If you’ve watched PGA Tour golf in August 2020 you have seen Scottie Scheffler jumping all over the place with his driver swing. He dropped a 59 on the scorecard at the second round of the Northern Trust and was in the final pairing in the last round of the PGA Championship. The thing most people notice are his very active feet with his driver swing. Here is what his footwork looks like on his driver or 3 wood swing:
It is fascinating to see his feet compared to some of the more fundamentally sound swings on the PGA Tour. During the 3rd round of the Northern Trust in which DJ was paired with Scheffler, Dottie Pepper said DJ has 30 yards on Scottie off the tee when he lets it go. DJ subsequently flew Scottie on his next drive. So, how does Scottie Scheffler get away with that footwork and what does he do?
When attempting to create power in the golf swing, the upper body rotates around the lower body. The power comes from the core, not the legs or the arms. Scottie Scheffler does a great job of getting his shoulders turned on the backswing. He has great leverage at the top with his shoulder plane pointed toward the ball but then his legs can’t handle the speed that is created with his core on the downswing.
The best golfers in the world allow the right leg, especially the right knee, to fall inside the left knee and remain on the target line. Scottie tries to do this by pulling his trail leg back on the downswing. The biggest problem with is is his front foot does not brace to allow true power through impact with the release of the club after impact. Notice his front foot (left foot) is almost off the ground after impact. If you watch DJ, Brooks, Rory or any of the other major champions, their front foot is braced and remains on the ground all the way through impact and the finish of their swing.
Watch DJ’s front or left foot on this swing:
Notice that the speed of his swing (created by his core) tries to make his left foot come off the ground but he braces on it and rotates through so he can release the club well after impact. This is why Dustin Johnson is 30 yards longer than Scottie Scheffler. Scheffler has a good shoulder turn, he just has terrible footwork that is going to lead to many inconsistencies throughout his career. When Scheffler gets in contention, you can almost guarantee he is going to miss a ton of pressure drives. Likely left and right.
Interestingly, Scottie Scheffler’s footwork is much better with his irons. He maintains the left foot much better and you will see he does forcefully pull the trail leg back as hard. It will be interesting to see the evolution of his golf swing as he gets in contention and buckles under pressure over the next few years.
Here is another example of a major champion golfer that has amazing footwork, especially bracing on the front foot. You may have heard of him.