What is a downswing?

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Updated: 4/18/2007 10:42 am Published: 4/18/2007 10:42 am

The downswing is your chance to build up enough speed with the clubhead to hit the ball. The more speed you build up, the harder you'll hit it and the farther it'll go. Your other actions during the downswing determine the ball's direction, height, and whether it hooks or slices. Begin the downswing slowly; then pick up speed as you go. The clubhead and centrifugal (cen-TRIF-uh-gul) force should do much of the work. Like a baseball pitcher, most of your power will come from shifting your weight from the back foot to the front as you swing the club. In theory, you'll hear a satisfying 'thwack' when your club hits the ball and sends it sailing exactly where you had planned. In practice, the downswing is the Murphy's Law of the sports world. You could 'sky' your shot, driving it up instead of forward, or 'top' it, sending it dribbling a few yards ahead. You can hook your shot to the left or slice it to the right. You might even 'shank' it, striking the ball with the base of your driver, instead of the club face.

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