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The Golf Downswing Part 4

Third Magic Move: Make No Effort To Move The Club!

The third magic move for a good golf downswing consists of making no effort to move the golf club... Say what!?

The golf club, of course, will move. It will be moved by the shoulders.

What we mean is that no effort should be made with the wrists, hands, or arms to make the golf club move.

"One of the most important things in golf is making this first movement from the top without letting the angle between the shaft and the left arm open."

That is the important point: If we could turn the arms, hands, and wrists into wood for a fraction of a second as the golf downswing begins, it would be perfect.

Then they and the golf club would be "frozen" into one solid unit and they would all start down together in one piece, motivated by the rocking, turning shoulders.

Then if, with some electronic impulse, we could switch them back to life again as the hands got down to about the hip position, we would have the perfect movement.

The whole downward action is initiated by the lateral movement of the hips to the left.

Since at the top we are in a tightly coiled position, this hip action causes the shoulders to rock to the right and turn.

The rocking action, with the left shoulder coming up and the right going down, is what moves the arms and the club.

If the right shoulder comes down (rocks slightly) as it begins to turn, it brings the upper right arm against the right side and the swing starts down on an inside line.

It is when the shoulders turn, throwing the right shoulder high and out toward the ball, that the golf swing goes outside. Keeping the head back helps the slight rocking action which brings the right shoulder down.

One of the most important things in golf is making this first movement from the top without letting the angle between the shaft and the left arm open.

The peculiar thing about it is that if the hip, shoulder, and hand actions are correct, the angle will not open. If they are wrong, it will.

The instant the right shoulder starts to move out high toward the ball, the arm-shaft angle begins to open, even if no effort is made by the hands to swing the golf club.

Most of the time the angle is opened up because the hands are trying to do something with the golf club. But even without the hands doing anything the angle will still open if the wrong shoulder action is made.

First Part of the Downswing A First Part of the Downswing B First Part of the Dowswing C
The eternal triangle: Here we see how the wrist-cock is retained through the first part of the downswing, finally breaking open only after the hands get down to waisl height or even a little below.

The start down from the top can be visualized in several ways. You can think of it as the "wooden freeze" just mentioned, a momentary period during which nothing happens except what is motivated by the hips.

You can also imagine a triangle, formed on two sides by the shaft of the club and the left arm, with the third side an imaginary line from the dub head to the point of the left shoulder.

From the top this triangle must be tilted and brought down a ways without changing the length of the imaginary side.

This we call the "eternal triangle," because it must be retained as long as possible. As the speed of the golf club head increases, the imaginary side of the triangle lengthens, of course, and the arm-shaft angle starts to open up. But the triangle should be kept constant as long as possible.


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