Golf Swing Transition to Downswing – Part 2 for Speed, Power & Distance

Part 2 of “speed, power & distance in the golf swing” deals with the body movements nearing the top of the backswing and the transition to downswing and pre impact.  These key moves are all in an effort to preserve the wrist hinge and leverage built up in the backswing as discussed in Part 1 of this series. The result will be more speed and compression at impact. Watch the video then read the article for a full description.

Transition … the photo at the introduction of this article sets it up – braced right leg leaning toward the target, spine angle leaning away from target with head behind the ball and full wrist hinge.

The transition in golf is the moment where the club changes direction from backswing to downswing, and it should be as natural as throwing a baseball. But we know that natural motion is not so natural for golfers as we see so many struggle with the correct move from the top.

If you study a throwing motion, the thrower will step back into a braced leg position as the throwing arm winds up. This bracing is the first step in the process of creating real power in the forward motion.

Before the arm ever finishes moving all the way back, the thrower instinctively makes a stride with the front foot toward the intended target. (This step represents the forward swing weight shift in golf.) This dynamic movement creates “lag” as the weight of the baseball is still going backward in the windup while the legs and core of the body are moving forward. It literally stretches the throwing arm and wrist into positions we can’t otherwise attain.

This transition is very similar in golf. The move from backswing to downswing is made with no attempt to ever stop or pause at the top. There is simply a continuous flow of movement. As the arms and club are still moving upward, the feet and legs begin a motion targetward. This creates a stretch and lagging feel through the arms and wrists as they are dragged along by the body and ultimately whip through impact.

Let’s detail it here for you so you know what elements to put in play to create the feeling of effortless power.

Golf Swing Sequence from Transition to Pre-Impact

First, since you cannot step back and step through like a ball player, you need a stance that is wider than the hips, otherwise you will not be able to push off the back leg effectively. In fact the back leg may be kicked out slightly wider to exaggerate an inward leaning angle. You may notice some pros intentionally have a slight forward press targetward with the hips to flare that trailing leg and preload on the instep of the foot.

Next, through the windup of the backswing you should coil around the inside of that inward leaning leg (right leg for a right-handed golfer) while the upper torso and spine are leaning away from the target. The photo above right reveals a 9 degree inward leaning angle of the right leg at top of backswing. Tour Players will generally have anywhere from 5 – 12 degrees of inward leaning angle on that leg while the upper body leans as much as 5-10 degrees away from the target. To feel this position at the top of the backswing, try to coil back and keep your buttocks on the target side of the ball while your head and chest coil behind the ball. Allow your hips and torso to turn freely for a full windup. No swaying sideways with the hips – your pelvis must remain centered as you turn the hips. Most golfers are surprised to feel like their head moves to the right while their base feels like it makes a reverse pivot. This false perception must be overcome for maximum efficiency.

Finally, the braced leg with your buttocks left of the ball creates a natural ability to simply “fall” toward the target from the top of the backswing. Essentially, as the armswing is almost to the top of the backswing, the hips, knees and feet begin a downward squat that compresses into the ground and shifts the lower body targetward while the head stays behind the ball. Warningthis is a downward, compressive, lateral movement … we do not want any active hip clearing yet. Turning comes later. It’s also ok if you sense your body getting lower into impact. (More information is available by clicking this link to another article and video on weight shift in the golf swing.)

This targetward fall or squat momentarily leaves the club floating at the top of the transition as the arms try to catch up. With no delay, the arms start driving downward, and the trailing elbow (right elbow for right handers) drives down into the right hip. The wrist hinge tends to increase here. In other words, the angle between the clubshaft and the arms may actually get narrower on the way down – this is the lag we seek.

This gets us to the pre-impact area as shown in the photo below.

Golf swing pre impact position - Herman Williams Golf.

Herman at pre-impact with 3/4 wedge shot.

Right elbow should be on the right hip ready for a sidearm delivery to the ball, weight is pressed heavily into front foot, wrists still hinged at 90 degrees, butt of club pointed at target.

Practice in slow motion getting to the top of the backswing with the braced leg, then drive downward into this pre-impact position and check each feature. This sequence will help you avoid sitting back, standing up and throwing the clubhead, which is the common fault of players lacking distance and clubhead speed.

