A question about the downswing

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    Dan Jul 08, 2017
    Hi Bro,
    I have a question about the downswing. You say in one of your writings about the downswing, “…The arms can’t move on their own, so they will need the (body holding still) for support, so they can pull ahead. In other words, the arms will use the body to sling themselves through. When this happens, the body stops rotating to support the arms. We want the body to control the entire downswing and that can happen as long as the arms/hands don’t take over. The way to learn this is to practice controlling your grip pressure and maintain an awareness that the arms are PASSIVE. The body must be able to control the arms/hands.”
    These days, I’m keeping my elbows pointed at my hips and trying to maintain the grip template and because my elbows are pointing at my hips I feel like the club is very close to my body and everything is just turning with my body in a kind of “package.” This is the closest I’ve felt to “turning and my body bringing the club through” and I’m getting good results. However, there seems to be a fine line between the body slinging the arms or the body controlling the arms through the turn all the way to the finish. For me to feel like my body is totally controlling my arms, I have to slow down to the point I feel like the ball wont go very far. Do you have any words of wisdom about the feeling you have during the time from the top of the back swing to the finish?



    Ross Jul 08, 2017
    Hi Dan
    Please tell me or send me a link to this “writing” you read. I’d like to go see it and reread it. It may be a typo [frown].

    When I say the body controls the arms, I’m trying to convey the feeling that the arms do not move themselves (lifting, help or adding hit through impact) … they stay in the confines of the rotation of the shoulders on the backswing, and the body unwinding on the downswing. You may be stopping your body early on the downswing after impact, giving the feeling of the arms being “slung” vs. “drug” or “puller” to the left (right hander).

    The elbows don’t have to be close to the body, they just have to point to the hips (at least the front elbow for sure). The arms too close to your body, may be that you’re not letting them hang on top of your pecs. Start with the club out in front of you about chest height, and shaft inline with the front arm, elbows towards each other pointing down, then let the arms drop. This should have the backs of the upper arms on top of your pecs, then sit down to the ball. I have a video on this in the “More” section > “Pre-shot Routine” > “Arm Setup”.


    Dan Jul 08, 2017
    Thanks for the response. I found the quote under (categories/downswing/the arms choke off the body rotation if they try to help).
    I took your advice about staying within the confines of the rotation of the shoulders on the backswing and the body unwinding on the downswing. I spent all afternoon in the backyard hitting into a net and at the end of this session I feel like I made some good progress. I’m able to hold the template on the back swing, with the club head outside my hands (like you showed me in a video) and turn to the finish (without the feeling of trying to hit at the ball). I’m focusing on holding my wrists in the template position. When I groove this feeling I’ll send you a video. Your video analysis is always the most helpful. I’m going to get your method grooved once and for all and quit tinkering with it. Thanks again.


    Ross Jul 09, 2017
    Okay, I reread the post and now know why you were confused (probably the way I try to explain things). In that post, the arms moving on their own, is a “Bad” thing, because when they do, they will “choke” or “stop” the body from rotating. The body can not turn or rotate AND use the arms or hands at the same time*… it is one or the other. We want the body to continue turning and accelerate through impact, so the arms/hands must “go for a ride” during the golf swing.

    * I’ve looked at hundreds of videos just for this phenomenon, and once the body senses that the hands are going to do something (like throw an axe into a tree), the body will stop turning, and brace, to throw the momentum down to the head of the axe. Most golfers think this is a reliable way to play golf and it is not !!! It changes the club face causing miss hits and causes the “flip” cutting our radius in half for a weak shot (in putting too).


    DaveF Jul 11, 2017
    Hi Ross,
    I have had the same challenge understanding how the hips can control the template and still being able to let the template “swing”. It clicked for me with the “stay behind” video (and using an impact bag). I’m hearing the club “whoosh” again and finishing in the same position as your videos. It’s one of those thing when you “get it” you think “it’s so simple”!


    Ross Jul 11, 2017
    Great Dave! Make sure that “whoosh” sound is not the hands helping. I found some of my students that use a bag start using their hands again. Feel your entire body impact the bag as it turns.


    Dan Jul 12, 2017
    Since retiring my goal is to groove the DuPlessis method. With that, I’ve been watching videos you did online and a video you did for me (showing the club head outside the hands). The first big change I’ve made is the angle of my right hand on the club (lefty). Now I’m keeping the hand in a neutral position instead of in “ulnar deviation” (you call it hyperextention). This makes a big difference. It’s so much easier to hold the wrists in the template position now.

    The next change I’m working on is turning my shoulders around my spine and only turning as far as I can before I begin to “lose” my wrist positions – another big difference. Now I’m not losing the template even before I start turning.

    Now, I’m working on losing the urge to let the arms out run the body, which means simply turning and getting rid of the feeling that I have to “hit” the ball with as much force as possible. I’ll know I have made this change when my head doesn’t dip during the turn.

    As always, thanks for the positive feedback.


    Ross Jul 13, 2017
    Sounds great Dan. All good elements to work on.

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