knee, and hip problems. (On that note, Tiger hyper extended his left knee for most of his career and ended up having 4 Knee Surgeries). I too had 2 knee surgeries after years of straightening it, and since I’ve stopped ‘snapping’ my left knee, have remained pain free today.
After spending a lifetime playing, studying, and teaching golfers, I feel that keeping the Knees Soft is the best (and safest way to go)!