What do you think? Have you been sitting back, spinning out and throwing the clubhead losing all your speed and power before impact? Leave a comment below and let me know if this helped you.

Our next article and video will take us through impact and into the finish. Until then, work on the transition and focus on a good pre-impact position. More speed, power and distance will be on the way soon.




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  1. This is a fantastic description of everything my golf pro, Jason Proctor (Sheffield, UK) has been trying to teach me. The description of falling into the left leg is something I can really understand. I can do this movement well when practising – just need to be able to take it onto the golf course. Many thanks Herman

  2. “Falling” is a great description for that 1st part of transition. So simply lean to your left and sort of let gravity take place. During this time your hands are passive and retain the lag. Ideally you should feel a sense of weightlessness of the clubhead too. When your left heel hits the ground, you are now in the hitting zone, so can then clear hips and zap it through impact. Did I get that right?

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  4. Age(70) is taking a toll on my distance. I am presently using a Cobra driver with a Fujikura regular shaft with a swing speed of 89mph on a monitor. I have the the shaft set at 10.5 degrees. I was hitting a Cobra 9.5 with a regular Adila VooDoo shaft last year about the same height, shape and distance. I have no problem with flat wrist, posting up and hit draws consistently. I recently bought a “swingyde” training device to try to increase my lag.
    This aid when set up on the club grip as they recommend will allow more wrist cock if I am in a cupped position, and I feel like I am generating more club head speed than when I move the device up the grip to keep my wrist flat when fully cocked which results in what I perceive to be less club head speed. The problem is the transition back to a flat wrist position at impact as I uncock my wrists when the club gets from the horizontal position to impact. I am not using it to take full swings and am not hitting balls with it. I have not used it much as I don’t want to mess up what I am doing presently with out getting a teachers advice.
    Would you recommend trying to use the aid in the cupped position or stick with my loss of distance which is now about 220 driver carry. I am a 7 hcp playing from 6100 yds.

    • Bob, I’ve made comments elsewhere here and on YouTube that the flat left wrist is best if you are looking for control and consistency, especially getting back to that good impact position. However, if distance is your main goal and you’re already a single digit handicapper, I would consider the cupped wrist as the best option. Part of the secret is making sure you have a stronger left hand grip in the setup to fit the cupped position in backswing. The Swingyde is a good tool and will work fine with full swings using either wrist position. It may not be mandatory to have a perfectly flat wrist at impact, but it is achievable as long as your hands are ahead of the clubhead. The difference is the back of the left hand faces toward right field when using a stronger grip/cupped wrist. Back of hand faces target and will be slightly bowed at impact when using the weaker grip/flat left wrist. Good luck in your training.

  5. hi
    thanks for your teaching for transition
    I have one question.

    Is there left hip rotation small during transition?
    I saw some other teaching videos that during trantion,
    lateral movement & left hip rotation occurs simultaneously..

  6. This Golf Swing Sequence From Transition to Pre-Impact paragraphs were a huge help for me. Specifically loading the upper body over the right side, keeping the pelvis centered and pushing off the back leg or simply falling forward the target.

    Thanks Herman you’ve been a big help,


  7. Dear Herman,

    Thank you for continually providing such excellent instruction!

    One piece of this transition move that I have not grasped well, either mentally or physically, is this big idea of the falling forward/squat at the same time the spine angle is angling away (and perhaps increasing its angle) from the target.

    This is a key concept and one I am having a lot of trouble executing. It’s anything but natural to have your lower body falling/squatting/bracing toward the target whilst the spine angles away.

    It seems that doing this is a sure way to hurt your back? Anyway, can you give any exercises which will increase my chances of performing this part of the transition—other than practicing the way you move in the accompanying video?

    Again, much thanks!

