How to Improve Your Downswing in Golf

By Bill Herrfeldt

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So many things can go wrong in a golfer's downswing. Some of these errors can be corrected easily while others require real dedication and sometimes the help of a golf instructor. But if you pay close attention to the fundamentals, you'll master it.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
  1. Pause briefly upon completion of your backswing before beginning your downswing. Golfers tend to begin their downswing before they're in the correct position at the top of their swings. Only begin your downswing when your shoulders are rotated as far as possible, your hips are twisted about 45 degrees away from the target and your weight is predominantly on your right side. (If you're left-handed, your weight should be predominantly on your left side.)
  2. Begin your downswing by first shifting your weight to the left side (shift to right side if you're right-handed). That will add torque to your body and you will most likely hit the ball farther. Rather than your shoulders moving laterally you should again rotate them along with your hips. Many golfers try to help their swings by swaying away from the target on their back swings then toward it during their downswing, hoping to add distance to their shots. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. If you keep your body steady throughout your swing, you most likely will hit it farther.
  3. Begin un-cocking your wrists when the golf club is about parallel to the ground. If you do that sooner, you will be "hitting from the top", and robbing yourself of precious distance. As you approach the hitting area, your wrists should rotate naturally, with your bottom hand crossing over the top hand.
  4. Keep your head facing the golf ball until you've hit the shot. Then, as you finish your swing, you should be facing the target with your hips and shoulders rotated with your club in a high position.
  5. Practice, practice, practice! The golf swing is possibly the most complicated process in sports. It takes both technique and timing to hit the ball well.

About the Author

Bill Herrfeldt specializes in finance, sports and the needs of retiring people, and has been published in the national edition of "Erickson Tribune," the "Washington Post" and the "Arizona Republic." He graduated from the University of Louisville.