There Is Lateral Motion In The Downswing

By | on January 24, 2019 | 51 Comments | Array


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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+

51 Responses to “There Is Lateral Motion In The Downswing”

  1. January 24, 2013


    Hi Paul
    The less a golfer has to think about during the swing, the better. Thanks.

  2. January 24, 2013


    Drove and hit the ball well today. I tend to bring the club too far inside on the takeaway. Can you give me a link on the backswing and how one should view or thing about the very beginning of the swing?

  3. Hi, I tried today to turn my arms before my hips on the backswing rather than just turn the hips and I get so much more distance. This was a previous tip. Re today’s tip I push my right hip left instead of doing the legs. Is that OK? Thank you. Mimi

    • January 24, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      On the backswing? If this is correct this is because your arms are going up a lot higher and you are turning more which is allowing you to hit hard in the downswing with the arms. Sure, this may give you more distance initially but you will be inconsistent because you are not basing your swing on torque you are just whacking at it. You’ll see what I mean in the future. If you want to keep doing it for a while do so then tighten up the backswing once you get some more distance. You do this by resisting the lower body. If you were mistaken in your comment then re-post it.





      You can use the right hip if you want just so long as the left leg is locking, the left hip is turning and the weight is coming off the back instep. This is why there are choices for the trigger. Not everyone likes the same thing.

  4. January 24, 2013


    Hi Paul. Thanks for the clarification on the lateral motion of the hips. I’ve read many times and been told to “bump” the left hip to initiate the downswing. Attempting this action always caused the slide you describe and weak pushes to the right. Removing that additional thought and the resultant confusion, definitely simplifies things.

    Thanks, Ron

    • January 24, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      I am going to post a bump one tomorrow. Kind of the same tip but it should clarify it for the bumpers out there.

  5. Hi Paul, It looks so easy – and it is to me also – without the ball in front !! On a flat terrain !! Uphill / downhill – I try to follow your techniques – never knowing where the ball ends up though.
    In your Tips you teach “Turn” in stead of shift. I fully understand – and it is as easy as you describe when standing almost upright as in the video.
    But bent over in my stance – turning without shifting is an athletic exercise almost impossible. I’m 60 – and started golfing only 2 years ago – maybe that is the reason. I do however totally agree with your techniques and applause and follow your teaching method – 110 %.
    Could I perhaps move the top of my backswing position (Start of my downswing position) just a little bit forward (closer to my neck) to produce a more outside/in downswing – to zero-out the flaw caused by the initial partial shift of hip-position (caused by the old bones.) ?
    Many thanks, HP

    • January 24, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      This is not a tough move. I never have a problem getting people to do this. If you can do it standing up then keep doing it standing up until you are good at touching the legs. Once you are good at it slowly start to tilt down and keep doing the same move.


      DRILL: Sit On The Edge Of A Bar Stool To Set Up – Part 1 of 2:

      DRILL: How To Feel Torque In Your Backswing – Part 2 of 2:

      Yes, you are a beginner. This would have something to do with it as well. Just keep practicing it as I suggested and you will get it. Age means nothing in this game. I have an 82 year old student who can hit it 260+.

      Not sure what you mean about moving your starting down position. Sometimes I let people get away with things for a while if it gives them a little confidence and gets them hitting it better. Then we go back to the fundamentals.

      Keep in mind you can always get us to look at your swing. We do provide this service which I so many more people should be using.

      You can find out more here:

      • January 25, 2019


        I struggle with turning and touching knees. Is this because I haven’t grooved it. First few holes after the range time are good then it disappears and I can’t retrieve it for the remainder of holes. Does a golfer have to do thousands of reps before it comes naturally? If so you does that and still maintains a normal life?

        • Avatar photo

          January 25, 2019

          Paul Wilson


          You are either not thinking about doing it, the stance is too wide, not shifting your weight, sliding or not locking the lead leg. Just do this:

          It’s Like A Throwing Motion:


          Lean On Club to Touch Legs:

          That will get you the feel. Then forget the ball and focus on the position. I would be doing this in nightly practice swings too until it was perfect. Just look for the feedback of them touching and make it important. After you do this for a while you will do it forever. It’s all about repetition.

