How do you engage the lower body on the downswing?

Colbalt

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I used to think about activating the lower body. The thought was do this, get this in this position, ect. I got so mechanical and had so many thoughts it screwed me up. I had an old teacher that I played with give me a tip. He told me to get a feel of swinging with just my arms. He said by doing this it cleared all of those other thoughts and the lower body would respond the way it knows to respond. To my surprise this does work, the lower body does what it has been trained to do over the years, with no thought. Got me back down to 2.3 cap. May work for some of y’all, I am not changing anything any time soon.
 

WILDTHING

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I used to think about activating the lower body. The thought was do this, get this in this position, ect. I got so mechanical and had so many thoughts it screwed me up. I had an old teacher that I played with give me a tip. He told me to get a feel of swinging with just my arms. He said by doing this it cleared all of those other thoughts and the lower body would respond the way it knows to respond. To my surprise this does work, the lower body does what it has been trained to do over the years, with no thought. Got me back down to 2.3 cap. May work for some of y’all, I am not changing anything any time soon.
Yes , this is another valid method to swing the golf club , something called a reactive pivot . It doesn't mean that the kinematic sequence is any different because even with the swing intent of using the arms your body responds to get out of the way first to allow your arms to swing to a target (providing you are using external focus cues). So the kinematic sequence will still be lower body-> upper body.

This type of technique was advocated by Leslie King many decades ago (free article below).

Leslie King Tuition Series - An End to Trial & Error Golf - Golf Today

The Leslie King technique doesn't incorporate any upper body torque to do work on the arms/club unit (ie. increase their kinetic energy) therefore I assume one couldn't generate optimal clubhead speed unless you've got very powerful shoulder girdle muscles (replacing the role of the abs).

PS. I used the Leslie King technique many years ago and it actually worked and stopped me giving up the game after messing up my swing using Leadbetter instruction theories (probably misinterpreting them).
 
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Hamfist

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"PS. I used the Leslie King technique many years ago and it actually worked and stopped me giving up the game after messing up my swing using Leadbetter instruction theories (probably misinterpreting them). "

Do you still? What made you stop?

I read the whole thing, and really like the ideas. In the vein of Ernest Jones/De La Torre, kinda, with the emphasis on the arms/hands.
 

WILDTHING

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"PS. I used the Leslie King technique many years ago and it actually worked and stopped me giving up the game after messing up my swing using Leadbetter instruction theories (probably misinterpreting them). "

Do you still? What made you stop?

I read the whole thing, and really like the ideas. In the vein of Ernest Jones/De La Torre, kinda, with the emphasis on the arms/hands.
I think I was around 47 when I used it and it cured my frequent snap hooks and push slices (I was all over the place) but my distance was poor. Then I tried a one plane swing (started getting back pain) , stack and tilt (even worse back pain). Tried using Shawn Clement instruction which gave me extra distance but my direction was wayward (no back pain). Then I delved in TGM instruction based on Tom Tomasello videos (really good and I recommend viewing them -links below) and found the instruction made some sense but my swing felt contrived and unnatural so decided to revert back to Shawn Clement . I started getting better using external focus cues which improved my distance and accuracy so I'm sticking with it because my swing feels free and natural with no tension.

Here are the Tomasello videos if you are interested (he's quite funny too).

Tom Tomasello / Chapter 1 / The Pivot - YouTube
Tom Tomasselo / Chapter 2 / The Arms - YouTube
Tom Tomasello / Chapter 3 / The Hands - YouTube
Tom Tomasello / Chapter 4 / Hinge Action - YouTube
Tom Tomasello / Chapter 5 / Power - YouTube
Tom Tomasello / Chapter 6 / Alignments - YouTube
Tom Tomasello / Chapter 7 / Drills - YouTube
Tom Tomasello / Chapter 8 / The Short Game - YouTube
Tom Tomasello / Chapter 9 / Hitting & Swinging - YouTube

PS. Tomasello teaches a right arm swinging action and I hit my lowest personal best using this technique (81 )
 
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nicklongdrive

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Believe it or not, keeping your trail elbow in closer to your ribcage on the downswing will promote your body to actually initiate the lower body. This is also in addition to shifting (not swaying) your weight to your front foot during the transition. It's easier said than done but I've been working on getting my hips to fire and rotate faster through impact since I suffered from an arm dominant swing for a long time.
 