    • Hi Buddy, Look for my newest video just out on YouTube about “How to stay behind the ball” in the golf swing. It will give you some more insight into the spine angle phenomenon. A picture I could give you would be that of a baseball pitcher winding up to throw. He will lean back as he simultaneously lifts his lead leg and throwing arm. (Our backswing) Then he begins a stride toward home plate (body weight falling into lead foot) before upper body and arm are fully committed. I think you will find it is a very natural movement to drive the lower body targetward with the spine angled back … otherwise you would fall over or be forced to walk through the shot toward target. Hope this helps. – Herman

      • Thank you Herman, I see I asked pretty much the same thing just a few hours ago. At my age I forget things so rapidly it’s always new to me!

        Anyway, one of the reasons I do struggle with this—and perhaps you can utilize this theory in your teaching–is that I am ambidextrous and could have/should have started golfing RH but my dad had purchased a used LH set when I was 12 and I learned that way. So my natural move (as you say, a pitcher, would be to throw RH). So a lot of golf instruction, analogies to a RH pitcher striding toward home, or a RH thrower throwing the ball, are hard to follow when your throwing hand is not your golfing set up.

        What I found very useful today on the range was the idea of making a proper backswing so my chest was over the ball. That’s much better than shoulder under the chin. Once your chest is over the ball AND you haven’t lost the brace of your trailing leg towards the target AND your backswing is slow enough to feel this transition, then you can more easily shift onto your front leg and keep your body turning ahead of your hands.

  8. Thank you very good instruction that no one has ever.explained to me in any lesson I’ve ever taken . Thanks again

  9. HELP!!!!
    Hi Herman ,I’m hearing a lot about the lateral bend.
    Is it the same as your transition lesson.
    I keep straightening up at impact… I’m having a tough time with it.
    thank you…

    • I’m not exactly sure what is meant by “lateral bend” without seeing the source of the information. However, if you are suffering from standing up through impact the transition lesson will help, but you also need to look at information on “casting/lag.” Any time you are throwing away your wrist hinge early in the downswing, you will stand up to deal with the consequences. Fixing it will be a matter of making sure the clubface is not open in backswing, then work on transition with a slight squatting or lowering of your body while maintaining lag. So you see, there are a few parts to this equation to train as you seek a final outcome.

  10. i always have a problem starting down on video my hips have not opened hardly at all and my buttocks and legs tend to come underneath me. i am a good player i have shot 68, and par many times but feel i lack power with the driver and that it is all arms although i can still hit it about 260yds, any suggestions thanks?

  11. Herman, I think I now understand your reference to the 90 degree angle of the right leg. Based on the photograph displayed above the video, it appears the right leg is at a 90 degree angle to the left arm at the top of the backswing. Am I correct?

  12. Herman, You and your website are to be commended. Your words consistently match your demonstrations. One question though: You refer to the position of the trailing leg at Address as being at a 90 degree angle and to support your statement you display a photo of Ben Hogan’s Address position. My question is, “90 degree angle to what”?

  13. Herman, In visiting your website and reading your articles and viewing your videos, I have concluded that you are absolutely the finest Swing Coach and Golf Teacher on the face of the planet. Your words perfectly match your visual demonstrations of the various moves; and because your words match what you are demonstrating is why I write that you and your method of instruction are the best. I have one question though: You refer to the position of the trailing leg at Address as being at a 90 degree angle and to support your statement you display a photo of Ben Hogan’s Address position. My question is, “90 degree angle to what”?

  14. Hi Herman,
    In visiting your website, I have concluded that you are absolutely the finest Golf Teacher, (Swing Coach – Instructor), on the face of the planet.

    I feel that I am qualified to make this statement given my 50 year playing career. When I was younger and playing as an amateur, I was able to play to a 3 handicap. At my present age of nearly 77 years old, I can still play to a 9 notwithstanding I have lost 50 yards off my tee ball and 20 yards with each of my irons.

    I write you are the best having had the personal experience over the years of taking many lessons from prominent named golf instructors. Although I have often been told by these various golf coaches that in the backswing I must coil my upper body into the brace of my right leg, none of these prominent instructors actually used words that matched their demonstration of the motion. In other words, I was never taught how to correctly BRACE my right leg during the backswing, and how to coil my upper body INSIDE my right hip, and how to keep the right leg leaning and angled toward the target through impact.

