Hitting a little white ball straight down the fairway onto the green and finally into a little hole seems easy enough, but many golfers struggle with their game because their swing isn’t consistent. Maintaining a stable leg position and keeping your lower-body action to a minimum is a key component to a consistent swing. A good drill for this is the hold-a-basket-between-your-legs drill. Not only might this drill improve your swing, but it may even help you lower your handicap.
Go to your local driving range and take your pitching wedge or short iron, a few tees, several balls and an empty range-ball basket. Without teeing up a ball, pick up the range-ball basket and place it between your legs, just above your knees. The open end of the basket should be pointing forward, in front of your body.
Squeeze your legs together, just enough to keep the basket in place. While holding your club, take your normal stance, the way you normally address the ball.
Practice several half swings -- a half to three-quarter backswing with very little follow through. If the basket falls out from between your legs, it's not because you weren't holding it tight enough. This happens when there's too much movement in your lower body; your hips, legs and knees are too active.
Look at the basket when you take your backswing and notice where the open end of the basket is pointed. Even if the basket doesn't fall out from between your knees, if it turns and the open end points backward when you swing, there is still too much hip, leg and knee action.
Practice until you can take your swings and keep the open end of the basket facing forward or slightly behind where a teed ball would be. During your swings you want to feel a resistance in your legs as your shoulders turn.
Remove the basket when you feel your legs are more stable and you've reduced the amount of hip, leg and knee action. Now you're ready to hit some balls. Tee up a ball on a short peg, take your stance, think about holding the basket between your legs and hit a short chip shot. Practice hitting many chip shots while keeping the action in your lower body to a minimum. Gradually work your way up to a full swing.
Items you will need
- Pitching wedge or short iron
- Golf balls
- Range-ball basket
- Soccer ball (optional)
- Plastic golf practice balls (optional)
- If you're unable to find a range-ball basket, a soccer ball or something of a similar size works just as well.
- If you can't get to a driving range, you can practice this drill at home with plastic golf practice balls.
- GolfInfoGuide.com: Stable Legs Golf Drills: Basket Between Knees
- Hanrahan Golf School: Golf Tips
- Golf Digest's Ultimate Drill Book; Jim McLean
- Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images