WILDTHING

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Just to add that the main reason I moved from an awe inspiring 81 using Tom Tomasello technique was quite a distressing situation for me on the golf course. I turned up a few days later for another game , stood on the 1st tee and the club felt completely alien to me as if it was the first time I'd ever held a golf club. My brain was so involved in the internal focus drill that Tom advocated in Chapter 7 that I had complete paralysis by analysis (my whole body felt robotic with no fluidity at all) . I swung the driver and buried the head about a foot behind the ball , it bounced off the turf and knocked the ball 90 degrees to the right. This was how my game played out for the full 18 holes. My playing partner laughed his head off as he couldn't believe I was the same player he saw a few days ago.

The danger with learning that type of instruction was that it works on a nice flat lie but what happens when your on a slight slope or in rough? What precise intricate changes must you make to your swing to hit the ball cleanly in the direction you intend? I wondered if I'd ever have the time and dedication to accurately identify, learn and ingrain all those changes in swing technique required on the course. The answer was 'No' so decided on going back to an external focus type swing technique. I had an appreciation of the fundamentals , general geometry/physics/biomechanics involved so just concentrated on 'swinging to and through targets' and stayed with it . I might have some poor scores but its mostly the short game that lets me down and I play okay even after not hitting a ball for many months (its like riding a bike , it seems you can never forget). So far I haven't been able to play for 14 months so it will be interesting to see how I fare in late June (after my 2nd vaccine jab).
 

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I employ S&T and thus my butt travels left (towards the target) as I complete my backswing with my left knee moving downward which presets weight on my left side at the start of my downswing. I "feel" tilted towards the target at the top, but in reality, I'm in a stacked position over the ball in a mirror. I also feel tilted due to many decades of trying to turn into my right side on the takeaway, so it feels like the opposite. In fact, I don't pay much attention to weight shifts anymore. Ironically, my misses and/or weak shots are most often due to my weight meandering to my right side during my backswing or at the start of my downswing. Old habits die hard.

In my case, the shifting of my weight to the right side created all kinds of problems including early extension, lifting the club to the top, OTT swings, swinging from my right side, etc. It also created a never-ending battle between my upper body and lower body whereby my upper body constantly wanted to out-race my lower body. I also eliminated right knee pain caused by loading into/over the right knee and also eliminated lower back pain caused by torquing the spine against the hips while keeping the right knee flexed.....despite playing nearly every day.

My 2 cents.
 

WILDTHING

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I employ S&T and thus my butt travels left (towards the target) as I complete my backswing with my left knee moving downward which presets weight on my left side at the start of my downswing. I "feel" tilted towards the target at the top, but in reality, I'm in a stacked position over the ball in a mirror. I also feel tilted due to many decades of trying to turn into my right side on the takeaway, so it feels like the opposite. In fact, I don't pay much attention to weight shifts anymore. Ironically, my misses and/or weak shots are most often due to my weight meandering to my right side during my backswing or at the start of my downswing. Old habits die hard.

In my case, the shifting of my weight to the right side created all kinds of problems including early extension, lifting the club to the top, OTT swings, swinging from my right side, etc. It also created a never-ending battle between my upper body and lower body whereby my upper body constantly wanted to out-race my lower body. I also eliminated right knee pain caused by loading into/over the right knee and also eliminated lower back pain caused by torquing the spine against the hips while keeping the right knee flexed.....despite playing nearly every day.

My 2 cents.
There is another thread below which might explain why SnT is okay for you but not for others (and obviously why conventional type swings don't work for some too). All to do with swing patterns that fit a golfers body profile.

Just had a lesson with Mike Adams, Top 5 golf instructor | The Hackers Paradise
 
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razaar

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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?
I used to do what you do when I was younger. It worked OK up until I lost my natural athleticism in my early 60's. After years of searching, research, testing swing theories and watching the swings of elite golfers and listening to their advice, I finally arrived at a method that made sense and one that I was capable of owning.
It only took me a decade to fully own the changes where they became automatic and I could feel them in the one second timeframe of a golf swing. I could articulate what I do and I have done his in other threads on the subject. The point is that there is no easy way to learn how to swing from the ground up or learn to use he spine/pelvis engine for the golfer who swings with his arms and cuts his body out of the action.
For most golfers the easiest way is to learn how to make your best swing 80+% of the time instead 30% or 50% and be happy with that. Or gamble that that a new swing job will be a success and one doesn't end up with a swing less effective than the original.
 
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Ab Crevoiserat

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This my be out of left field, but I try to load up on my back leg and then at the top of my back swing I start to shift my weight forward as I would if I were stepping into a fastball driving my hips through and around as I make contact. It seems to work for me.
 