    Your explanation of how the Right Leg becomes a BRACE when you keep it leaning toward the target opened my eyes into understanding for the first time how during the back swing I could easily coil my upper body inside my right hip joint and into the brace of my right leg.

    After viewing your video and reading the corresponding article, I also came to understand “transition” (between backswing and downswing), and how with the right leg continuing to lean or angled toward the target I would then at the transition be able to physically get my lower body to be moving towards the target while my arms are still moving in the backswing.

    I also came to understand that this movement can actually increase the amount of lag since a maximum degree of wrist hinge would be achieved and how maximizing the wrist hinge affects the angle of the club shaft in relation to the left arm; thus in turn lengthening the arc of the swing and creating more space to build momentum and club head speed.

    In addition, I also learned from your website how I could truly widen the width of my swing by executing the proper one-piece takeaway and then delaying the beginning of my wrist hinge until my hands and the club shaft were waist high.

    In regard to your explanation of the position of the right leg at Address, as supported by the photo of Ben Hogan at Address, you mention a “90 degree angle” of the right leg at Address and because it is angled it is leaning slightly toward the target at Address. However, what I don’t understand is your reference to “90 degrees”.

    Is the angle of the right leg 90 degrees to the ground, to the target, to the shoulders? So my question is, 90 degrees to what?

    I have also watched on your website several of your other videos; regarding how to achieve the correct grip, how to establish the correct set-up, the perfect right wrist and so forth. I found each Video outstanding because in each you successfully both visually showed and verbally explained how the viewer can achieve the various positions.

    Bottom line, your words perfectly matched the visualization’s your demonstrations displayed, and because your words matched what you were demonstrating is why I write you are the best golf instructor on the face of the planet!

    I thank you in advance for your prompt answer to my question, “The right leg is positioned at Address at a 90 degree angle to what?

    • Max, I haven’t had time to check my original statement but I think you will see Ben Hogan’s right leg is leaning inward toward target at a 10 angle of lean or an 80-degree angle to the ground. If I said 90 degrees that’s not correct unless it was referring to something else. Thanks. – Herman

  15. Herman…..

    I really enjoyed the article. just for clarity….. at the top is there supposed to feel a slight weightless feeling of the club in the transition for a moment? if I allow my wrists to relax and the angle of my wrist hinge to club to increase as I change direction, it feels this way for a moment. also…..any help with getting the right elbow in front of the right hip as opposed to next to it? I am trying to quiet my lower body some in my downswing but even still, my right elbow works down and next to my hip instead of in front of it forcing me to dump my leverage.

    • Club definitely floats momentarily. Next to hip is ok if you can turn through fast enough to leave the elbow sitting there. Otherwise work at getting the right shoulder to move down as you make a “pec squeeze” with right arm to move the elbow in front of you a sit lowers. See my shoulder video.

  16. having trouble getting power on my drives. I am not getting any speed on my downswing because im worried about slicing the ball. Any suggestions on getting a longer ball?

    • Unfortunately the answers I could give are pretty wide ranging in a situation like this. The safest thing i can say is to find an easy way to get the face closed and hit from the inside so you can get more aggressive without slice tendencies. The easy thing to do is strengthen the left hand grip (possibly a lot) and work on jamming the handle toward the second baseman as you head toward the ball. Remember the second baseman is not standing on the bag; he’s a little right of it which helps you point the butt of club ever so slightly into right field as you approach impact. With a strong left hand grip this should lead to: 1) a lot of lag, 2) an inside strike and 3) an easy closure of the face. Good luck. – Herman

  17. Herman You teach the wrist cock by pushing the butt of the club so it is pointing downward on the back swing. I would ask Is this on all shots exclusive of the short chip. At what distance would you not think about this ???

    • Shorter shots don’t require so much wrist hinge and are more predictable with a “quieter” wrist action. I like to see pitches inside 50 yards employ a more dead-wristed approach similar to the look of a Steve Stricker.

  18. Herman, I love your tips and tuition. I watched a video of Mike Austin
    the old time long driving pro’ who advocated throwing the clubhead
    around an inclined circle, but reading your instruction it is at odds
    with that. My impression of Mike Austin is that he had a very
    conventional swing with a lot of power. I did not get the feeling he was
    throwing the club.

