Understanding the Initial Move Down

By | on February 26, 2016 | 35 Comments | Array


Sorry, this content is for members only.

Click here to get access.


Already a member? Login below

Remember me (for 2 weeks)

Forgot Password


Author Description

Avatar photo

Paul Wilson is the creator of Swing Machine Golf and founder of Ignition Golf. Paul's golf swing technique is based on the Iron Byron swing machine. YouTube Channels: Paul Wilson Golf and Ignition Golf Tips. Please Join me on Google+

35 Responses to “Understanding the Initial Move Down”

  1. June 24, 2013


    Hi Paul. In order to get power I am turning my hips faster, but then it seems that the ball is going to the right. It’s like I have a problem with the wrist not properly rolled over. Do you have a drill or tips for this ?
    Regards John

  2. June 24, 2013



    Your favorite tip with the club off the ground looks just like the best baseball swings going! I got it when I drew that parallel. most all of us have played baseball, and to me the feeling of swinging the bat gave me the same sensation and impression as what you are trying to convey. If you watch any great hitter, their lower body is way in front of the arms and also mimic the same sort of extension you also discuss in the 2 and 3 foot past the ball in the golf swing. There’s a ton of similarity here. BTW, latest update, lost another .8 on the index and I am pretty consistently turning in 75-78’s now. Goodbye 80’s hello 60’s!!! I love it!

    • Dan,

      In the 5th grade I could hit a baseball like no one else. I used to put them in the parking lot out of the diamond and across the street. This way probably from caddying for my dad and him letting me hit a few shots here and there.

      It is mind boggling to me that people say this is not like baseball. The golf swing incorporates the exact same 3 elements as with any other sport.

      Golf is Like Other Sports: https://ignitiongolf.com/golf-like-other-sports/

      I love hearing about dropping handicaps. It never gets old. Glad you are seeing and doing it. Keep up the good work.

  3. Paul,
    great explanation of the initial move. i tend to quit on my hip turn 3/4 way thru my swing. Any suggestions?

    • Dom,

      The suggestion is to do the touch the legs position. If you are thinking about touching the together why would you stop short?

  4. July 14, 2013


    Hi Paul,
    Played golf yesterday and was doing the whole slice all day long off the tee. I kept thinking about this particular lesson and knew that my hips were turning to slow but I think my day started poorly on the practice tee.

    It’s funny how each day my swing seems to change but certainly I do go back nice and slow with the club but a time try to make up for that by coming quickly down with my hands too fast. At least it appears I understand what I’m doing wrong so I guess the key is to just keep working on it so thank you for your tips if you feel I’ve identified something wrong please let me know.

  5. July 22, 2013


    Hi Paul,

    What do you think of the idea of the downswing trigger being to move the left shoulder away from the chin (and perhaps up a bit)? Should the lower body moves you advocate happen naturally and automatically as a result of this move? I find that when I try the triggers you suggest to start the downswing that involve the lower body, I tend to do them too fast (almost violently I’d say) and/or do them too soon, i.e., before my backswing is finished. Yesterday at the range, I experimented briefly with the left shoulder move trigger (and no thoughts of the lower body) and found my swing to be much smoother and hit some pretty good shots (although some were pulls).

    I know this left shoulder trigger is something Faldo has said he does (see, for example, http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/down-and-through) and am curious as to your thoughts. Thanks.

    • Bill,

      I do not like this thought. This is why I do not include it in my downswing triggers. Doing it this way immediately loses the compression of the coil you should have build going back.

      If you are doing mine too fast slow down. Get used to it then speed it up. You just have o do it no matter what speed you are doing it at. Do I look fast? Although I am putting a lot of effort into it I do not look out of control. So you need to keep doing it but way slower until you are good at it. Once you are, speed it up gradually. Crawl before you can run.


      How Much To Use Your Legs: https://ignitiongolf.com/downswing-how-much-legs


      Should You Be Moving 2 Directions At Once?: https://ignitiongolf.com/2-directions/

  6. December 16, 2013



    I’ve been looking at my swings lately on camera, and noticed a couple of things..

    most significantly, maybe because i’ve been working on the trigger so much, at the point of impact my left foot is way, way off the ground, even compared to some the tips you have done on this particular problem. why is this occuring? it seems to happen even when i slow down my swing…

    secondly, this is a different subject question, but in my follow through, i’ve noticed that my divot isn’t pointing inside as you’ve talked about on your other tips. rather, they seem to be pointing outwards. i’ve been turning my arms off, but maybe it hasn’t been turned off enough? or perhaps i’m losing my connection during impact?

    (p.s i’ve been interested in the video lessons, but haven’t gotten a reponse yet. any news on that?)

    thanks always Paul.


