The Basic Steps to Perfect Golf.

By Philip A Gorfett.

www.playperfectgolf.co.uk
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Lesson 5 - The Down Swing. (Changed 26/10/2018)


As I said in lesson 3, the rotation of the hips is the power house of the golf swing therefore the object of the down swing movement is rotate the hips whilst the upper body unit remains in a totally passive condition, but also whilst the upper body angles are maintained --- which can only be performed by utilising the waist line as a universal joint.



As the hips force the upper body unit to rotate whilst held at their relative angles, the left arm must remain held close to the right shoulder.

As the hips force the upper body unit to rotate into the down swing movement you must focus on ensuring that the right shoulder rotates under the chin after impact, thereby pulling the club head through the contact area whilst the club head is moving at its maximum velocity.

In order to perform this action correctly it requires a lot of practice to ensure that the hips are in total control and literally force the very passive upper body unit to follow its movements, whilst using the waist line as a universal joint.

 

As a very good tip, simply concentrate on maintaining the upper body angle so that the right shoulder can be forced to rotate under the chin after the ball has been struck, but importantly, do not allow the left arm to move away from the right shoulder until the ball is struck.

Look at this slow motion action of Adam Scott and notice the reverse "C" of the whole body at the impact position - This is the position you must strive to achieve so that your head is slightly behind the ball at impact.

But also notice how the left arm remains close to the right shoulder for as long as possible.

 


 

Because the left heel has remained fully on the ground whilst the upper body unit has rotated to the end of the back swing movement, the whole body has been twisted to its maximum and with 70% of the body weight over the right leg.

At this point the left shoulder is pointing to the ground and the right shoulder is pointing to the sky -- whilst the left arm is close to the right shoulder and the right elbow remains tightly tucked into the waist and the whole body is formed into a solid one piece unit.

However, to begin the down swing movement as the back swing reaches it conclusion, this is done by pressing the left foot to the ground a fraction of a second before you finish the back swing movement, thus setting up a very slight time lag in the transition.


By holding the right elbow tight into the waist until the club head strikes the ball, it stops the left arm from moving away from the right shoulder too early, thus dramatically improving the accuracy of the shot.


Down Swing Movement.

Whilst the left arm remains close to the right shoulder and the right elbow tucked into the waist, I move my weight slightly on to the left foot, but my head remains firmly in the address position.


At that point I force the hips to rotate towards the target area whilst the upper body unit remains in a totally passive condition, whilst
using the waist line as a universal joint.

Therefore as the hip action forces the upper body to rotate, the left arm must remain close to the right shoulder, this will ensure that the right shoulder will begin to rotate under the chin and the right heel lifts off the ground as the ball is struck, but importantly, you must keep the head firmly in the original address position


Simply focus on the rotation of the hips throughout the down swing movement at the moment and forget all about the arms, the swinging action of the arms can be developed later on once you have mastered the hip movement..

(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., simply use the hip action to force the passive upper body unit to follow the movement of the hips..


Therefore whilst the down swing movement is performed :-

1) The waist must act as a universal joint whilst the hip action forces the passive upper body unit to rotate.

2) The left arm must remain held close to the right shoulder for as long as possible, ideally until the club head strikes the ball.

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 rermain in the original address position until wellafter the ball has been struck.


As the hips continue to force the passive upper body unit to rotate, whilst using the waist as a universal joint, the forcesds rotation of the upper body unit will automatically pull the club head into the contact area whilst the uncocking of the wrists will return the club head to the ball.

As the right shoulder is just about to rotate under the chin, the club head makes contact with the ball and that is when you apply the power with the right shoulder.

 

However one important fact is that as the down swing is performed you must focus 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.)

 

When you perform this down swing movement as described above, at impact, both knees and the hips should be facing at 45 degrees towards the target area, i,e. the right heel is well off the ground, the left knee and the right knee are pointing towards the target area at a 45 degree angle.

Therefore whilst the hips continue to rotate thus forcing the passive upper body unit to follow its movement, the wrists uncock thus accelerating the club head into the backof the ball.


As long as the hip movement remains in total control, at impact it will feels as if the shoulders has rotated too far beyond what you would consider to be the correct impact position, but persevere and as you get used to the new impact position you will begin to notice how accurate you shots will are become.

Keep the arms in a totally passive condition throughout the complete down swing movement and you will achieve a very accurate game of golf.

 


At impact you will notice it appears that the right shoulder of the professional golfer has rotated past the original address position, which can only be achieved by holding the left arm close to the right shoulder for as long as possible and also delaying the uncocking of the wrists until the last possible moment, but importantly, using the waist as a universal joint.


See video of Jordan Spieth and notice how the hips pivot / rotate as he perfoms the down swing movedment.

 

As the down swing movement is performed, the upper body angles must be maintained and because of this, from the very beginning of the down swing movement the universal joint theory must be applied to the waist line and also that the golf club must return on a swing path that is a reflection of the back swing movement.


( The longer you can keep the left arm close to the right shoulder, the right elbow close to the waist and keep the wrists fully cocked, the better the contact and the accuracy of the shot.)


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
and also make sure it is held in the frontal facing position whilst maintaining the upper body angles as the hips force the totally passive upper body unit to 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 use the hip action in an aggresive manner, so that the whole body turns to fully face the target area ---- at the same speed the arms swing past the body

 

At impact the the hips are about half way to facing the target area and the right shoulder feel as if it facing the target area with the left arm still close to the right shoulder, the right elbow remains tucked into the waist -- but this action can only be achieved by using the waist line as a universal joint.

 

 

However as long as the down swing movement is carried out whilst held over the centre of the stance and you keep the left arm close to the right shoulder, the right elbow tucked into the waist and the wrists fully cocked until the club head strikes then ball, you will experience a beautifully controlled whipping action of the club head through the ball, to the bottom of the swing arc.

 

At the impact position, the hips are at 45 degrees towards facing the target area and the shoulders have gone beyond the parallel to the target line, thus reversing the swing path as taken during the back swing movement, but importantly, the head remains firmly in the original address position.

At the impact position, because the left arm is held close to the right shoulder and the right elbow is held close to the waist, the right shoulder is almost facing the target area.


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

See VIDEO -- to illustrate how the hips force the upper body unit to rotates, thus pulling the club head into and through the contact area.


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 force the upper body unit 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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