    • Agreed … these guys often are so natural at their movement, what they “feel” is often unrelatable to others. Swing plane is critical, maintaining lag is important for storage of power and then a late hit with so-called throwing will work. Sequence is key … you want to create a stretch between lower and upper body similar to a baseball pitchers first move toward home plate with the body as the arm is still going back. after the stretch you want an unwinding of the base as the arms lower (upper body still closed to target). Finally you want the hitting as the lower body and trunk post up and more or less stop momentarily and the arms fly by. Problem is you can’t really think of all that baloney over a golf ball. Go pitch baseballs, skip flat rocks on a pond and chop trees with an ax and it feels pretty natural. Good luck. – Herman

  19. your grip instruction has proven critical; this video has solved my problems with transition, weight shift and lag. my early practice indicates that everything now will fit together. 35 years of ? lessons had almost driven me from the game. i cannot tell you how grateful i am.

  20. Herman great video. I’m having a problem with getting my left shoulder (im left handed) down at impact and my right shoulder up and out while squaring up the club face. Any drills or feelings that you can suggest would be much appreciated.

  21. Herman, as I approach my transition at the top of my backswing my left knee kicks in toward the ball, and my weight shift goes to the left toe first. As a result my head goes toward the ball my hands get steep in the backswing. Now I am closer to the ball So my swing becomes steep. I videoed myself and was in very good position until this tansition. Any suggestions on keeping my head from diving toward the ball. I’m trying to keep weight on my left heel throughout the transition but this is a harder habit to break than anything.
    I love your web site and your advise resonates well with me. Thanks!

    • Steve, I’m going to start all the way back at setup. Make sure your spine is tilted away from target and lead arm is on top of your chest. Reference my setup videos if necessary. Then as you move into the backswing pivot, I want your head to drift and/or swivel slightly behind the ball during the takeaway to maintain that original spine tilt on your way to the top. (What I’m about to mention is not a reality but will give you the right feeling. Imagine getting in a setup and then turning and looking over your right ankle at something on the ground … your chest automatically moves over your right foot, you will have loaded up in backswing, and there will be no dipping of the left knee. Use that feeling in your full swings.) Basically if we keep our head dead still, our spine normally tilts left and the left side of the body starts to dip in as you described in your comment. To keep your left side “high” without collapsing, it’s often a matter of keeping the upper body tilted away from target and coiling behind the ball. Good luck … hope this helps. – Herman

      • Bingo, I feel exactly what you mean and a quick turn doing this does in fact keep the left knee from dipping and I feel the weight on the left foot as it should be. Time to hit the indoor simulators as upstate NY is in the dead of winter. It’s actually a good time to do things like video and work on the swing rather than play. THANKS!

  22. Love Your Videos, Herman! I’ve played golf & Taken 100 or more lessons over the last 40 years, but nothing has been as helpful to me as your lessons here. One Question: I’m very right side dominant, so I love your lesson on maintaining the angle of the right wrist on the downswing. Should I concentrate on my first move on the downswing trying to get my right elbow as far in front of my right hip as possible? I struggle with pull hooks, low shots & hooks as my biggest faults. I know I have a severe in to out path on my downswing after looking with my instructors at my swing videos. Thanks So Much!

    • Thanks Greg. Anything you do to create more lag should help reduce that hooking tendency, and driving that elbow past the hip should do it. However I’m worried you would hit the ball even lower, so I think you need to investigate the clubface a little more and figure out why it is so closed. Check grip first and then wrist positions in backswing and/or downswing. somewhere in there you must be closing the face to create those hooks and low shots. Otherwise your in to out path should just hit high pushed shots. Good luck. – Herman

  23. Herman, your advice is top notch, concise and incredibly well written. Studying this game for the last year and searching everyday for imformation i have found no one as accurate with less babble. You are certainly an asset to this magnifecint sport. thank you sir.

  24. Hye Herman..good article everyone says the video is good but where is the video??
    I am 6 ft 2, right handed and I tend to drop my left shoulder taking the backswing instead of rotating the upper torso, this means I find it difficult to come back towards the ball on the same plane resulting in a lot of fat shots.
    I practice drills to rotate the upper torso but the problem always repeat itself..what should i do?

