The Right Way to Start Your Downswing

By Teresa Justine Kelly

The downswing is the product of an effective backswing. Everything happens in the downswing. This is where your power is unleashed and straight, solid golf shots are achieved. Unfortunately, many golfers have difficulty transitioning from the backswing to the downswing either because they swing too quickly, losing rhythm and tempo and resulting in an unbalanced finish, or they are off plane, resulting in sliced or hooked shots. A few simple guidelines will keep you balanced and on plane with straight, solid shots.


Difficulty: Easy
Step 1
Shift 75 percent of your weight to your right side at the top of your backswing while flexing your right knee.
Step 2
Pause at the top of your backswing for about a second.
Step 3
Square your clubface at the top of your backswing so the clubface is parallel with your left forearm and your left shoulder is under your chin.
Step 1
Gradually shift your weight from your right heel to your left toe as you make the transition from the backswing to the downswing.
Step 2
Bring your club down making sure your left shoulder is higher than your right shoulder and keep your arms out in front of you.
Step 3
Square the clubface at impact with your hands slightly ahead.
Step 4
Keep your head still and behind the ball until you finish in balance, gradually lifting your head as you complete your downswing and follow through.
Step 5
Finish your downswing with a balanced follow through, transferring 90 percent of your weight onto your front foot and ending with the club over your left shoulder and your back. Raise your back toe upwards at follow through. The shoelace of your back (right) shoe should be facing the target.

Tips & Warnings

Rhythm and tempo are very important in the downswing. If you find you are mishitting your golf shots and your tempo is too fast, try swinging your club more slowly both on the backswing and the downswing. Your natural rhythm and tempo will return.
It is important to be on plane to maximize your chances of hitting a solid shot. To remain on plane on your downswing, the butt end of the shaft of your club should be pointing at or near the ball. If the shaft is positioned above the correct plane line, your downswing will be too steep resulting in a sliced shot. If the shaft is below the ideal plane spot, the shot will be too flat, resulting in a duck hook to the left or a blocked shot to the right.

About The Author

Teresa Kelly graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. She was an editor for seven years for several magazines and publishing houses. Kelly is an avid golfer, a well-known children's book and golf author, and is currently the president of Highview Press/Golfing Lady that produces all occasion golf greeting cards.

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