By T.J. Tomasi
If your front knee juts out toward the ball and you straighten your back leg during the backswing, you’ve got problems. When your front knee works out over your front foot, it prevents your body from turning as much as it should.
To see how top players use their knees, study these photos of professional Mike Pedrys. There are several things to focus on:
First, his knees are closer at the top of his swing than they were at address because his left knee has folded inside his foot rather than over it.
Second, his knees are almost level because the right knee has retained the same flex it had at address. This allows Pedrys to shift weight to the right side while retaining pressure on the inside of his right foot, creating a steady platform to push off from to start the downswing.
In general, good players rotate the front knee toward the back about 22 degrees from the address position, thus laying the foundation for the correct combination of “power numbers” — 22 degrees for the front knee, 45 degrees of rotation for the hips and 90 degrees for the shoulders — a 2-to-1 ratio that makes for a powerful coil.
The after-impact photo shows how Pedrys uses his knees in the downswing. Note how
he has worked his knees closer together. The knees get “friendly” just before impact, meaning that the back knee approaches the front. This image can give you a sense of the speed and timing of the knee action — quiet, quiet,
then fast and friendly.