New Year, New Game: Groove Your Downswing for Longer Drives

Tuesday December 27th, 2016
No matter what your swing speed may be, proper sequencing in your downswing will help you hit long, straight, powerful drives.
Graham Gaches

The New Year is nearly upon us, so it’s time to start thinking about golf for 2017. We’ve assembled some basic tips to serve as a New Year’s Resolution for each facet of your game.

Having trouble finding the fairway? Your bad misses can often be traced to a poor downswing sequence—that is, your body unwinds and releases the clubhead too early, rather than allowing it to reach impact last. To find the short grass, your downswing should unwind in a proper, three-step fashion: 1) Reach the top of your swing with a full turn, which lets you generate and store maximum energy for the move down; 2) Drop the club behind you and set it on its proper inside-to-out path; 3) Rotate your lower body, then upper body, to release the stored energy and pull the club through impact. To get your downswing and tee shots in top shape, practice these moves.

1. STORE YOUR ENERGY

To store the maximum amount of energy in your backswing, turn your hips in the backswing (rather than merely lifting the club to the top).
Graham Gaches

Start your takeaway and hold it at the top. Did your hips turn away from the target, or did you raise the club just with your arms? It's critical to make a full, deep turn. Doing so makes it easier to properly "drop" the club in your transition into the downswing. It doesn't matter how far you can take back the club. The important thing? Power your motion not by lifting the club but by making the biggest turn you can.

2. DROP AND SHALLOW THE CLUB

Start your downswing by dropping your wrists. When your left arm is parallel with the ground, your right elbow should still be tucked near your body and pointing down. Now you're locked and loaded for the final move to impact.
Graham Gaches

Drop the club behind you without moving your hips, shoulders or wrists. As your left arm nears parallel (to the ground) on the downswing, keep your right elbow pointing inside your right hip. This helps shallow the club so that you can approach the ball from the inside while maintaining the appropriate angle between your left arm and the clubshaft.

3. TWIST AND SQUARE THE CLUBFACE

Once you start down with your legs and hips leading the way, everything else follows. As your body turns to face the target, the clubhead should whip through impact, releasing the energy you stored at the top.
Graham Gaches

Rotate, or twist, your lower body toward the target while pulling the club through impact with your arms. This move will help you square the clubface as it nears the ball. Do this slowly at first, until you get the correct sequencing down. Once your hips clear and face the target, swing your arms as fast as you can through the hitting area to crank up your distance while still finding the fairway.

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