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The most important move in the golf swing, explained in 3 steps

August 05, 2023

No matter what type of ball flight you hit, or what shot shape you have, the sequence of your golf swing should always be the same. You'll shift towards the target, rotate your body open, then rise into the finish. That specific order of shift, turn, and rise, is an absolute law of the modern game. It's the one thing that every single pro does, even though they each swing so differently. That order creates a chain reaction which delivers maximum power into the golf ball. — Joe Plecker, Director of Instruction, Landings Club, Savannah, Ga., Golf Digest Best in State Teacher

The Golf Swing Downswing Sequence

  • Shift your hips towards the target
  • Rotate your body open through impact
  • Rise with your legs into your follow through

Golf Swing Sequence Step #1: Shift

On the backswing pivot, we're adding pressure over that trail leg, as you can see. Loading your trail leg allows you to push and shift forward on the downswing. You can see a little separation there between my left side and my head in the shift movement. The head stays back, and the hip and pressure shift forward. When you do that, you've created an elite forward shift in the golf swing. Many higher handicaps can't disassociate those two halves and they try to shift, but their upper body is shifting forward with it

Golf Swing Sequence Step #2: Rotate

The important thing here is that there's a pushing back out of my lead foot. Rather that just thinking about turning your hips, think about pushing from your toe of your lead foot to your heel. That's what pushes the left side back. Pushing from the toe into the heel causes a dramatic torque, which helps open your body and increases the speed of your golf swing.

Golf Swing Sequence #3: Rise

Any time your body is done turning and reaches its end range of motion, you're going to stand up. Releasing out of your posture is the essential last step. Allowing your body to stand is good for your lower back, good for your hip flexors, and good for your power. The adage of keeping your head down just doesn't work. Once your body has completed the turn, allow your chest to rise. I usually ask students how tall they are. If they say 5-foot-11, I want them to feel six feet by the end of their swing.