    • December 17, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      Are you a lefty? Let me know so I can answer this.

      NOTE: I sent a message to Pete about the Video Golf Lesson. He will get back to you shortly.

  7. December 17, 2013



    no im a righty

    • December 17, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      Did you get the right foot in your description. My left foot is not coming off the ground at all. It is pretty rare when someone is jumping that high up that their left foot would be off the ground at impact. Don’t you mean right foot. If so, you can certainly overdo this foot. I just did a tip on it here:


      If you are talking about the right foot just hit about 10 shots flat footed on this foot through impact. This should slow it down so it only comes up a little through impact.

  8. October 10, 2015



    In my continuous quest to start the downswing with my lower body and not the upper, I came up with a drill I would like to bounce off you and see what you think. I remembered seeing in one of your videos your demonstrating the feeling of powerless arms by swinging the club above the ground and letting go with your right hand as if to toss the club down the range.

    I decided to try to incorporate this feeling by swinging at the ball and letting go of the club with my right hand after impact. Voila! I was not hitting at the ball with my arms, but using the lower body and finishing fully rotated. I then went a step further in incorporating this feeling with both hands staying on the club. But did so by altering my grip. I placed my right hand directly over my left so that 90% of my right hand was off the club. Again, I had the same feeling and hit the ball solid and consistent.

    What to you think? Any potential in continuing this drill and slowly working back to a normal grip? Thanks, Mike

    • October 11, 2015

      Paul Wilson


      That drill is not mine. Maybe I let go after swinging it just because I had done it a few times and was talking at the same time. Maybe this is a good way to get the feeling.

      If this is a drill I am okay with it. There were 2 pics on golf digest years ago with Vijay and Couples at impact. Both of their right hands were actually off the club as they hit the ball. Just do a search and you will see them. I am not saying to purposely let go but I feel my bottom hand not hitting or helping it in any way. It literally took me 3 practice swings to get it. I just told myself to not try to hit the ball. The feeling was so different it was easy to do and repeat. To this day I still tell myself to not hit or help it.

      If this drill helps then do it for a while but the tell-tale sign is doing it with both hands on the club. The drill you are talking about has been around for a while. I think Furyk grips it with 2 fingers off the club (arguably the more consistent golfer of all time). So maybe like you say you do it the way you are then add one finger. Then add another. Also, don’t forget to tell yourself to not hit it like I did. I literally see the club as mass. I let the mass swing wherever it wants to without me manipulating it.

  9. February 27, 2016

    Raoul Bintner

    Hi Paul,
    Perfect timing, I am working right now on the separation issue. I would really like to get the club trailing the body rotation.
    Question : when you do this initial move, which muscles do you use most ? Abdominals and particularly obliques ? Or rather the legs, thighs / quadriceps ? In other words, where is the initial energy source ?
    Hope you are well, thanks,

  10. February 27, 2016


    All of your tips are great. This tip is one I put into my favorites some time ago and it’s going to stay there. I try to remove tips from the favorite list when I no longer feel the need to find them easily for a review, but this tip has helped my swing so much that I find myself reviewing it quite often. There are several others that I feel the same way about so they are staying hanndy also. It is so nice to be able to organize tips to suit your needs. A very important feature of the site.

    • February 28, 2016

      Paul Wilson


      Good stuff. This one is vital. Got to be moving that body to hit the ball. More importantly is know exactly what you need to do to get the lower body moving.

  11. February 27, 2016


    Paul, i guess this is a replay video but I’m just now watching it. Anyway, I’ve recently been fighting hitting my driver, hitting down too much and pulling these ridiculous looking shots high and left, i saw an episode of School of Golf and he said to practice swinging a beach towel with a knot tied on the end of it to activate a ‘legs first’ motion. This drill, perfect for us players stuck indoors all winter, immediately fixed my sky ball and had me hitting the driver better than i had in 20+ years. I think its the same thing your teaching here. Thanks love your program!

    • February 28, 2016

      Paul Wilson


      Yes, on Fridays I post an old tip. There is tons of content on Ignition Golf. I want people to not forget.

      You are skying it. If so, you head is ahead of the ball as you hit the ball. It is physically impossible to sky it if you head is behind the ball.

      Glad you found a tip to fix it. Nothing was worse than getting a brand new driver and on the first day you get sky marks on it. Not fun. I still remember the last ball I ever skyed. This was a great day in my learning. I’m sure you would agree.

      Glad you like the tips. Thanks for the comment.

  12. February 27, 2016



    This is a great tip but I am still a little confused. I know the first move down is to turn my hips back to the ball but what do you think to start this movement? Is it (1) Relax arms and turn? ( I am afraid to think “Don’t hit the ball with my arms” etc because when I think negative thoughts I often perform the moves I am trying to avoid.)
    (2) Turn buckle to ball ? (3) Touch Knees? (4) Or something else?

