The initiation of the down swing is an interesting and extremely important stage of the swing.
There is a correct way to initiate the down swing but the problem is that the correct way does not necessarily suite each golfer.
If every golfer is in the correct position at the top of the back swing, a uniform approach to the down swing would be effective for everybody. The fact is that every few of us are in a great position at the completion of the back swing, therefore we must customize our forward swing to create the best motion for our individual swing. Each golfer has a natural tendency in the
way they swing, for instance the golfer with a pronounced slice usually initiates the forward swing with the shoulders racing ahead of the hips causing an outside to in swing path through impact. The correct start to the forward swing for this golfer is to keep the shoulders fully turned and swing down the first foot or so with just the arms, at the same time the right knee should push laterally, activating the hip rotation.
The golfer with a vicious hook is swinging the club too much from the inside through impact. This golfer often has the hips out racing the shoulders causing the upper body to hang back and the hands to lag behind. This is a good player's fault and one the golfer with a slice would love to have. This golfer should feel the right leg holding its place and the left shoulder moving out from under the chin as the club swings down the first foot.
The picture shows some good positions for the golfer with a slice. The club has moved down about a foot but the shoulders have yet to turn. The hands are swinging down in front of the right shoulder. The shaft is pointing at the ball line and is below the right shoulder. Practice swinging to the top of the back swing and pumping the arms down two or three times. On the third time swing to the finish.
While this is a great drill and should be practiced on the driving range it is too much to think about on the golf course.
Terry Gingell is the Director of Instruction at Eagle Valley Golf and can be reach at 887-7174. He's now taking signups for sports camps, junior golf camps and adult group lessons.