The downswing is undoubtedly the most critical and misunderstood phase of the swing. It has been the subject of more misleading advice than any other phase of the swing movement. I intend to correct these errors, and replace them with concepts of the downswing that are both simple and effective.
Essentially, the problem is this. Most players start the downswing by turning the shoulders. Consequently they end up swinging across the intended line of flight from “out-to-in”, with the shoulders open at impact.
Why do they do this? Because, I submit, the traditional analysis of how the swing is performed tends to produce this result!
A correct downswing movement must result in a powerful swing into and along the intended line of flight, through impact. For this to be achieved the shoulders must be square at impact, or better still, fractionally “closed”. Keep this in mind!
Hence we see that proper control of the shoulders is the key to the correct downswing movement. Indeed, we shall see that foot and leg action in the downswing occurs largely to keep the shoulders passive and under control as the downswing takes place. Hence my assertion that the downswing occurs from the feet….up. I intend to explain this further.
For now, simply remember that without proper control of the shoulders both power and direction in the downswing will surely be destroyed!
Three downswing faults to be avoided
1. Dominant right hand – club thrown forward over the hands.
Retain control in the left hand and arm throughout the backswing and the downswing. The right hand will then assume its correct role.
2. Turning the shoulders from the top – club moves to an ‘outside’ line and an out-to-in impact
Swing the club down into the ball with the left hand and arm, maintaining the correct plane. This will assist a correctly timed, properly directed release of power.
3. Throwing out from the top – a sure way to waste power
Maintain the club-head behind the hands on the way down. Allow the downward swing of the left and arm to make the initial movement, then when the hands have been lowered to about hip-height, release the clubhead. Not before!
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