Good foot-work is important in golf, but a vast number of people have very little idea of what good foot-work means. Most of them think good foot-work means much foot-work. It would improve the game of many if they would reduce their foot-work to a minimum and make a vow never to get onto their toes; nay more, in the case of many elderly players, particularly those who have started late in life, if they swore never to raise their heels, and kept their vow, they would be saved much swearing of another kind.

Correct foot-work is of the first importance in the rhythm of a perfect stroke. It is generally taught wrongly from the start. One is told that the left heel comes away from the ground when the arms have gone so far back that they seem to drag the left heel up. This is bad teaching. The left heel, in a drive of perfect rhythm, leaves the ground almost at the same instant as the club head leaves the ball, certainly at the most a fraction of a second later. It is very bad form to wait until one feels the demand of the arms before one raises the heel.

The exact apportionment of the weight to the feet and the best method to be employed will be dealt with in detail in the chapter on the drive. In the meantime, however, it may be said that the methods there set out are for those who find themselves physically able to use them without undue fatigue. In the perfect foot-work of a Vardon, for instance, there is an amount of ankle and instep work that would be very fatiguing for an elderly and heavy man. This should be avoided as much as possible by any one answering the description. It would hardly be exaggeration to say that there is excessive foot-work in golf, especially on the part of those who make a fetich of the full swing.

The question of foot-work may be fined down to a very small point. Our feet are of course the base - some would say bases, or basis - of our drive. In a stroke, which calls for such mechanical precision as does the drive in golf, we must endeavor to have our base as firm and as constant as possible.

It behooves every golfer, therefore, be he young or old, once he has taken his stance, to see that until he has hit the ball, he does not indulge in any heel-twisting. That is a new term, which

Front View

Front View.



means that if you move your heels it must be merely up and down, until after the ball is hit. Many players raise the left heel and screw round on the point of the toe so that the left heel is presented to the hole. Let one try to finish one's drive in this position. One speedily finds that it is impracticable without moving one's heel back into position. This means that if, at the top of the swing, one assumes this position, one must, during the downward swing be shifting round on one's left foot. This is a bad habit, which must be avoided, for such a performance during the downward swing cannot possibly make for accuracy. How it may be avoided will be shown in the chapter on the drive.