    While I like using your “favorite drill” before tee shots for focusing my attention on the “turn hips first” move, I still need a swing thought to start my hip turn move because I lose my focus on the hip turn when I look at my “target,” think “Swing Easy” and then “Coil” all before starting my downswing swing. Those images and thoughts apparently block out the ones I got from your drill.

    As a previous instructor frequently told me: “You swing too hard” and “You think too much!!” But, I cannot seem to block either of those impulses without a swing thought just as I start the downswing that quiets them while promoting a hip turn before I move my arms.




    • February 28, 2016

      Paul Wilson


      I take my right big toe. I dig it in and push in a circular motion as hard as I can. I have done this since I was about 15 years old. Once I hit the shot I feel a pulsating in my right big toe, calf and right cheek. My arms feel like butter with all clubs.

      Power: How I Got Power In My Swing: https://ignitiongolf.com/power-dig-foot-in/
      Feelings Series – Starting Down: https://ignitiongolf.com/feelings-starting-down/

      Just instead of “don’t hit with arms” think keep them turned off or relaxed arms etc.

      Hopefully, you are doing this drill:

      DRILL: This Is The Best Drill You Should Be Doing Right Now: https://ignitiongolf.com/drill-three-quarter-distance/

      Consistently do that drill. Then speed it up with your legs and hips not your arms.

      Hopefully, you are still working on swing positions. They should be perfect by now. We worked on it months ago when you were here.

  13. February 29, 2016




    Thanks. That is very helpful.

    I am going to work on this till I get it and then I will come see you at Bears’ Best to show off my new swing.


  14. February 29, 2016


    Hi Paul ,
    This tip works great, focusing on getting the hips back facing the ball before the club moves. Only after watching this video did I really get it.
    Played today, at 50% and nearly all my shots were straight.
    Not perfect yet, but it’s good to see improvement.


    • February 29, 2016

      Paul Wilson


      That’s great. Sometimes you just have to hear the right thing to have the light bulb go off. Just stick to this pace. Confidence breeds distance. The more fairways you hit, the more confident you become, the more legs and hips you can start adding for more power.


      Confidence Breeds Distance: https://ignitiongolf.com/confidence-breeds-distance/

  15. March 4, 2016


    Hi Paul,

    I just joined as a member and I am really focusing in on your teaching. I’ve watched your videos on YTube for a year and my handicap dropped from 18 to 10. I finally decided to join and get the good stuff. The reason is that I still will have 1-2 errant push slices a round that cost me 4 strokes. I do not want to continue like this as I know that success is out there if I follow your plan.

    I’m a 62 year old lefty and Ive always tried too hard and tried to muscle everything. So Im thrilled to begin this journey and I’m setting a goal for an 8 handicap this year.

    Thanks Paul.

    Mike Vinton

  16. April 3, 2016


    I keep this one as one of my ‘stock’ vids in my favorites. The simple reason is you do a couple swings in close succession where one is leading with arms and next is leading with hips and legs. For me, watching those several times gave me the mental picture of the differences (and it can seem so subtle at times when playing/practicing) and how to instantly recognize when I am going ‘arms first’. Of course the shot always becomes the final indicator as well. Since the pull is still typically my ‘direction’ miss, I know it is an ‘arms’ issue and I go back to My Favorite Drill immediately during play. While it might seem redundant to do multiple tips on same topic, different folks learn in different ways and I for one appreciate you doing multiple tips vs ‘cookie cutter’ instructors. Keep it up.

    • Kim,

      Good. Once you see the pull hold the club in the air and get feeling your legs and hips again. This is how to fix it when playing.

      Glad you liked the tips. Just going to keep saying it anyway I can think of.

  17. Hi Paul,
    Back in Florida and back on the range/course. In the positions we worked on in May. Miss right now is pushing the ball. I think I’m sliding, but I’m having trouble differentiating between sliding and the hips moving too fast. Seems like the results would be the same. Any thoughts on how to differentiate between the two? Thanks! Craig

    • Craig,

      All you have to do it hook a few first. Then add the legs. If you are just turning the hips too fast you will hit it dead straight. If you are sliding you will still blow it right or maybe even duck hook it.


      DRILL: Golf Swing Timing For More Distance: https://ignitiongolf.com/timing-more-distance/

      Glad you’re back.

  18. June 12, 2019


    Hi Paul,
    Now I ve changed to downswing trigger to straighten left leg and works pretty well, but I feel I need to get closer to the ball as I get more kind of upright stance at impact. Do you think this might be correct? a more upright stance with some knee flex is easier for me to turn.


You must be logged in to post a comment.