    • YouTube video is at the top of the article right after the first paragraph. Check your computer or network … it may not support flash or youtube videos with your current settings.

  25. Hey Herman,
    Found the move where you take your back and move it towards the target as a first move down to be very beneficial. I also find that if I am squating during this move I will also get some more shoulder turn,maybe 10-20 deg even though I coming down creating even more lag. Then I feel really loaded and in a comfortable position to hold lag way down. Does the extra shoulder turn part make sense?

  26. Herman,

    I’m a low handicapper and I don’t really have a lot of trouble with the transition move but I have some trouble posting up on my left leg at impact and into my finish. It seems like when I try to post up more on my left leg, it pulls my right shoulder out and over the top if that makes sense. Any advice? Thank you so much

    • Hey Bobby, thanks for stopping by. I may surprise you here and tell you to leave that alone. Posting is likely speeding up your hip clearing which is spinning your upper body faster and slinging your arms outside. It’s not for everybody. You might find you can do it if you feel like the first move is more of a squat while your chest stays back and your arms drop. Give it a try but don’t feel like a failure if posting never feels like your cup of tea. Good luck.


      • For Bobby…
        All what Herman says, but add this swing thought..once you bend your knees to start the hip turn, pull that left hip back as you post. If you keep you get your left leg straight, but your hip is square, you aren’t clearing. Back to the target, hip open. Get the feel of it first, then put it in motion.

  27. The part in the video where you say the “leave the chest facing away from the target” is the part I been having trouble with.I Think I have turning the chest at the same time I am trying to get my right elbow in front of my right hip.
    Thank you for the tip.

  28. thanks for the great video. My question is how to stop the chicken wing after impact. I have been fighting it for years.

    • It’s hard to give this a short answer but you will need to get your chest turning through the ball faster to keep the arms from bunching up. Then make sure the arms are turning over – see my info on “release” for that. Good luck.

      • hi Herman, just started reading your tips and just cannot believe the way you explain the sections of the swing. I have started playing again Recently and I realised i had no weight shift when reading your blogs and kept popping up straight on my left leg .The compression on downswing has got me back swinging with a draw. Thanks Yoda

  29. Herman,
    Another great video! My question is about maintaining the lag: I go back and forth between two methods. One, I try to freeze my wrists at the top of the swing and keep them frozen until the right moment, then lash at the ball.
    The other method is to keep the wrists loose and use the position of my body to keep the hinge and finally release it by moving everything — body and arms — so the momentum of the accelerating clubhead does the work.
    Do you suggest one or the other? Or is it kind of both, where, at the moment of impact, the right hand is deliberately smashing the ball?
    Thank you!

  30. Exceptional Video. Many instructors propagate no lateral move but just body rotation. I am about 6’2″ and I find it unnatural to just turn and not make a lateral shift. After looking at this video, I have a very good understanding about the intial downswing now. Also, some instructors insist on keeping the right knee flex throughout the swing, can you throw some light on that topic. At point does the knee straighten (if at all) and how does it get back to the slot to accomodate a solid forward swing?

    • I don’t want the right leg to lock but I don’t mind if it straightens a little. Many great players let it straighten some. You just want to keep your inward pressure on the right instep and big toe area to push off as downswing develops. You don’t really need to drive the right knee anywhere on downswing, just focus on pushing off the right instep going targetward. Right knee will naturally move inward toward left knee.

      • Herman,
        This makes a lot of sense, I tried this on the range yesterday and it worked wonders. I have gone from a fade to a draw. I often tend to straighten my left leg prematurely before impact causing me to come down very steep. My golf instructor might have confused me on this but I want to know how your left leg should feel at impact. This is the only forum that talks about the golf foot work in detail and I wish I could figure this out. I have seen several pga tour players including Tiger, initally squatting and hitting the ball with a slightly bent left leg; am I looking at it differently? Can you throw some light on this topic please? I really wish I lived in NC.

