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Lesson 5 - The Down Swing.(Changed 20/06/2020)


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

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 on to the left foot it must remain over the left side of the body for the remainder of the swing process.)

As I move my weight onto my left foot I force the hips to turn towards the target area thus forcing the whole body to rotate towards the target area as a one piece solid unit, therefore the hip movement has overall control over the movement of the whole twisted body as it rotates around the axis of the spine - whilst the left arm remains close to the right shoulder.

(Throughout the down swing movement the hips are in overal control, in addition, throughout the down swing and the follow through movement, the shoulders and the arms must be held so that the whole twisted body unit rotates as a one piece solid unit at all times, especially as the club head moves into and through the contact area.)

 

From the moment the down swing begins, the hips must be forced to turn to face the target area thus forcing the whole bodyto rotate to fully turn to face as .

Whilst importantly, I ensure that the weight remains on the left foot and the wrist cock is maintained for as long as possible.

But remember, you must concentrate of the active use of the hips.



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 see 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 whole twisted body unit so that the shoulders fully 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.


 

If you want more information.

To perform the correct down swing movement, from the moment it begins, the hips and the whole twisted body unit rotate as a solid one piece unit but focusing on the hips as being in overal control of the down swing.

At the point of impact the arms must are 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 whole twisted body is 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.

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 reached a position 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 upper body must be forced to turn 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 rotational movement of the whole twisted body unit 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 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 thewhole twisted body unit 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 )

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