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Golf Downswing

From Santa Fe Institute Events Wiki

Is Your Golf Downswing hurting more than your game?

Performed correctly the golf swing is like poetry in motion. To the onlooker it appears so smooth and natural, the player at one with nature effortlessly cracking the ball in a glorious arc to nestle in the center of the fairway.

A friend of mine once described a fairway as being a neatly mown strip of grass separating two groups of golfers looking for their balls. It still makes me chuckle 30 years later when I recall it. I’m sure you will also recall seeing this sight at some time on some golf course or another – probably while you are waiting (hoping) to be waved through.

The golf downswing is the most important part of the whole swing. Why do I say this with such confidence? Well think about it for a moment…. and what did you realize? Yes, that’s right, it’s only at the end of the downswing that any contact is made with the ball. This is when all the damage is done, if you haven’t completed the downswing correctly the act of the club face connecting with the golf ball is probably going to put you with those other golfers I mentioned earlier, stuck on the edges of the fairway looking for your ball.

Tip to Remember – It is OK for the head to move behind and away from the ball, up to about four inches, during take away, backswing, transition, and downswing. Although there are different opinions on this matter.

Sam Snead was a great proponent of a steady head throughout one’s swing. He suggested and taught that “the head is the anchor around which one must swing.” Snead was extremely flexible and he had the physical make up that allowed him to maintain a very steady head throughout his swing. Sam went on to win 82 tournaments, including 7 Majors. On the otherhand however, Tiger Woods and Lorena Ochoa, each move their heads during their swings, at different times and in different directions. Tiger’s head moves down at transition and on his downswing. Lorena’s head moves back from the ball, but along the target line, at impact.

However, it is NOT OK for the head to move in front of the ball before the impact zone. The head must stay back and behind the ball, as long as possible, until after the ball is struck.

Take time to learn the Difference between the Backswing and Downswing-essentially, the downswing is what takes all the momentum to the ball and allows for contact. Your backswing affects your downswing more than most players realize. If your backswing is too slow, your downswing may not get the proper momentum and will leave you a little short on the field. Although your backswing is slower, you want to make sure it is fast enough to carry the momentum through the faster downswing.

There is a huge difference between the golf swing of a good golfer and the golf swing of a poor golfer. A poor golfer thinks that he or she or it is playing baseball. They swing back and then through. The poor golfer has 2 parts to it’s golf swing. The poor golfer is missing the third part, the key to becoming a good golfer. The third part occurs at the beginning of the downswing. It is called the transition move.