The Basic Steps to Perfect Golf.

By Philip A Gorfett.

www.playperfectgolf.co.uk

 

Home Golf Swing Lesson 1 Lesson 2 Lesson 3 Lesson 4 Lesson 5 Lesson 6 Lesson 7 Lesson 8 Lesson 9 Lesson 10

Lesson 5 - The Down Swing. (Changed 16/11/2019)




Before you start look at this Video -- It shows you how to use your body as you strike the ball.

It is absolutely vital that throughout the back swing movement that the upper body unit has been firmly held together as a compact unit and thus ensuring that it was the rotational movement of the shoulders has caused the arms to move and the movement has been slow and controlled -- as opposed to the arms being simply lifted to the end of the back swing movement.

Failure to keep the upper body unit held tightly together during the back swing will result in very erratic shots.

Begin the down swing movement with a relatively slow action and gradually build up the speed of the hips as it progresses, but the left leg must also gradually straighten as the down swing movement progresses so that it is fully straightened by the time the club head strikes the ball.

Importantly, you must have control of the club head at the impact position therefore keep the whole down swing movement at a relatively slow pace throughout until you get the timing of the action correct. - It is far more important to hit the ball in the direction you are aiming, rather than the distance to ball goes.

The down swing movement comprises of a sequence of movements.

Down Swing Movement.

 

I pause slightly before I move my weight slightly on to the left foot thus initiating the down swing movement.
( As soon as the weight of the body moves onto the left foot it must remain over the left side of the body for the remainder of the swing process.)

I force the hips to rotate towards the target area as far as possible before the upper body can react. In other words the hips should be 45 degrees away from the frontal facing position before the upper body begins to follow.

This hip action automatically forces the shoulders to tilt downwards whilst the left arm remains close to the right shoulder.

(Throughout the down swing movement the hips are in total control and therefore continues to use its pulling power on the upper body unit at all times.)

From that advanced point in the hip rotate/turn, the hips must continue to rotate/turn, so that the whole body begins to fully turn to face the target area as the club head swings through the contact area.

This active hip action forces the compact upper body unit to follow its movement whilst firmly held together a single unit, whilst importantly I ensure that the weight remains on the left foot and the wrist cock is maintained for as long as possible.

Therefore from the precise moment the club head strikes the ball, the complete body turns towards the target area at the same speed that the club head in swinging through the contact area.


To perform the correct down swing movement,you must consider the hips to be the dominant factor at all times.

At the point of impact the arms must be forced to interact in order to push the club head into and through the contact area.

Therefore throughout the down swing/follow through movement, once the upper body in forced to rotate into the down swing movement, the lower must continue to lead the way, whilst the weight of the body is predominately over the left leg.

Therefore at the precise moment the club head strikes the ball, the hips are partially facing the target area, the right shoulder is beginning the rotate under the chin and the left leg is almost fully straightened.

So to sum it all up, as the down swing reaches it conclusion, the arms begin to interact in order to add extra power into the shot.


But to be successful, at the point when the club head strikes the ball -- you must ensure that your head is in the original the address position and still facing the ball position, the upper body angles have been maintained and the hip turn has is such that they are facing at 45 degrees towards the target area and importantly, the right shoulder must begin to move under the chin.

 

However as the two parts rotate, the waist line acts as a universal joint to enable the upper body angles to be maintained

In addition, the left arm must remain close to the right shoulder for as long as possible before the arms begin to interact.

(At the impact position, the right shoulder must be lower than the left shoulder, very similar to the tilt of the shoulders at the address position, therefore try to resist the left arm from moving away from the right shoulder until the club head makes contact with the ball.)

This will ensure two things, the club head will swing down through the contact area whilst it is square to the target line and it will also ensure that the right shoulder rotates under the chin after the ball has been struck, but importantly, but you must keep the head firmly in the original address position until well after the ball has been struck - whilst the hips fully rotate towards the target area.

 

At the precise moment the club head strikes the ball, the hands must be ahead of the original address position effectively lowering the launch angle but greatly assisting in hitting the ball in the required direction.

But importantly, and as soon as the club head strikes the ball, the whole body must be forced to rotate to fully face the target area --- at the same speed that the club head is moving through the contact area.

(At no time in the down swing movement must you allow the upper body unit to move independently of the lower part of the body, only the arms move independently at the conclusion of the down swing movement.)


 

What you are attempting to achieve is to use the power of the hips to force the compact upper body to follow its movements in order to pull the club head into, and importantly, through the contact area.

I can assure you that when you attempt to perform this down swing movement using only the hip movement as described it will feel very strange, but persevere at it will soon become an automatic movement..


Therefore whilst the down swing movement is performed :-

1) The waist must act as a universal joint whilst the upper body unit and the hips rotate.

2) The left arm must remain held close to the right shoulder for as long as possible.

3) The wrists held in the fully cocked position for as long as possible.

4) The upper body unit must be firmly held together so that the arms and the torso form a triangular compact unit and this condition must be held until well after the ball has been struck

5) The head must remain in the original address position until well after the ball has been struck.

6) The weight of the body must be over the left leg.

 

But importantly, at the precise moment the club head strikes the ball the head must be in the exact position it was at the original address position. ( See Head Position )


However one important fact is that as the down swing is performed you must focus your eyes on the back of the ball, so that you see the club head strike the ball whilst the club head is moving at its maximum velocity - and from that point onwards, the follow through begins.

(See video as an example of how the left arm remains close to the right shoulder for a milli second before the arms begin to pull the club head into the contact area,and the right elbow remain close to the body until the impact position.)



Throughout the down swing movement I am concentrating very hard to make sure that my head does not go beyond the original address position before the ball is struck but I ensure that my head remains slightly behind the ball so that I am looking at the back of the ball all the way to the contact position.

I also make sure that the head is held in the frontal facing position whilst maintaining the upper body angles as the upper body unit / hips rotate into the down swing movement, but importantly my eyes are fully focused on the back of the ball so that I can see the precise moment the club head strikes the ball, because at that point, the follow through begins.

This is where the arms interact, thus forcing the club head through the contact area, whilst continuing to rotate the hips so that the whole body turns to fully face the target area ---- at the same speed the arms swing past the body


Similar to the back swing movement, consider the down swing as a single action.

 

TIP

You must must ensure that the club head continues on a downwards trajectory as the ball is struck and continue for a further four inches AFTER the ball has been struck, thus effectively completing the down swing movement.

At that point you must ensure that you pivot on your left foot and complete the turning of the whole body to fully face the target area, in order to begin to "walk" after the ball.


Bottom of the Swing Arc.

This Photograph shows a Professional golfer striking the ball (With the tee peg indicating the bottom of the swing arc.)

The bottom of the swing arc for the average PGA Tour player is approximately four inches in front of the golf ball, where in contrast the bottom of the swing arc for a high-handicapper is an inch or so behind the ball.

A high-handicap golfer would reduce his or her average score by four strokes for every forward inch of improvement made for the bottom of the swing arc.

In other words, if you want to break a scoring barrier, ensure that you continue to swing the club head with a descending strike until the club head has gone past the ball for a distance of about four inches, thus fully compressing the golf ball.

(This will ensure that the club head swings to the bottom of the swing arc - which is well after the ball has been struck!!)

This also applies to the short game.

Courtesy of the "Golf Digest"

swing arc

At impact the shoulders are square to the target line, therefore whilst the hips continue to rotate, the right arm is forced into the fully straightened position, thereby forcing the club head to descend to the bottom of the swing arc, thus beginning the follow through movement.

 

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