Let’s start with this question – what is the downswing?
The downswing starts right when you reach the top of your swing. It consists of the movements that occur as you bring your hands and the club back down. The downswing ends when the ball is hit.
The movement of the downswing is similar to a baseball swing or a tennis forehand. The sequence starts from the ground up and every muscle from the toes to the nose are contributing power to the swing. Amazingly, a 250-pound golfer can be easily out-driven by a 125-pound player and a 20-year-old athlete frustrated by a lack of technique can be defeated by a 70-year old player!
Many golfers make the mistake of initiating the downswing with their hands, arms, and shoulders.
They should be using their feet, knees and hips to start. But proper footwork leads to the knees, thighs and hips leading the downswing and the arms following and falling into position. This sequence of movement leads to more power, better accuracy and consistency. When executed properly, the swing is powerful and the sensations are flowing, fluid and effortless. It truly is amazing!
Long ago, on the 1989 PGA Tour, I was fortunate to be ranked 5th in driving distance.
I was competing with Davis Love III, John Daly and other top distance drivers. Spectators would constantly ask us why we did not swing harder. Our default reply? “I just don’t need to.” It was my downswing. MLB player (and excellent golfer) Mark McGwire would often say that most of his home runs resulted when he was simply trying to hit it “solid.”
By Doug Weaver, Director of Instruction, Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy
Carolina’s PGA Teacher of the Year, Doug Weaver is the Director of Instruction at the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy. He conducts “Where Does the Power Come From?” a free interactive clinic and demonstration every Monday from 4-5 p.m. at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course. Volunteer for a free lesson and some will win prizes! Call (866) 455-6890 or go to www.palmettodunes.com for more information.