        • Thanks Vijay. Yes, you are right. It’s a squat with a slight lateral shift followed by clearing which naturally straightens the leg. The left hip moves in an ellipse that goes down, left then around and up. If you straighten early, you likely don’t have enough weight on left foot yet and might be started upward so soon you will respond by throwing the clubhead early.

  31. Stumbled on your vids while looking for a clear explanation on the flat wrist/cupped wrist issue and you give VERY CLEAR and understandable information about that, so investigated further. I especially like how you explain the wrist cock by pushing the left arm out…great visual.

    This video, too, makes clear the transition from back swing to forward and that fluid motion needed to create tempo/timing. One criticism though is when you suggest “falling” onto the left side, it exacerbates an error I continually see in amateur golfers who fail to unwind the hips. I kept looking at Ben Hogan’s image that you put up there and while there is a clear shift into that forward leg, it is INSTANTANEOUS and only used as an anchor to IMMEDIATELY THEREAFTER unwind the hip. That hip turn is lacking in so many golfers and their failure to do so is what gets the player up on his/her toes and a failure to continue rotation, as now the whole thing is off plane. That “falling” onto the left leg, unfortunately causes golfers to take it literally enough that the upper body follows that fall. Your language is really quite good in the majority of your explanation, but this one word could trigger a misunderstanding. Maybe by clarifying that ONLY the lower body falls forward. I don’t know…some other word. What do you think?

    • Shelley, I don’t disagree with any of your observations, but it’s often a matter of picking the lesser of two evils in changing a golf swing, particularly if it will be a progression of changes. The average reader/viewer of this info will likely be coming over the top and clearing the hips and chest together immediately at start of downswing while keeping most of their weight on the back foot. It’s unlikely they have Hogan’s ability to clear the hips and keep the shoulders closed while the arms drop. I’m not very worried if the upper body follows that “fall” if the player has kept his back to the target and avoided spinning out. Body center will be past the ball and a descending blow can be delivered on an inside path with a closing face. I must admit I have forgotten the exact content in Video 3 of this series, but I’m pretty sure it covers the clearing aspect of the hips and how to finish the swing. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. – Herman

  32. Herman,

    Does your shaft line need to align with the target line at the top of your back swing? The video you have of the driving champion shows the shaft almost looking back down to ground with the immense hinge that is being generated. If required for the club to point to the target, what will happen if it is pointing either left or right of the target?



    • Great question. The shaft only points at target when it is perfectly parallel to the ground at top of backswing. Beyond parallel like Jamie should come around and point toward right of target. Short of parallel points left of target or toward 3rd base on a baseball field.

  33. Herman. Thanks for the education. You are awesome! My pro tells me that my backswing is way too long and past parallel. Can you recommend any good drills for a proper backswing? Thanks Again

    • Assuming you are a right-handed golfer, try using your right hand to push the club handle away from your chest in the backswing. Most golfers use the right arm to pull and lift the club up. Think instead about pushing down on the handle as you start back; then continue pushing outward all the way to the top. This will give you a wider swing arc and still feels like a long swing, but the club will usually stop short of parallel.

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  35. Herman….great video. One big problem I have prior tro this move is a “folding left arm”. I have tried to take a 3/4 swing but still revert back to old habit. Any suggestions?

    • It actually may be OK to fold it a little. You at least know the arm is relaxed and not locked rigidly. Try to envision striking a tree with an axe or hitting a nail sidearm with a hammer. As long as you can get full extension as you go through the ball at impact, there should be no downside to a little bend at the elbow at top of backswing. Just be sure you don’t have more bend at impact which is what we see from most golfers. Thanks for commenting. – Herman

  36. Herman, now I know how to maintain the lag or maybe increase it. Looking forward to working on segment #2. Fantastic descriptions and sounds easy to implement. Thank for doing this segment.

  37. Pingback: Impact & Finish in Golf Swing – Get More Distance in Golf

  38. Great explanation and demonstration. I have a tendency to pull up and out of the shot, instead of squat down. Look forward to seeing next video.

  39. Herman, great video on transition to downswing and angles of RH hip, you have keep it simple just like your other video’s, especially on lag. Having watched the lag video, I found it quite easy to implement using your descriptions. Can’t wait to implement your techniques from this video on the course. Thanks.