Symptom: Your golf downswing causes you to lose your balance as you swing.  You start the downswing poorly, and so you can’t recover.  Your golf downswing doesn’t look like the guys on TV.  Nobody is saying “nice golf swing” after you hit, even if it does happen to go approximately where you were aiming…

Description: For a proper golf downswing, start the downswing by bringing your right elbow to your side and keeping it there until the release.

Why it Works: Starting the downswing by bringing your right elbow back to your side keeps the club on the proper plane, and keeps your center of gravity well controlled.  This allows you to spin faster through the ball, with better control, and in balance.

The Right Elbow in the Golf Downswing

Rory McIlroy on the downswing with right elbow tucked to his side. golf downswing start the downswing right downswing

Rory McIlroy on the downswing with right elbow tucked to his side.

Have a look at Rory McIlroy’s swing, and focus on his downswing, especially the start of his downswing as he drives toward the ball.

All good players, but Rory in particular, return their right elbow to their side on the downswing.  See picture at the right.  Rory does this to start the downswing, which would lead to a very inside path for his clubhead if he did not compensate by also aggressively rotating his hips through the ball.  His arms sort of “come along for the ride” and release the club down the line.  It’s this aggressive body rotation through the ball, enabled by his very-tucked right elbow at the start of the downswing, that gives him his tremendous power and balance.


Bring the Right Elbow in to Start the Downswing

The point is that if you are having trouble keeping your balance at the end of the swing, you are probably throwing yourself off balance during the start of the downswing with a casting motion, and your right elbow is far from your side.  This is giving you a poor downswing plane, and causing you to slice. Take a tip from Rory and bring that right elbow to your side sooner!

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