Initiating the Downswing

Tue, 10/27/2009 - 09:00 -- Don Trahan
- Audio version at the end of this post –

B. Weiner wrote in a question recently, ¢€œI am realizing some of the benefits of your method; however, I still have trouble initiating the downswing and keeping myself (1) from coming over the top (pulling my left shoulder around slightly and getting my hands outside the target line. (2) It seems to me that even from the 12 o¢€™clock position, one has to make the move that the pros do so well, and that is difficult for most amateurs like myself, which is to drop the club to the inside(¢€˜in the slot¢€™).‚  Your recommendation of starting downswing by moving the left hip towards the target or down the target line doesn¢€™t do it for me.‚  (3) Is one supposed to drop the club straight down at the ball from the 12 o¢€™clock position?‚  (4) And is that the same as dropping it slightly to the inside (does the club head as it descends from 12 o¢€™clock actually go to 11 or 10 o¢€™clock)?¢€

Mr. Weiner you have asked or made comments that equate to 4 questions or points (I numbered them) and I will answer them in order.‚  What I don¢€™t get to today I will answer shortly.‚  So let¢€™s get started with the first one.

When you say you still have trouble initiating the downswing and keeping yourself from coming over the top (pulling my left shoulder around slightly and getting my hands outside the target line, I can only deduce that you are turning your shoulders too much in the backswing.‚  You are turning your left arm past the toe line and getting into the ¢€œSacred Burial Ground¢€ (SBG.)‚  This means you are getting your arms and club behind your torso.‚  The only way back to the ball on a straight line to the ball on the target line, to hit it straight at the target, is you first have to get the club from behind you to in front of you.‚  Thus the pulling of the left shoulder around slightly and getting your hands outside the target line and there you have the outside to in swing path.

Let me answer this by referring to the Foundations Swing Manual, which has the definitions and descriptions and a whole lot more about the inner workings and fine points of the PPGS, which helps one understand the what, why and HOW to make the PPGS.‚  I start on page 86 the title of the section is Secret #3.‚  You turn only to the toe line in the backswing and the forward upswing.

Key:‚  You must stay out of the ¢€œSBG,¢€ that area in a square or semi-circle behind your toe line.
What this means for the swing is that when you swing into the SBG your arms and club are getting behind your shoulders and body and moving quite far from the aiming line.‚  Since the club has to be returned to the aiming line in an on-on-and-on path to hit a straight shot, you have to get the club back around in front of your body to approach the ball on path.‚  Since you cannot swing through your body, the only path to the ball on the aiming line is to pull the club up and around it, thus achieving the outside to in swing path and the sliced ball flight.

Hopefully you now see the problem when you¢€™re told to swing the club outside to in, the ¢€œcorrection¢€ to swing the club more to the inside (into the SBG) in the backswing.‚  You are adding to the problem that causes the outside ¢€“ in swing path and slice.‚  The real answer is to take the club straight back into the catcher¢€™s mitt and up the tree in the backswing, and then the same thing in the forward swing, as we must adhere to the law of, ¢€œfor every action, there is an equal and opposite re-action.¢€

So, let¢€™s re-cap and paraphrase Secret #3 with two appropriate Surgisms.‚  ¢€œGolf is like life.‚  What goes around comes around¢€¦and what goes straight back and up, comes straight down and up.¢€‚  And for the closing clincher, ¢€œYou can stand in the Sacred Burial Ground, but if you swing in it¢€¦YOU¢€™RE DEAD!¢€

So, I think this also somewhat answers your second question of why you can¢€™t do the movement of the left hip (bump) toward the target in the downswing properly, which I will discuss in the next article.

The Surge!

- Use these controls for the audio version of this post –

Get Flash to see this player.

Blog Tags: