Best Golf Downswing Drills To Help Properly Start Down To Impact

If I am going to break 80 consistently then I had better improve my downswing. Most professionals agree that what you do on the backswing is not as important as what you do to reach impact. After looking at my swing on video using the Swing Profile app, I discovered that I start my downswing incorrectly. Starting the downswing with the upper body is the not going to lead to good ball striking. Furthermore, the correct weight shift is needed to hit the ball farther. I need to do both and the only way I am going to get that done is to practice some downswing drills. Below are 3 golf downswing drills I will be trying this week on my quest to break 80.

Golf Downswing Drills


Drill #1 – Change In Pocket

This is one of the many golf downswing drills by Clay Ballard that will help get the hips rotating correctly. The hips and lower body need to start the downswing. The left knee needs to rotate and the hips need to open up toward the target first. Then you follow with the shoulder and arms. I tend to start with my shoulders and therefore come over the top on occasion.

To do this drill, simply place a golf ball (or some coins) in your left pocket. Now, take a backswing and turn your hips. As you start your downswing focus on turning the ball so it faces the target before you turn your shoulders. The club should shallow out and the golf ball should point at the pin.

Drill #2 – Pump It

Tour Pro Zach Johnson has a different take then most of the golf downswing drills I have seen. In a Golf Digest, he discusses how to get back to the ball by letting the arms pull your body. He advocates that many times players will turn their hips too early causing pushes and pulls. Spinning the hips open too early creates an outside path for the club. Focus should be on keeping the back to the target for as long as possible and letting the arms fall before turning the hips. This is an interesting concept and I am eager to try this drill.

To do this drill, bring the club to the top of the downswing and then swing halfway down and stop. Pump the downswing without the hips opening. The arms should fall down and then the hips should open. Pump the downswing to the halfway point a couple of times then hit a shot.

Drill #3 – The Leadbetter Step

This is a favorite drill of David Leadbetter and is demonstrated below by popular instructor Piers Ward. It focuses on making sure the lower body starts the swing. This creates the correct downswing sequence of hips, shoulders than arms. The arms drop and the club gets on the correct swing path. This is one of the best golf downswing drills that I plan to try.

To do this drill, take a narrow stance and take a normal swing. As you get to the top of the backswing, step towards the target with your left foot as you start the downswing. The swing mimics the motion of a baseball player stepping towards the pitcher.

For more great golf downswing drills check out our best drills list here.

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