How do you engage the lower body on the downswing?

Colbalt

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How do you engage the lower body on the downswing? I've been cheating it a bit by pulling down from the top with my left hand/arm (rightie) which does the trick some of the time. But, it's also inconsistent. How do you do it? Hip bump, swing from the ground up? Any others?
 

J4U

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Whatever it is that's working that day to get me there. It is always starting with the lower portion of my body.

Have thought ground up, hip, turn, and many other variations. Always thinking the arms are there just for control until I get in whatever path I have that day. Then activate them closer to impact. Have plenty of lag when the sequence is correct-ish.

Don't use it as much anymore, but when I can't figure out why there is no lag I'll grab my orange whip. A few swings with that and I've either pulled something in my upper body, or the lag returns. 🤪

If I start the swing with anything above the waist bad things happen.
 

WLG1952

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One of toughest movements for me to pull off in my swing.

I practice mentally willing my hips to start turning a nano second just prior to starting my hands/arms down swing.
 

pattyboy21

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It's so much easier if I am relaxed and slower up top. Once I get quick, I find myself hanging back and flipping at impact.

The feeling that helps me is to turn into the right instep on the backswing, and then before I reach the top, try to shift my weight into the outside of my left foot (I'm right-handed). It's that slight weight shift back to the left and trying to time that with the completion of the backswing that becomes difficult if my timing is off. Again, for me, being slow up top makes it all work.
 

blugold

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I swing to left field. Or, in my practice swing, I try to hit the toes of my left foot with the club (forces me to rotate). Once that rotation feeling is engrained I know my lower body with engage itself. I don't think of using my arms/hands in the downswing.
 

Snooksman

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Great timing on this post.
This is part of my swing change I have been working on for 4 months.
My trigger is my right hip and focusing on firing off this point add a swing path adjustments on top of all it has been very frustrating.


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Carolina Golfer

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One of toughest movements for me to pull off in my swing.

I practice mentally willing my hips to start turning a nano second just prior to starting my hands/arms down swing.

Agreed, it is so hard to do. If we can only automate it.
 

jvbart

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I recently started lessons and my instructor showed me that I have a bad habit of rotating my hips but not shifting my weight to my front foot. The main focus for me lately has been trying to start the down swing by shifting my weight to start my swing. It really helps me to think about feeling the shift from my right foot to right knee to start my downswing.
 

Acesteve

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How it feels from one person to another may vary but here is my learning in a long journey. Thoughs of moving things like the hip or planting a left foot or xyz never helped me and I tried it for 10 years. No matter what, I came over the top with an arms generated swing. The ball flight is a pull, then a pull hook, then a straight ball, then a fatty then a push; repeat, rinse, start over.

What has helped me is a slow transition where the left hand does not release its grip on the club at the top. by the time the left arm starts to let the clubdrop, my body action has already happened. No thinking needed. Somehow just letting the lead hand control the club until it starts to drop gets the body over to the left side.

The best lesson I ever recieved was watching a low handi-cap guy work on this shortgame. 3 swings watching his result gave me the courage to slow down. Very easy to practice in a chip. Once I saw the better result, it was intuitive it would help my full swing and has. But beware, the rush and the trail hand taking over is only a swing away.
 

TrueMotionMatt

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I use my feet...left one rotates left, right one right, which externally rotates my legs while my left hip goes lower. Hands stay very very passive, my elbow comes forward, and the shaft shallows out naturally. It takes a lot of reps to ingrain the lower body motion pattern, but once you do, it becomes automatic. 👊
 

nicklongdrive

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Yes, in 2 ways; hip rotation leading the down swing and squatting up after I have loaded my legs from the takeaway.
 

MarMill

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Right now I feel like I leave hands alone at the top and feel like I am squeezing something in the lead hip. Angle between the torso and leg gets smaller.
 

-CRW-

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I just throw the club with my right/trail hand and the body moves out of the way like it’s supposed to. Just like throwing a baseball, football, punch, etc.
 

