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What do you guys think of this? Starting the downswing

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Today i was bored in lecture so i started watching some videos on youtube. I came across one where Sergio Garcia says he actually starts his downswing with his hands/arms as opposed to the lower body. In the vid he said his first move of the downswing should feel like he is pulling a chain/rope towards the ground and that doing this helps him stay behind the ball.

Ive never heard of this before and i was wondering what you guys thought of this.

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I think it works well in his case because it seems like he does not quite rotate his hips in the backswing as much as others do. Like he said it is not really something you can teach because for most thinking about initiating arms/shoulders first would greatly throw off rhythm.

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It depends, I think. I was coming over the top not too long ago, slice all the time, fixed that by starting the downswing with my lower body and let my arms passively dropping the club into the slot, now I'm fixing block shots caused by over active lower body, focus on initiating the downswing by pulling the club... it works, but I started hooking shots...

I want to give up this game...

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I think it's advice that could get a lot of average golfers in trouble. Most of them are probably too armsy as it is and none flatten the shaft like Sergio does in transition. Pulling with the arms from the top, if the lower body doesn't support that motion, is probably going to make them even more steep and OTT.

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Generally, I'd say no.

It's a good idea to stick with fundamentals and sequencing.

I think whether you use Sergio's start of the downswing depends on your swing faults/compensations.

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Looks to me like his hips move before his arms start to move in those slow mo swings so I guess it's just a feel he has, rather than being something he actually does.

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You can't make a general statement on how you should start your downswing. It all depends on your current swing and what feels you got. Some players need to focus on sliding the hips, while others should focus on the arms. Personally, I focus on arms, since my hips are very quick and I end up being late with my arms. Sergio don't have a lot of hip turn and he can turn them around pretty fast, so I believe he wants to focus on getting the hands down fast to avoid them being outrun by the hips, which is somewhat similar to my situation. Remember that this is a feeling. He may still start the downswing with the hips, but he wants to feel as if the arms start first.
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The guys above make a great point. You need to look at what Sergio does, not what he says he does.
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Yep he moves his left knee towards the target and the hips to start, but I know what he is saying.  I try to have the same feeling because my hips and legs fire too early and I have to much hip slide generally.  There is a well known Milwaukee area instructor Manuel De La Torre that is famous for a similar rope drill I believe.  Might be the feeling he is talking about. This is from his website.

The de la Torre system emphasizes a true swinging motion, devoid of energy-robbing
leverage. The body plays a passive role, moving in direct response to the movement
of the club.

Understand these swing principles and improve your game:


  • If the club is used properly, the body movements take care of themselves
  • Within a given arc, a swinging motion produces the greatest amount of speed
  • The acceleration and deceleration rates of the swing are identical and
    constant

Example of Rope Drill:

I have not tried this, and don't really know much about it, but this came to mind and thought I would share.

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Back -  Around - Up   This is sequence for the back swing?

Just the opposite for the down swing  Down - Around - Thru.

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Sergio has the feeling of commencing the DS with his arms, which is good, but there is a lateral shift with his hips as well, lateral... not a turn which will cause you to "spin out"...the problem with a lot of golfers is they hear comments like these so they cast from the top because they also have been told to "turn" their hips, so up comes the right heel as well...bingo...big slice.

so, commence with the arms allowing them to drop, lateral slide to the target with hips, but keep right heel down and allow it to come up automatically as you clear your hips at impact.

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I watched this video of Mark Crossfield and I think he explains what Sergio tries to do. It helped me a little by getting my weight forward. In a way, to slide your hips and get weight forward, you do something else to achieve that.

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