  6. January 24, 2013


    Hey Paul….how flat do you feel when swinging the driver vs your lower lofted and mid irons?

  7. January 24, 2013


    Hi Paul

    On the back swing I heard “Shift and Turn”.
    Would that then mean on the forward swing “Shift and Turn”?

  8. January 24, 2013


    I am having a horrible time after practicing in my garage. Seem to be completely out of sync the next day at the range. Is this a common problem?
    I now have the book, cd’s and these daily tips. Seems like two forward one back so much of the time.
    66 playing for 42 years and want to get rid of bad tricks for some new ones. Thanks for helping. I really appreciate your answers back!

    • January 24, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      Developing a great golf swing takes understanding, time and effort. If you are hitting balls in your garage you are hitting balls. This is why I tell people to do practice swings (no ball) working on the swing positions. No ball means there is nothing to hit. With nothing to hit you can focus on doing the correct positions. You do this by understanding the position and looking for the feedback associated with the position. You touch your legs first until you are good at it. You then touch your head making sure it is perfect. Then you work on coiling and finally you work on hinging. I am leaving out the spine angle because this will take care of itself if you work on the other positions.

      If you are already doing the practice swings on your garage then going to the range and are out of synch there could be various reasons for this:

      1. You are having a bad day (go home).

      2. You are hitting the ball too hard so you are getting too tight.

      3. You are thinking of hitting the ball instead of thinking of doing your swing positions.

      4. You are not doing practice swings at the range. Instead, you are beating balls.

      When you go to the range you should still be working on your swing positions. You are not to be out there trying to hit every shot great. In fact, i don’t want you to hit it great. Why? Because you should be working on something. If you are working on something you are working on that something. This means you are not even doing the whole swing. You have the thought of that thing in mind and you do it with a ball in front of you. No matter where the ball goes if you do the position you accomplished your goal. The golf swing is a puzzle. You work on one piece at a time until you see the whole picture.

      So work on the practice swings at home. Go to the range and hit a few balls (focusing on one or two things) then you back up and do 3 times as many practice swings as ball that you hit. If you do it this way you will be doing it right at least 3:1. If you get this ratio you will make the changes and develop a great swing. If you just beat balls you will never get it. So change your practice. Forget the ball and focus on developing a great swing. Take it one step a a time and you will get it.

  9. Hi, thank you for your answer re right hip to left, it works well.
    I meant that if my swing my arms back and then turn my hips back rather than only turn my hips back and let the club swing around then of course move my right hip fast left without doing anything to the arms I get more distance precisely because of the torque. I used to only turn my hips till I saw your tip re swinging the arms back first. It works so well. Mimi

    • January 24, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      I understand now. This is correct. You should be starting the arms and shoulders first. Keep doing it.

  10. February 1, 2014


    Where should the hands be at impact? Should you be reaching for the ball or should they be closer to your belt??

    • February 2, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      Your hands should be as far away from your body as they were at address. This is deceiving though because if your hips turn through impact it would appear that they get closer to your right hip when really they are approximately where they started.

      • February 2, 2014


        Thanks. Hope you are well I had the privilege of attending your golf school a couple of years ago

        • February 4, 2014

          Paul Wilson


          Things are just about to get rolling here in Vegas. A lot to do but things are good. Thanks.

          I was a pleasure working with you at the school. You did really well.

  11. February 1, 2014


    Hi Paul
    Thanks for the great tips. The overriding swing thought I have is to relax stay loose . Every swing thought you teach will
    only kick in if you relax. The natural thing when doing something new is to tense up, and that I have found to be a killer.
    I am by no means Ernie or Freddie but I am a lot nearer to them since following your instruction. Swing feels great when you just let it happen without trying to crush the ball. Down to 14 now and I am definitely an improving 65 year young.
    Thanks, Dave

    • February 2, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      This is true. You need o relax. You just have to keep telling yourself to not hit. Feel the arms as the come down and through. Let them go wherever they want not trying to hit it or help it in any way. This is what I am thinking. I am telling my self not to hit on every shot. It takes concentration and understanding. You are getting there so keep going.

