HOW TO START THE GOLF DOWNSWING CORRECTLY


– Hi, Adam Bazalgette here
in beautiful Naples, Florida. I’m two-time PGA Teacher
of the Year Award winner, founder of Scratch Golf
Academy, great subject today, how to start the downswing correctly. (upbeat music) So how to start the downswing correctly, boy that’s an important subject,
affects your consistency, how solidly you can hit the
ball, we’ll flesh that out, show you a couple of
things for solid contact and a couple of things,
or one thing specifically that’ll help you with direction, I hope. If you like the video, please
subscribe to the channel, we gotta lot of free content,
hopefully more coming your way and of course scratchgolfacademy.com
is my home website. Okay let’s get started. Okay so as we get started
maybe it’s a good idea to look at what we’re trying to accomplish with the start of the downswing, we’re gonna look at two aspects from here and then one from there, and
let’s start with these two, now this is something, listen to this, 100 percent of all great
players do, 100 percent, now they may do it to
slightly differing degrees but these are those two
things, in every case as great golfers start the
downswing the swing narrows, the club gets closer to the
body, the wrist angle increases, not just a matter of holding wrist cock. So we’re gonna look at that
and that leads directly to number two and we’re
looking at a fairway shot when we say this, the club
shaft not only gets closer to the body, but the club
shaft passes the ball and leans this way as
it hits the golf ball. These are basically true of woods as well but we’re more behind the ball,
so let’s have a quick look at a couple of players doing that, give you a clear picture
and then we’ll back out. There we go, so Olivia Cowan,
Brandt Snedeker on the right, she’s right through that white
sign there on the way back, as she moves the club gets
closer to her on the way down, and you’ll notice, she’s
on a par three two, so the ball’s on a very low tee, but still she is gonna drive
that club shaft past the ball and the shaft will be leaning
when she hits the golf ball. Let’s have a look at Brandt,
so he’s on the other side of that palm tree going back
and on the nearside of it coming down, look at the
difference in wrist angle there, and too, he too I should say,
like Olivia, drives the shaft past the golf ball and leans in at impact. Now one other little thing
that you’ll wanna know, if you really wanna get
the most outta this, you wanna be dynamic and
hit the ball a long way, who doesn’t, you have got to
use the ground a little bit. We’re gonna get into the
sequence of motion here momentarily, it starts with
the core and if you don’t use the ground and
squeeze down a little bit, you’re just not gonna
hit the ball that far. Let’s look at one of the
best ball strikers briefly, and we’re gonna get
out and really get into this whole sequence here. So one of the best of
the best, Dustin Johnson, watch his head relative to the lake there, and watch how it lowers,
watch how he’s moving down towards the ground, now what’s happening, he’s not squatting his knees
way down or dipping his head at the ball, he is increasing that angle and providing downward
pressure into the ground, and as he pushes down, and
squeezes down with his body, he can really start to
explode out of there and make a dynamic move. Alright so let’s flesh
it out a little bit, what are we tryna do
is start the downswing, how are we gonna accomplish those things and do it with power and consistency. These days in the golf
industry almost anything is measurable, they know what
the ball does, with the club, with launch monitors, they
can measure with force plates and three dimensional or 3D
motion sensors like K-Vest, what the body’s doing, so
you may find an elite player say something, that’s what they feel, but the reality is this is
the sequence of great golfers. Now the first thing is the
core, that would be your glutes, your abs, everything
around your hips here, that’s the first segment to move, second segment would
be your thoracic spine, that’s the top of you body up here, lower body’s a little more stable, that’s more of a stabilizing component, and sections three and
four are arms then club, so that’s the acceleration
pattern we’ve gotta have, and the great players do this really well. Now one little thing before we
talk about a drill for that, if you’re really gonna get power, we’ve talked about using the ground, but if you’re gonna get power, the faster you move
those segments in order and then the quicker you decelerate them, the more rapid the movement is, the more power you’ll
create, so if you’ve watched some of my videos before,
you’ve seen me use this towel, again that’s a nice sequence,
that’s core leading, club head coming last, but
there’s not a lot of energy, so I’ve gotta move this end quickly and decelerate it quickly,
that’s wat gives it power, so I would suggest you make
some little practice swings without the club initially,
if you’re at home there, give that core literally a
little shiver and just feel that work up the system, and let your arms just relax and respond to that. Now when you get out to the
range, I’ve got an 8 iron here, hit some little shots, and
again you’re tryna create energy in a small amount of space and
start to feel that movement, but get extra soft with
your arms and club, let them kind of shiver and
load like the towel does, so here’s a little swing, so I really created some energy there, I felt my arms respond to
that, that ball for me went a pretty long way for a little mini swing, and just camp out with that a little bit, and I’m gonna get back,
I’m gonna shiver this and let the arms just totally respond and let the energy go up the segments. Like so, and as you get a
little bit more confident, just start doing it on
a slightly bigger scale. That’s a pretty solid shot
for a medium sized shot, and again as I do that,
and you can practice this, I feel that sense of squeezing the ground ’cause it really helps me
accelerate in the proper sequence. That’s the kind of
feel, then I’ll start it with some big shots, this
is fun, you’ll be amazed how far you can hit the
ball if you do these things. Let’s have a look from this angle. Okay so those first two
things deal primarily with solid contact and speed, how
can you hit the ball harder and how can you hit it dynamically. Let’s look a little bit at direction, obviously that’s critical in golf, then again we’ll assume solid
contact and we’ll assume some club face control,
your swing plane is hugely determinative of how good a
directional control you are so the way you change direction has to influence you out there
towards the target. I’ve put two little white sticks up there as we go over this set of bunkers, kind of give you a sense of
it a little bit, and listen, we’ve got this all fleshed
out at Scratch Golf Academy, a full course on building
blocks and what not but I wanna give you something
at least to touch on here, and that is to say, just
let your instincts show up a little bit here, and
I love the club toss, you may have seen this if you’ve
watched a few of my videos, if you had to take a golf
position and just toss a club, most likely, in one or two tries, you would begin to toss it
relatively well at the target. And I promise you, this
is something I learned from Fred Shoemaker out in
California, one of my mentors, if you can get a feel for that,
that’s about how you wanna swing the golf club, now
what’s the real problem, and again this goes back to
some stuff Fred showed me, most people deep down are
aiming at golf ball too much, so invariably they’re gonna
come down too directly at the ball, too steeply,
this golf club is gonna put pressure on the ball
and drive it somewhere, you wanna put pressure
on the back of the ball to send it towards the target,
I mean that’s obvious right, so if you wanna practice
that, take a golf club, look out there if you like,
and you’ll find your toss will come from the side of your body, underneath and out to
the target, no thinking, there we go right in there,
actually knocked the stumps a little bit there, and
just work off that feel. I’ve got an 8 iron here, hit
a couple of little short shots over the top of those hopefully. And again, I’m starting to
sense the direction of swing that’s gonna drive that
ball towards the target and I’m avoiding letting
the golf ball be the target, that’s not the emphasis point in my swing. So I hope that gives you some clear ideas as to how to start the
downswing correctly, give you some power and some consistency, again scratchgolfacademy.com
is my website, we’ve got a full course in the
building blocks of the swing, full courses in everything,
hope you’ll check that out, please subscribe to the
channel if you liked the video, would love to get you more free content, there’s already a lot out to see. Thanks very much.

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