Rick’s practice tips: start your downswing with your right hand and right knee – Lesson Tee – Brief Article
Whether they are using a wedge, middle-iron or driver, people often ask me the same question: “What starts the downswing?”
The correct answer is two body parts: the right hand and the right knee. They start the downswing simultaneously and move toward the ball at a similar pace. Their synchronization is the difference between hitting a weak shot and a powerful one.
Some people start their downswing with the right knee only. But their hands and arms get left behind as the body turns toward the target. To square the clubface and hit a good shot, they have to manipulate the club with their hands at the last second or they will hit the ball to the right of the intended target.
Other players are all arms, making an out-to-in downswing with very little body turn. This is known as “casting” the club because it resembles an angler casting with a rod and reel. This will cause the ball to slice (left-to-right ball flight) or pull (straight left of the target).
Instead, practice starting your downswing with the right hand and knee moving in unison. Your swing will be better than ever.
Rick Smith, voted No. 5 by his peers in Golf Digest’s ranking of America’s 50 Greatest Teachers, teaches at the Treetops Resort, Gaylord, Mich., and Tiburon in Naples, Fla.
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