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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Cristie Kerr's Downswing Move #2 (Video)

Yesterday I posted a face-on video of Cristie Kerr smacking a driver, to help you learn a better move down to the ball. Today I want to add a bit to that instruction, and I'm using a down-the-line video of Cristie's drive to help you see this part better.

I quoted this from the Golf Digest article I referred to in yesterday's post:
"Most amateurs are moving their hands hard down toward the ball and moving their bodies toward the target. The key move is to avoid letting your right hip rotate toward the target too early as you move your hands and the club away."
And I said that it's easier to get that result if you focus on your arm and shoulder motion by keeping your trailing elbow straighter, rather than focusing on lower body action. I'm not changing that at all. However, I'm going to tie that advice to another tip I've mentioned many times, a tip that works very well with the arm motion I recommended.

In fact, this tip will make the arm motion much easier to learn.

I have often written that I would rather see you move DOWN to start your downswing, not forward toward the target the way many teachers suggest. That's how Sam Snead used to do it, and they didn't call him "Slammin' Sam" for nothing! Cristie does this as well, and the above video will not only help you understand why I recommend this move, but it will help you start your downswing smoothly.

The second and third swings on the above video are slow -- and the third one is REALLY slow, just like yesterday's video, so it's the easiest one to see the move in. When Cristie gets to the top of her backswing, her trailing knee (her right one) is almost straight. But to start her downswing, she bends that knee. That starts her weight moving downward, and that in turn helps pull the club down without changing the amount of bend in her trailing elbow.

But it does more. Bending her trailing knee -- a mini-squat, if you like -- pulls her trailing hip forward, toward the ball, and shifts her weight onto her lead leg. (It has to. If it didn't, she'd lose her balance and fall down!) It's almost as if she fell onto her lead leg and braced herself with it... and since her lead knee is already bent, it automatically "loads up" to push her upward at impact, effectively "using the ground."

That one downward move -- bending her trailing knee to start her downswing and pull her arms downward without changing the angles created at the top by her trailing elbow -- creates both hip rotation AND weight shift without any kind of dramatic hip or leg action... and that means you stay stable over the ball, creating better contact. It also stops you from uncocking your wrists too early in your downswing, so you create more clubhead speed as well.

If you watch both videos and try to feel the rhythm of her backswing-to-downswing move, and then try it out on your own, I think you'll be pleased with the results you get after just a little practice. It's a simple, natural way to use the physics of your swing to create more clubhead speed with less effort.