Need to Know: How Your Knee Affects Your Golf Swing

Right knee backswing
The right knee moving to a straight position and turning away from the golf ball will cause your swing to be very long and out of control

One of the more frustrating things for us golfers to hear from an instructor is…”Shorten Your Swing!!!”

“But Coach, I don’t wanna shorten my swing and hit the ball 30 yards shorter than before.”

In this article, based on our recent “Right Knee Laser Beam Drill” video, I will break down how the right knee can offer you the correct way to shorten your golf  swing and even add distance back to you game.

Shrek vs. The Donkey

Ever watch that big dude on the driving range with big strong arms address the golf ball, take a big ol’ whack at it and it only goes 210 yards. All the while he celebrates and attributes his amazing distance to endless bicep curls.

Right knee golf backswing
Shrek takes on the donkey in a long drive competition

Then behind that musclebound gentleman is the 120lbs, 16 year-old kid, that just cleared the back of the range, which mind you, is 300 yards.

I know most of you have seen this little scenario, maybe at a different scale, but we’ve all seen it. What do we chalk it up to, though? A phenomenon?

Now, let’s be clear here first, the distance traveled by the hands and the arms is a big part of your clubhead speed.

However, if you aren’t going to load your body the correct way, then you better just go ahead and swing long and out of control. Just don’t kill any golfers 3 fairways over.

Being the smart golfers that we are, we can learn the ways of swinging in control and maximize club head speed without popping a vein out of our head.

Let’s load em’ up and move em’ out

So, how did the small guy prevail in the above story?

right knee golf backswing
Loading the right side of the body the correct way creates efficiency and consistency

Easy! The smaller guy allowed the entire body to assist the arms during the golf swing.

The smaller guy loaded the right side of the body properly and created separation from the shoulder turn and the hip turn.

In the world of efficiency, we have to create separation in the rotation of the hips and the shoulders. Your right knee in the backswing can help you do just that.

If the right knee doesn’t allow the lower body to stabilize, then your hips will be able to over rotate, your spine will stand tall and you will never achieve that needed separation to bomb your driver like the pros.

Ultimately, the more separation that you create between the shoulders and hips the better. The lower body provides stabilization and acts like an anchor to the ground; whereas, the upper body is winding up all those big core muscles.

Your right knee will now become a laser beam…Yes, a freakin’ laser beam

right knee backswing drill

This is a “must have” drill…

Look at all these benefits:

  • load the right side properly,
  • shorten your swing,
  • give you the separation in shoulder vs. hip turn,
  • all while keeping your distance.

That was quite a bit for one breath, but it certainly shows the importance of the right knee in the backswing.

Now, imagine that your right knee becomes a laser beam that is trying to fry a bug on the ground.

The goal of the drill is to keep your laser on the bug during the entire backswing. If the laser beam stays on the bug the entire time, you will have loaded your right side properly, and you will see good separation from the shoulder vs. hip rotation.

shorten backswing
During the backswing, the right knee laser beam drill helps you stabilize the lower body and helps load the right side properly


If your knee moves off the bug, then you have become unstable and will look like the picture below. Take good notice how the hips and shoulders have rotated almost the same amount in the backswing. The swing looks long and out of control, and there are no bugs to fry here.

backswing long right knee
The right knee laser beam drill showing when the laser moves away from the ball, allowing the hips to over rotate.


Simple and effective drills like the laser beam drill will help you create the efficient power you deserve and help the arms not be so darn tired at the end of your round. Why work harder? Work smarter!

Now that you are ready to work smarter and power the golf swing of your dreams with more drills like this one, Check out our FREE membership, and you’ll get instant access to 25+ Rotary Swing Tour (RST) videos and full access to over 150 articles.

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