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I used to do what you do when I was younger. It worked OK up until I lost my natural athleticism in my early 60's. After years of searching, research, testing swing theories and watching the swings of elite golfers and listening to their advice, I finally arrived at a method that made sense and one that I was capable of owning.
It only took me a decade to fully own the changes where they became automatic and I could feel them in the one second timeframe of a golf swing. I could articulate what I do and I have done his in other threads on the subject. The point is that there is no easy way to learn how to swing from the ground up or learn to use he spine/pelvis engine for the golfer who swings with his arms and cuts his body out of the action.
For most golfers the easiest way is to learn how to make your best swing 80+% of the time instead 30% or 50% and be happy with that. Or gamble that that a new swing job will be a success and one doesn't end up with a swing less effective than the original.

Thanks, Razaar. Please, share the swing that works for you.
 

razaar

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Thanks, Razaar. Please, share the swing that works for you.
One last time, mate.
The golf swing takes about one second which isn't much time. Therefore every movement needs to lead into the next movement otherwise the swing stalls and bad things happen.
Everything we do during the backswing needs to set up the downswing which takes about 2/5ths of a second. The positions we arrive at during the follow through tell us what occurred through impact.
In my swing my lower limbs legs and arms hold towards the ball position during both sides of the swing. The upper limbs rotate in the direction of the body
turn. With the arms, the forearms hold counterclockwise pressure during the takeaway which becomes clockwise pressure during the upswing.
During the backswing the left hip becomes the door hinge and the right hip is the hinge during transition until the left foot takes weight and can use the ground to complete the hip/body rotation through impact.
I keep the hips under the shoulders throughout with the upper sternum anchoring the swing with the lower spine pelvis and legs providing the rotational power (torque).
There is resistance built in during both backswing and downswing especially the latter. I am resisting the downswing with my right hip, foot/leg, both shoulders and arms while my left leg and left side of the pelvis is working to turn my belly button towards the target and the sacrum away from the target.
The right elbow remains down and in on the trail side of the ball while the left elbow does the same on the target side.
At the business end through impact I try for both wrists to be supinated with the left flexed and in ulna deviation, the right in slight radial deviation and extended Into the follow through the left wrist pronates and the right supinates. The wrists recock in the later part of the follow through during the 'maypole' finish .
 

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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.
You could have answered with two words here:

Calves activated
 
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GolfLivesMatter

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There is another thread below which might explain why SnT is okay for you but not for others (and obviously why conventional type swings don't work for some too). All to do with swing patterns that fit a golfers body profile.

Just had a lesson with Mike Adams, Top 5 golf instructor | The Hackers Paradise
I did review the entire thread...thanks for the link. While I understand there can be a correlation between body types/measurements vs swing type, the more interesting aspect is I've yet to come across a professional hockey player who plays golf at a decent level, with varying shapes and builds, taller, shorter, etc who cannot smoke a golf ball with accuracy with a lead leg-post swing, like a slapshot in hockey. It seems to me measurements can be used as a guideline to help someone "not fight" outlier swings such as a super steep or super flat backswing, but after that, it seems to me it's just different shades of grey, and more geared to a club-fitting exercise to adjust club lie and length issues. I'm not saying Adams is "wrong", I'm simply skeptical of measuring someone and suddenly they're shooting scratch golf. I think it's a great exercise to weed out the crazy stuff.

If someone is not employing an obviously inappropriate swing based upon their body type, there's the rest of the swing. Many folks do not properly execute lower body movement during any type of swing. An instructor might change their setup to accommodate a certain swing path flaw, such as prescribing a closed stance to minimize OTT. In some cases that could be a more permanent fix for a few cases......because that fix assumes the player can consistently deliver the club to the ball at the same spot every time. I see some decent players who can't hit the same spot in a sand trap during practice, even with a line drawn in the sand because there's always some excess body part movement going on during their swing.

As for measurements dictating swing type, Nicklaus had a more vertical backswing path. At setup, Jack appeared to have a 50/50 weight distribution, maybe even slightly more on his trail foot. However, as he approached the top of his backswing, his butt shifted towards the target which moved his weight to his left side as evidenced by his left knee's downward bend. So one might question why he didn't simply stack over the ball vs. a right shift then move back into a more stacked position? Who knows, but my guess is this was a natural movement that he was comfortable executing and never really thought of changing...and why? LOL.

Conversely, Hogan had a flat backswing, yet he also advocated for a weight shift to the right on the takeaway. However, at the top, Hogan's butt traveled towards the target quite a bit which also resulted in a post-up on his left side and a lot of weight on his left side. Therefore, despite these two very different backswings and body types, their positions at the top were extremely similar in terms of their butts traveling 4 or more inches towards the target at the top, then another 4 or so inches towards the target on the downswing.

