By John Burckle
Photos Gordon Seay
The start of the downswing could be one of the most important sequential moves in the golf swing. Unfortunately, most amateur golfers don’t understand the importance of this “magic” move. Let’s look at Hideki Matsuyama’s downswing and learn from his wonderful transition into the ball and through to his finish.
Let’s start from the top of his backswing (photo 1). It helps that Hideki has a fantastic backswing. His legs are stable supporting his upper body and club. His weight is on the inside of his right foot and his head is behind the ball. These are all so important to the transition.
Now it’s time for that “magic move” (photo 2) the shifting of the lower body to the forward leg as the head stays back. This is a difficult move for most amateurs as they tend to shift their upper body first. We call this hitting from the top. Notice how Hideki has shifted into his left side. This move allows the club to drop to an inside path on the downswing which is why we call it the magic move.
Hideki does an outstanding job of posting up onto his left leg through impact (photo 3), which allows him to maintain perfect balance and maximum extension with his hands and club. His left leg has straightened as he delivers the club to the ball. It’s key that your knees and hips don’t get in front of your left foot. Imagine a wall in front of your lead foot and you can’t go through it but instead turn straight up against it.
You can see (photo 4) his body and club have completely unwound into a perfectly balanced finish. He’s completely onto his left side and his back foot has finished onto the toe of his shoe with very little weight on it.
If you can learn to shift the lower body towards the target in the transition from backswing to downswing, a lot of magical things will start to happen in your golf swing.
JOHN BURCKLE – Director of Instruction at GolfLabAcademy.com
• 25 Years Teaching Experience
• 80 Professional Wins
• 6X Golden State Tour Order of Merit Champion