Proper Golf Downswing

By Lyle Smith
A powerful downswing is key for maximum distance.
A powerful downswing is key for maximum distance.

The downswing is where all the power and clubhead speed are generated when you are trying to hit a golf ball well. Though there are many different types of golf swings, there are several points that all good golf swings have in common during the downswing, not the least of which is how you unwind the coil you've created during your backswing. Remember these and you'll hit the ball with confidence.

Smooth Transition

The transition, or the point at which your backswing turns itself into your downswing, is vitally important to keeping your club, body and swing on line as you attempt to hit a good golf shot. Keep all your movements smooth as you transition your club to the downstroke and you'll be surprised at how much more speed and power you'll be able to generate.

Swing in Order

You've coiled yourself up into a fairly tight spring during your backswing, and now it is important to uncoil in the right order or you could experience some severe problems. Imagine yourself as a spring uncoiling from the bottom up. As your weight shifts slightly toward the target, your feet start to rotate following your weight shift. Then your legs start to turn, followed by your hips, torso and shoulders. Your arms and hands whip last through the hitting zone. If you start with your hands instead of your feet, you leak most of your power long before you get to the ball.

Pull Down

As your arms and hands start into the downswing, it is important to imagine pulling the butt of the club straight down toward the ground. This keeps your hands ahead of the clubhead – often referred to as "lag" – and keeps the power you've built up on the right side of the ball.

Stay Behind

As you started your backswing, your head drifted slightly behind the ball as you rotated your body around your center of gravity. As you uncoil and begin to swing through the ball, make sure to keep your head anchored behind the ball. This gives your body a stable fulcrum against which to turn and pop through the ball.


As your swing uncoils, your golf club should accelerate all the way down and through the ball so the fastest part of your swing is actually just after you hit the ball. This keeps your club moving through the ball rather than slowing down as it passes it. The acceleration imparts a direction onto the ball with authority that a decelerating stroke cannot.

About the Author

Lyle Smith is an award-winning copywriter with a widely varied background. He has completed work for individuals, small businesses and fortune 1000 corporate clients all over the country. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Villanova University.

Photo Credits

  • David Cannon/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
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