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In Your Golf Swing, What Starts the Downswing - Is it Your Hands Or Your Feet?


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From the very beginning of golf instruction the first move down to the ball has created confusion. And since video has been in the mix it has created even more confusion.

The accepted golf instruction " first move down" was and to some degree, still is, started with your feet.

From the ground up.

But slow motion video has caused a bit of a stir. And that creates an opening for the weekend player to take advantage of.

You see, to me, it makes no difference what the popular first move is. What matters is what works best for each player.

Few of us are ever going to play on the tour, not many are going to be single digit handicap players either. So what's the big deal if you don't start your downswing based on accepted PGA golf swing instruction?

Most of the players that I have worked with over the years have an over the top move. The problem is that most average players find it difficult to make both of the conventional moves at the same time. It seems that it far easier to move the hands first with conscious effort and just forget about the rest.

I agree.

The one thing that must happen if this is going to be the first move is that the club and clubhead must be on plane and on the correct swing path. So how do you do it ???

First make sure you have a grip that will allow you to have great angles. By now you all know what a good grip is and most of you won't do it. But try anyway for this move.

Now turn into your backswing, getting the left shoulder as fully turned as you can without hurting yourself.

Make sure your weight has, a least partially, moved onto your right foot. Not over or outside of the right foot. Keep your weight on the “inside" of your right foot.

Feel the upper portion of your left arm snug against your upper chest, and you right elbow is pointing to the ground.

Now the objective is to hit the inside of the golf ball and think about hitting out to right field.

You can use any number of swing triggers to get this down. I like to push with my right hand " down" toward the inside of the golf ball.

Hands start first in this move and nothing else moves on purpose.

Hit down, not up. . . hit down not up!

You can pull with your left arm if that will work for you making sure that your upper left arm is snug against your upper chest.

Stay behind that ball and swing out to right field.

Swing down first and then out ( in your mind)

It will be one continuous move but the thoughts you use will depend on what will work for you.

Key points are:

- Hit down and out to right field

- Try to make sure that your back stays looking at the target for as long as possible

- make sure you right shoulder does not move toward the target line, it moves down not out

- Keep your left shoulder close to your face

- Use a good grip and do not let the clubhead out race the hands to the ball

- swing you hands fast , not the clubhead (this works by the way)

- Start the swing with you hands moving straight down and not out away from the body.

Do not worry about a weight shift, if you do this right you will get all you need.

Helping ideas:

Draw an imaginary line from the target to and through the golf ball well past you and the ball.

Use this line for every single swing making sure the clubhead never gets out over that line until after you have hit the ball. . I do mean NEVER

Position the ball with whatever writing is on the ball so that is on the bottom inside portion of the ball

Then hit the writing.

Now use small swings at first. Hit the inside of the ball, hit it to right field. And never allow the clubhead to get to the ball before hands do.

Hands first. If it were a race between the clubhead and your hands. . .


So. . . forget about the weight shift and just think about what you already do. Hands go first, but they must go on the correct path to the ball.

And that path is inside the ball. They are your hands. . . make them do what you want them to.

Trust the mind over your body. Your hands must win the race to the ball.

This move is part of what the magic moves are all about. Try it!

If you want to know if there are any real magic moves in the golf swing the answer is yes, there are four. You can learn the first one here for free and take it to the range for a spin, click here:


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