Top 5 Tips on Downswing
There are many aspects that come in to play when looking at the downswing, and today we will discuss the major flaws, and what you can do to correct each one of them. I, myself, am a left-handed golfer who has battled issues with my downswing my entire life. I have found many drills that helped me correct some of my issues, and I will walk you through each of them throughout this article. I do realize everyone claims to have the cure-all, and I wish I could say that I did have that… but there is no such thing, I hate to admit it. I will present you with some things that I have been able to apply to my game to improve my downswing for good. If you are able to truly commit to the following drills, you too can see the success that I have seen for so long.
The first thing I want you to look at, is your left heel. Ideally, you will be planting your left heel during your downswing, and this is something that Jack Nicklaus applied to his game as well… and he had a pretty decent career I believe. By planting the heel firmly into the ground, it allows for you to initiate a sound, ground-up sequence of motion that actually helps to calm the upper body. If you have read my previous articles, too much upper body motion can really cause a world of trouble throughout the swing… so let’s keep the same mental thought here – limit the upper body motion. When you plant the left heel, it also helps slow down a swing that is too quick and also helps you shift the weight to your front side. This is especially important for golfers that have trouble shifting their weight from the back to the front. When practicing this motion, take your time and really invest the time into focusing on your heel and ensuring you are accurately applying this to your game. Although it seems quite simple to focus on the heel, you need to really practice this, because you can cause your body to slide too much throughout the swing if you are not handling the front heel appropriately.
The next thing I want you to focus on is the hips. Ideally, you will be ultimately launching your hips through the swing – load up, and then release through the ball. The hips truly help add power to the downswing, and if you have problems with distance, then you will want to really pay attention to the next paragraph. The hips really do play a big part in distance, and loading them up allows you to build the power up… and then release it through during the downswing, resulting in the distance you are looking for. When you focus on properly moving the hips through the ball, it also prevents you from getting too “handsy” which we have discussed before, and this causes more bad than good. When you are looking to work on your hip turn and load up in your swing, you will want to really invest the time to ensure you are moving them correctly… see a trend yet? Practice and investing the time is the true key to mastering each of these methods. Now back to the drill, I want you to load up on the backswing, then unwind aggressively on the downswing. Let your hip rotate towards your left heel, and allow for the hips to generate the power through the ball. This will allow for you to transfer the force downward, and ultimately through the ball.
The last thing I really want you to focus on, is your arm movement. In case you haven’t noticed, we started at the ground and worked our way up throughout the entire body. Yes, the whole body needs to be tweaked to ensure you are applying the ideal downswing, and moving correctly through the ball. If you are battling the over the top motion, then pay close attention to the following drill. Start your downswing by moving your arms back in front of your chest, which will help prevent you from throwing your right shoulder toward the ball, which does cause the over the top motion. By applying this motion, you will see an in-to-out path, and a nice boost in your swing speed as well. To work on this motion, focus on your hands. When you are at the top, you will sense your hands are behind your right ear. From here, just let your arms from towards the ball. I want you to feel like the lower body is following the hands, rather than leading. This will ensure you are rotating accurately, and also prevent that nasty over-the-top motion we have all grown to hate.