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How to break bad golf habits

by: James Douris 2011 World Golf Teachers Federation Champion

Which way does your golf swing move?

I have been watching many golf swings posted online from professionals dating back to the turn of the century, and in each swing I have noticed one thing that all of them have in common that is missing from most amateur golfer swings: They all had a strong bad habit, to move to their left side from the top of their golf swings.

Bad golf habits are hard to break

Many of today’s pros grew up playing golf, and many of them also played some other form of hitting sport such as cricket, baseball, or tennis etc. Many of them develop a motion where they are familiar with rotating their shoulders and shifting their weight to their left side. However, if this is not taught or developed at a young age, it becomes very difficult to acquire this athletic, dynamic, almost snapping motion of the hips at impact. Hockey players have it and so do many baseball players, but for average Joe the weekend golfer, he doesn’t have it.

What is the answer to golf swing movement?

So, what did the players from yesteryear do in order to ensure this move? The answer is simple:  They mastered the lifting and planting of the left heel throughout the swing. Even though this lifting of the heel is frowned upon with today’s teachers, if taught correctly it can help the average golfer develop great footwork and pick up a lot of distance from the tee. Don’t believe me? Go and watch footage of Tom Watson, Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Johnny Miller, and many other greats lift their front heel.

Golf Swing Tip

Try it.  As the body begins to turn, begin to lift the heel as your left shoulder goes down. Really lift that thing. Just make sure that the spine angle does not lift. Now, from the top of the swing, pretend there is a Coke can underneath your left heel and crush it. Experiment with this and learn to teach it. You may be surprised.


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