Acesteve

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Lots of diverse comments here. What I did that helped me is practice in front of a big mirror the backswing and first part of the downswing. What I was watching for was the weight shift that puts me onto my left leg, the thought of rotating not sliding my hips and seeing that just after transition I have not released my wrists. If I do those things, a good swing usually results.
 

tahoebum

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Lots of diverse comments here. What I did that helped me is practice in front of a big mirror the backswing and first part of the downswing. What I was watching for was the weight shift that puts me onto my left leg, the thought of rotating not sliding my hips and seeing that just after transition I have not released my wrists. If I do those things, a good swing usually results.
I also use a mirror at home and try to swing a club 75+ times on the days I’m not playing although in the winter it’s more like one or two days a week. My footwork and starting the downswing with my knees and hips has always been a key fundamental that I practice. The others are grip, posture, alignment, and tempo.
 

annsguy

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I opened this thread with a ton of trepidation. The responses are pretty solid. I try to start the shift with the lead knee while the upper body is still turning. That seems to get things working in sequence
 

Acesteve

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my golf partners and I talk this subject a great deal. I usually respond talking about my core vs my legs. since the core has no connection to the ground or the club directly. Talking of legs sometimes historically gave me the idea that I was dancing or something and that frequently make my hips sliding issue worse.

The best analogy I've read somewhere is to think about swinging a burlap seed/feed sack with some feed still in it. Seems intuitive to me that I would not start dancing nor would one get handsy. The idea that the lower body would start to counter balance the body while the hands are transitioning then becomes rationale.
 

RayG

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As mentioned in another thread- back in the day when the “X-Factor” was a thing (getting the most coil as possible- think John Daly), I picked up the move of kicking the left knee toward target JUST before getting to the top. I mean JUST before starting the downswing. This seems to get the hips going. I practiced by pausing at the top, starting the knee, then completing the swing. Then do it in one smooth motion. More coil, more potential energy. At the time I was very much an “arm swinger” and seemed to keep my legs straight. This meant timing was utmost. I could get it out there… but not always in the right direction. In order to kick that knee effectively, I had to have some bend in the knees. So I then addressed the ball as normal, then trigger the swing by dropping my butt a bit to put some flex in the knees.
 

Carolina Golfer

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I opened this thread with a ton of trepidation. The responses are pretty solid. I try to start the shift with the lead knee while the upper body is still turning. That seems to get things working in sequence

It is interesting to see the many different responses. I think this is the secret sauce to the golf swing, if one can get it right.
 

Acesteve

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lower body and core led have helped my direction on every club from putting, to chipping to full swing. I would say Driving is the only one where I have gotten longer. Longer because somehow my swing path is not as steep. It certainly could be coil and other factors but I see a great drop in spin and balls that actually roll out a bit.
 

Razzaa

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My downswing starts with applying my weight to my left foot in a downward motion. Kind of like a mini squat. That triggers my hips, torso and shoulders to follow. Club naturally lags behind.


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razaar

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The key for me is to ensure the spinal muscles on the target side of my spine are fully contracted and those on the right side of the spine are fully stretched before changing direction. This is the only thing I consciously think about during the backswing. This one movement triggers the downswing movements in the correct sequence with the shoulders being held momentarily while the lower spine and pelvis rotate towards the target under the held shoulders. This movement is not possible unless the upper spine is fully extended at the top of the backswing.
 

baylrballa

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I have no clue
 

USAF Ret in Wis

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I activate my glutes (y)
 

WILDTHING

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It's quite complicated to explain but look at image B below and imagine that you've stretched that pinkish pelvic rotary muscle at the top of the backswing.

By the time you've reached the backswing you should feel 70-80% of your weight pressure on your right hip socket (for a right handed golfer). It basically stabilises your right leg and hip joint in space (like a wooden post ) .

You then contract that same pelvic muscle which then pulls on the unweighted pelvis (see the black arrow) which then rotates the whole pelvis in the direction of the red arrow.

This contraction happens momentarily before you use your 'abs' to rotate your upper torso (see video below from 04:00 -04:52). This pelvic rotary muscle contraction only lasts for a short while in the downswing and dissipates as your hips become squarer to the ball-target line.

This ensures that you are performing the correct 'kinematic' sequence from lower body - upper body.

1620652265780.png

 

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