In the golf swing, the First Move down should be one of unity.  The upper and lower body arms need to have continuity to provide consistency and provide clubhead speed.  This really separates the men from the boys.  An average golfer can get everything right up to this point with a little practice.  Now, You need to incorporate a dash of athleticism, and a dose of guts, finish it off.

So, now we are ready to start the downswing. You’ve arrived safely at the top and now you need to return to the bottom in one piece and with a little practice, we can even incorporate some good ole’ fashion clubhead speed!

When you are ready to start the downswing, the very first move is for the right arm to begin to straighten out and return to the exact same position it started in. The right arm has to start to come unhinged as soon as you begin the downswing.
Right Arm Begins to Straighten

Right Arm Begins to Straighten

Right Arm Unhinges

Right Arm Unhinges

Right Arm Straight

Right Arm Straight

Many people have written about this topic. As a matter of fact, it seems like every time anyone goes near this subject, the entire golf world throws the four letter word “cast” at you. The terms “cast” or “casting the golf club” were used in the 60’s and have escalated to the point where if you mention any other way of swinging the golf club down other than “pulling on the handle” or creating drag and creating a tight angle with your arms, the golf world is ready to pounce on you.

The good news, bad news is the terms “pulling on the handle” and “creating a tight angle” have kept me very busy for the past 25 years. If you are trying to practice the above mentioned phrases, I feel very confident you’ll end up hitting too many shots to the right. The ability to hit a golf ball squarely with the correct timing has more to do with how many hours you can dedicate to the game than it does with how hard you can pull on the handle of the golf club.

Your ability to create clubhead speed lies in the speed you can swing your hands, arms and golf club not in how fast you can pull the grip end of the golf club. Clubhead speed is created from you generating width in the right arm on its journey back to the golf ball.

Swinging just the hands, arms and golf club back to the golf ball with maximum clubhead speed independent of the lower and upper body is not the answer either. Swinging the golf club back to the golf ball on the correct path with maximum clubhead speed is the combination of the hands, arms and golf club swinging in conjunction with the lower body moving out of the way and the upper body turning back towards the target. The upper and lower body CANNOT swing independent of each other.

As the right arm begins to unhinge:

The left hip moves one or two inches towards the target
Left Hip Moves Towards Target

Left Hip Moves Towards Target

Then the left hip should start to turn out of the way so the hands, arms, and golf club can have a place to swing to after impact.
Left Hip Turns Out of the Way

Left Hip Turns Out of the Way

How to Start the Golf Club Down
As you begin the downswing there are many parts that you must follow in order for you to swing the clubhead back on the correct path with maximum amount of speed. By now you know the right arm must begin to unfold first and then the left hip moves one or two inches towards the target and then it turns back and out of the way.
As the right arm begins to unfold the left arm must remain long during this entire time.
Left Arm Long

Left Arm Long

Your left arm should NOT be rigid and locked, but long and relaxed.

When you moved the golf club back to the top of the backswing it swung back on an arc. The arc was slightly inside a straight line away from the target. The club has to swing inside and up on the arc. When the club passed 9:00 it has to start swinging up.

When you swung it up, the right shoulder turned back and out of the way, now as you swing the golf club back down, the right shoulder has to stay back as long as possible so the club can swing back down on the arc.

The golf club has to swing back down on the same path it went up on.
Arc in Downswing

Arc in Downswing

What happens next? For the first couple of feet in the downswing, not much happens- then it all starts to go. As the left hip moves out of the way, the left knee will begin to head back towards its address position.
When the clubhead gets halfway back to the golf ball, the right knee will begin to turn towards the target and your weight will start to move from the right side back to the middle of your stance.
Right Knee Turns Towards Target

Right Knee Turns Towards Target

Well that completes the 5th week of the Golf Swing. As mentioned throughout this golf swing tutorial, the The Full Swing by Bobby Eldridge is the absolute complete reference of the golf swing. Check it my review here. Again, The Full Swing, it’s a no-brainer!

I hope you enjoyed this post on the First Move.  Next week, we’ll be covering Downswing and finish it off with Impact to Finish!