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How to Start the Downswing

The downswing is a critical yet one of the most misunderstood stages of a swing. The transition to downswing from backswing will determine how the club will move into impact as well as the quality of the contact. If your downswing is not correct, it will create a weak downswing which will result to slicing the golf ball. Wondering how you should start your downswing? Well, it depends. We have established several tips you can use to improve your downswing, eliminate slicing and help you hit a push draw every time you take a shot.

1. Wide stance drill
A single coil in the upper body is what mainly generates the power behind your golf swing. That resistance created between the lower and the upper body creates a torque which delivers speed through ball impact. To avoid sacrificing your balance when generating power for your shot, practice with wider stance while taking a series of three-quarter swings. Your torso and your arms will begin to collaborate and create more power during impact on the downswing.

2. Body movement
Unnecessary body movement is the key enemy to shot accuracy and shot power. When taking a swing, your body weight should shift from your right foot to your left foot as you finish the swing. Unnecessary body movement will mean that your body will lose balance in the middle of the shot. Naturally, you will try to adjust and regain balance automatically. It often leads to the shot heading in the wrong direction and you sacrificing the power of the shot. The result is a slice.

3. Proper positioning of the club
Ensure that the butt end of the club is pointing in the downward direction of the target line. When swinging, the idea is to create a circle around the body with the swing. This way, the club sticks to one plane and path throughout the swing. Be keen not to release the club sooner than you are supposed to.

4. Avoid casting
Casting refers to swinging the club way too hard. The arms and the hands are what should initiate the downswing and not the body. The left arm particularly serves to control the swing. One characterizes casting by overpowering movement on the right hand and arm which results in the club’s butt end pointing towards the feet rather than the target line. Therefore, use your left hand and arm to control the swing and ensure that you position your club correctly.

5. Stabilize the shaft
When you mention stability in golf, most people’s minds race to body balance and your lower body athleticism. While that is true, the stability of the shaft, also, plays a great role in determining the effectiveness of your swing. If unstable, the club will feel heavier which sacrifices other crucial aspects of your shot. Take a normal address position and split your grip to stabilize the shaft. Your wrist and your right elbow will now set correctly.

6. Un-cock your wrist
Un-cock your wrist when your golf club is parallel to the ground. If you un-cock sooner, it means you will hit the ball from the top which will significantly reduce the distance the golf ball will cover. Your wrist should be rotating naturally as your approach the hitting area. Also, your bottom hand should cross over your top hand in the process.

7. Let your eyes be glued to the ball until you take the shot
Most people think that to set their eyes on the target is more important. That is not correct since the aim is getting the ball to the hole, not the other way round. After establishing your target direction and location and determining the shot power required, shift your eyes to the ball. After your downswing, you can face the target with rotated shoulders and turned hips.

8. Plant the left heel
Planting your left heel can set-up a sound ground motion sequence for you. It, also, helps calm down the upper body in readiness for the downswing. If your swing is too quick or you have problems when shifting your front side, planting your heel is a perfect remedy. Don’t rush and, also, ensure that you don’t slide towards the target side as your heel hits the ground.

9. Fire the hips
Funny as it may sound, this is trick addresses many of the ills that accompany a poor start of the downswing like loss of balance, lack of power, shot releases, falling back and sliding. Firing the hips lets you cover the ball. It is, also, a good practice to follow if you have a bad back. Firing your hips is to unwind the hips aggressively creating a sensation of your left hip rotating towards the direction of your left heel. The force will act downwards, and you will feel the pressure on your left ankle.

10. ‘Bump’ your left knee
Create a slight lateral movement using your left knee. It will combat an under-performing lower body and calm the overactive upper body. It, also, promotes good rhythm through your downswing.

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