My old golf coach once said that while Hogan prescribed a weight shift to the right, what actually occurred was his weight traveled right, then "up and over" to his left side at the top. He warned us to NOT shift our weight to the right side if we could not get our butts traveling towards the target at the top, otherwise, it's just a spin-swing. If I had a dollar for how many times I've seen folks shift their weight to the right and then swing from the right I'd be buying a new McLaren. :D
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?
The lower body actually moves towards the target on the backswing which loads the front leg. On the downswing the lower body moves more towards the target, resulting in your belt buckle being the closest item to the target. The teachings of "getting on the right side at the top" are entirely misleading and have caused more flaws than any other teaching in golf. Here's a Nicklaus quote regarding weight shift to the trail foot:

"I don't believe in a lateral shift. Of course not. I believe in staying on the ball." Asked what he thinks about teachers who advocate a weight shift, he answers, "They don't know how to play."
 

Collin42

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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?
Just act like your club is stuck in the ceiling. How would you pull it out of the ceiling and hit the ball. Keep your swing simple. If that doesn’t work grip it like a hockey stick and hit balls like that.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

rlefig

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Believe it or not, keeping your trail elbow in closer to your ribcage on the downswing will promote your body to actually initiate the lower body. This is also in addition to shifting (not swaying) your weight to your front foot during the transition. It's easier said than done but I've been working on getting my hips to fire and rotate faster through impact since I suffered from an arm dominant swing for a long time.
I tend to have same problem
 

GolfLivesMatter

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Just act like your club is stuck in the ceiling. How would you pull it out of the ceiling and hit the ball. Keep your swing simple. If that doesn’t work grip it like a hockey stick and hit balls like that.


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Why is anyone pulling down on a club?
 

GolfLivesMatter

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How do you get it out of the ceiling lol. It’s stuck in the ceiling how do you get it out? You have to use your lower legs like a slap shot.


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If your club is stuck in the ceiling call a drywall guy....:D
 

leftshot

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To hit a draw or a fade?

If I want a draw it starts by bumping the hips, then turning the hips. Some may describe this as triggered with some part of their legs. But it's the same thing. Don't believe me? Just try to bump your hips without involving your legs in some way. The bump of the hips promote the arms and hands to drop the club handle and club head from the inside-out.

If I want to hit a fade it starts with the hip turn. This changes the swing plane slightly. You need to have a swing plane that at impact is slightly out to in and a club face that is slightly open relative to the swing path.
 

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Searching for a hip bump video, came accross this vid explaining it is more like a body shift.


@TrueMotionMatt is this the "surfing" with the legs you speak of?
 

WILDTHING

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He is describing a front post launcher type swing according to Mike Adams , but I think he might be wrong saying its a move that most tour pros do.

Here is Boo Weekley for instance



Here is Justin Thomas below - enlarge the screen and look at the 'Foot pressure' measurements , especially at the top of the backswing. His weight pressure is 62% on his right leg , but he immediately shifts pressure to his lead leg very early in the downswing . You can see in the 'Rotational Force' & 'Vertical Force ' graphics that he is a 'Spinner/Launcher'.




And here is a video of a golfer doing that move in the Kerrod Gray video but doesn't work for him because his body biomechanics is different.

 
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poorly.
 

WILDTHING

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Correct...Tour Pro Pivots come in all shapes and sizes; Two Main Groups: 1) Slide/Stall/"Flippers" (multiple degrees of this), 2) Good Pivot/Rotation/Proper Releasers
  1. Good Pivot/Rotation/Proper Releasers (Long and Straight (less manipulation) Hitters) - Use the "Spine Engine"
    • Hogan, Snead, Early Jack, Arnie
    • Early 2000s Tiger (when he was unstoppable)
    • DJ
    • Bubba
    • JB Holmes
    • Most Long Drivers
    • Matt Wolff
    • Early Michelle Wie
  2. Slide/Stall/Flipers (Shorter than above, but Accurate Hitters) - Believe in the false narrative of "Kinetic Chain" where the swing 'moves up the chain'
    • Sneds
    • Phil
    • Zach Johnson
    • 2008-2012ish Tiger
    • Westwood
    • Rose
    • "Fixed" Michelle Wie (Leddbetter loves to screw up golfers natural athleticism)
    • Faldo
Short Game is a combo of 1 and 2...mostly #1, but a variety

I don't understand this 'Spine Engine Theory' (yet ) but have been google searching discussions for and against. I am assuming the muscles that control the Spine's movement is somehow being transmitted via the 'Fascia' and are primarily used in the motion of the upper and lower body.

Is there any evidence to support the Spine Engine theory and that they 'were/are' being used by the golfers you mentioned above?

For example , if a person was fitted in a tight straightjacket to restrict any upper body/spinal movements , I am suspecting they can still walk and run? So in the latter example , how can the Spine be the 'engine', surely its the contractions in the muscles in the legs that is the source of movement.
 

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