Saturday, April 7, 2012

Downswing: Back Leads the Way

An inside-out swing path is definitely a building block of a good golf swing, and I've already mentioned it in previous posts (hitting inside-out). An outside-in swing is a slice or fade move (and no…it doesn't cause but is associated with a slice). You can still hit a slice hitting inside-out, but you only have to learn to close the face to get the ball hooking or going straighter, if you're truly swinging inside-out. Some instructors say you should try to swing inside-square-inside, but I just look at that as another way of saying swing inside-out.

Instead of consciously forcing your arms out to "right field" (a baseball analogy that can help imprint the proper motion), learn instead to keep your back facing the target as long as possible. In other words, let the arms and hands drop while the back is still turned and facing the target.

My feel is that, at the top, my left shoulder is behind the ball and over my right foot (as I look down). As I start my downswing, the left hip bumps targetward and then immediately begins turning back behind me. As Shawn Clement has put it, this lower body motion is about "an inch long" and happens "from behind you." In other words, the rear end moves towards the target first and the upper body stays back, creating a slight tilt away from the target (head back behind the ball). All of this is happening while the back is still turned to the target to get the club coming from the inside.

Finally, remember that the arms stay in front of your chest all the way through the backswing and followthrough and that you should "keep the box" coming down, with the right elbow coming in close to the right hip as the left hip bumps target ward.

So in summary:

  1. Turn all the way back (left shoulder over right foot) with the back facing the target
  2. Keep the back facing the target during the transition and first part of downswing
  3. Bump the left hip slightly targetward (the back still facing the target)
  4. Keep the box and allow the right elbow to drop towards the right hip (back still facing the target)
  5. Now pivot through and supinate the left arm (don't flip the wrists)
When you're practicing without a ball, you can instantly see whether you swing path is inside-out or outside-in by noticing the blur of the club through the impact zone.

The key is to keep your back facing the target for a split second longer as you make this initial move with your hips. You should feel that your back resists against your lower body. Your upper body stays still, your lower body begins firing, your golf club is automatically dropped into the slot, your golf ball goes straight and far!

[From Golf Tips - Fixing your Slice - Keeping Your Back to Target]

Step 5: Continue turning your hips and shoulders. When the club reaches the top of the swing, your back should be pointed at the target, Suttie says. At that point, Sorenstam notes, you should feel that “your left shoulder is over your right foot while your lower body is stable.”

Step 6: Maintain your back's position. Even as you begin your downswing, “hold your back to the target for as long as you can,” Sorenstam advises.

[From How to Keep Your Back to the Target for the Golf Swing | Golf Tips | Golfsmith]

Imagine leaving your back facing the target as your hips shift toward target. The hip clearing will gradually kick in a moment later as the arms lower to the waist-high area and the majority of weight has arrived on the front foot.

[From Weight Shift in Golf Swing – Herman Williams Golf]

Make sure you make a big shoulder turn on the backswing. Get 75 to 80 percent of your weight to the inside of the right leg at the top of your swing. To get you to feel this, try to turn your left shoulder over your right knee.

On your downswing, try to keep your back to your target as long as you can. As you are doing this, you want to feel like your arms are dropping down vertically from the top of your swing. You should now be in the slot if you perform this as I have mentioned. At this point in your swing, you should simply turn out of the way with your hips.

Jim Suttie: The most important move in golf ... get in the slot

From the top, there should be a slight shift of your weight towards the target first, followed by your arms dropping down below your trailing shoulder before your shoulders begin rotating. This will ensure they are in the proper position and give you the best chance of hitting the ball along your target line. Your dropping arms will force your lead shoulder to rise, in turn causing your trailing shoulder to drop, followed by the natural follow-through motion to complete the swing.

Quick Shoulders – Cure Your Slice |

Swing thought: Completing a full shoulder turn, keep your back to the target as long as possible during your downswing. Feel your arms leading the swing as they fall at a speed close to a gravity drop. Soon you will begin to feel your downswing path coming much more from the inside with a shallow angle of approach into the ball.

Don't 'Come On Over' | Instruction Feature |

One way is to make sure to drop your right elbow into your right side as your first move on the downswing. This move is the best move in golf! Your first move on the downswing is "DOWN", not out. When you get to the top of your back swing your first upper body move should be to let your right elbow drop down into your right side. (left for lefties of course) Feel as though your right elbow is brushing against your shirt as you PULL the club down. This one move cures a whole lot of ills that can ruin your shot.

Fix Your Slice! 7 Free Slice Cures, Slice Help!

Then, as your first move down, shift your weight to the outside of your left foot while keeping your shoulders turned. While still keeping your shoulders turned, feel as if you simply drop your arms and the club down to the ball. You need to feel this move with your arms, not your hands, which only would flatten the clubshaft. Jim says to think of Jack Nicklaus' key of keeping his shirt buttons facing to the right of the ball as you swing through impact.

Full Swing: The Instruction Blog: Golf Digest


1 comment:

  1. These comments are EXACTLY what I felt today on the range, it was magical. I was hitting my driver dead straight 250 yards in the air, time after time. I felt like Fred Funk dead down the fairway perfect. I focus on keeping my back facing the target as long as possible then I let the club drop straight down using just gravity. Awesome stuff, secret to golf as far as Im concerned!