Downswing Golf Tips

By Sharon Penn
A powerful downswing will generate distance in your golf shots.
A powerful downswing will generate distance in your golf shots.

The downswing is the part of the golf swing where you actually make contact with the ball. If you have executed the other steps of the swing correctly, you should be in the ideal position to achieve the distance and accuracy you are striving for. Practice on a driving range to groove your swing and create "muscle memory" for consistency. Concentrate on maintaining your balance and posture, and make sure your arms, legs and body work together for a smooth downswing.

At the Top of the Swing

When you start the downswing, your weight will have transferred to your back foot during the backswing. You will have made a complete shoulder turn around your spine, and the club will be parallel to the ground with your wrists cocked at 90 degrees.

Beginning the Downswing

The downswing begins by moving your forward knee toward the target. The heel of your front foot will not yet be bearing weight and may have come up a little. As your weight shifts to your front foot, the front heel returns to the ground if necessary. As your knees move, your hips shift as well. During this initial shift in body weight, the upper body remains in the coiled position. The club remains at the top of the backswing, although the back shoulder will have dropped a bit to allow for an efficient swing.

Hitting Through the Ball

The hips are now rotated toward the target. The lower body is still moving toward the target before the upper body turns. A quick hip rotation at this point will generate the power in your downswing that should result in a shot with more distance. Keep your wrists cocked at 90 degrees with your thumb pointing up as if you are shaking hands until you're about to make impact with the ball. When you hit the ball, your arms will be stretched out straight by centrifugal force and you will be able to feel the club head. Swing through the ball by hitting it square on the sweet spot. Finish the downswing with a strong follow-through with your front foot down and your chest facing the target. As you complete the swing, your back heel will be up and your back toe will be on the ground and pointed down.

About the Author

Sharon Penn is a writer based in South Florida. A professional writer since 1981, she has created numerous materials for a Princeton advertising agency. Her articles have appeared in "Golf Journal" and on industry blogs. Penn has traveled extensively, is an avid golfer and is eager to share her interests with her readers. She holds a Master of Science in Education.

Photo Credits

  • David Cannon/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
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