A proper golf downswing is essential for hitting accurate and long shots. As the club head moves from the top of the backswing down to impact, any error can alter the way that the club face impacts the ball. Depending on the angle of impact and swing path, this could lead to either a slice or hook.
The backswing essentially is a wind up in preparation of the downswing. There is a transition at the top of the backswing that needs to be performed smoothly in order to translate momentum and control to the downswing.
If you pause too long at at the top of your swing, you likely will lose all momentum!
One tip for beginners is to limit the length of the backswing. If you are having problems with control, or the transition to the downswing, shortening the backswing may help. You may sacrifice some force generation, but you would rather be in bounds or hit it 50 yards further but with a nasty slice?
You basically turned your body into a coil during the backswing, but as you transition into the downswing, all of that energy needs to be released. The initiation of the swing will come when the weight is slightly shifted back to the foot as the heel comes back into contact with the ground.
The right shoulder will begin to dip as the hips start to rotate towards the target. The lower body will begin to rotate prior to the upper body.
Another key tip for a proper golf downswing, is keeping the lead arm straight. This was mentioned in the backswing page, but it is just as important here.
As the club meets the ball, your left arm and the club should form a straight line. Also, your shoulders should be in the same position that they were at address, with the back shoulder being slightly lower than the lead shoulder.
While this may sound fairly easy, there are a few areas that, if not performed correctly, can lead to very poor shots!
First, making sure that your hips do not begin to rotate too quickly is extremely important. If they do begin to turn to soon, it could cause your club to come into contact with the ball from an outside to in pattern, which could lead to shanks, hooks, or slices.
Also, moving the hips too soon can significantly reduce the amount of power that you built up during the backswing. Less power means less distance!
Another issue that can cause issues throughout the downswing is trying to "over swing" by using too much wrist and hand action. Trust your grip and trust your swing! If you have a proper golf grip, and good swing mechanics, there is no need to grip too strong or try to compensate by bending your wrists.
The downswing is fueled primarily by your hips and shoulders. As long as they are working properly, you should be fine!
One final tip to remember for a solid golf downswing: Don't swing too hard with your arms! You don't need to over power the ball to get good results. It is much more important to be under control and hit the ball square.
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