  12. February 1, 2014


    Excellent reminder OF this key body movement ,definitely throwing out OF THE window THE “Bump your hip “avised by Great players such as COLIN MONTGOMERIE .
    When turning on THE left leg ,CAN you keep THE left knee slightly flexed instead OF locking it completely ,this avoiding putting unneccesary strain on it ,and hurting ,such as exp

    • February 2, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      When you fire the lower body the left leg is not locked until the right arm is parallel to the ground. I want it locked at this point and to the follow through. You are not Tiger so you will never come anywhere near how fast he can do it.

      Montgomerie is bent because is reverse pivoting in the backswing. From that position he has to slide to hit it otherwise he would hit every ball 50 yards left. I have said in the past you cannot have one flaw. You need another flaw to make up for the first. Reverse pivot + slide in his case.

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    February 3, 2014


    Paul, your lead leg is locked after the downswing. Would that interfer with your coming out of the swing with your body slightly tilted?

    • February 4, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      No. The leg is locking because I am turning not because I am jumping.



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    February 3, 2014


    Paul, another tip on using your hips is very important in the martial arts. As a young man in my 20;s I practiced the techniques and as in many sports, I got the most power out of snaping my hips and that was easy. You make the snapping of your hips just as easy and I am still working on it.

    • February 4, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      What makes golf so much harder is there is a ball sitting there. Once you put the ball there you have human nature telling you to hit the ball. Other sports has the ball in motion so you naturally do the right motion. In martial arts you certainly use the hips. Having done it at some point in your life is a huge benefit because you have felt the move. A lot of people have never even felt it so they have a hard time grasping the concept. Now, focus on using this move in your swing. If you do, you will be doing what I am doing.

  15. February 7, 2014


    Hey Paul!

    I have a very BIG problem about touching the knees/legs technique.. I am a 300 pound golfer and touching my knees/legs is next to impossible.. With this flaw I tend to open my back leg too much that it is nearly at my front leg at finish.. Your technique has brought my game from +36 to a +14 in 4 months but I believe the consistency is the problem specially in my driver. How do I correct or is there an alternative way of hitting using your powerless arms technique with my legs not touching? Like opening my front leg and facing it to target? Thanks Paul and would appreciate your reply!

    • February 8, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      I want them to touch so you can memorize the position and do it exactly the same every time. When they are touching there is feedback of them touching. I have had the odd person who cannot touch. In this case I still want you doing exactly the same shift and rotation but it is up to you to keep checking that you are doing it right because you won’t have the feedback. Make sure you narrow your stance a little. Maybe this will help. Also, throw some balls overhand out in front of you. This is the same move I am trying to get you to do in your real swing. Hope this helps.

  16. October 20, 2015


    Hi Paul,

    I have a tendency to flare out my right foot when I complete my swing(my toes are pointing to the target). I have been told I am spinning out. Can you please explain why is this happening and what do they mean by spinning out?


    • October 21, 2015

      Paul Wilson


      This can be from a few reasons:

      1. You do not have enough weight on this foot through impact.

      2. Your foot is too straight at address so you twist it to accommodate the rotation in the swing.

      3. You are swinging with arms over the top potentially spinning out to varying degrees.

      You should check that the lead foot is turned out at least 25 degrees at set up. Then hit a few shots feeling the your weight through impact. If you do not feel more weight on the lead foot than the back foot at impact you need to shit a little more laterally in the downswing. See if that makes it any better. If not, you need to turn the arms off. Give these things a try and see what happens. If you still need help why not do a swing analysis with Pete so he can get you on track.

  17. January 1, 2019


    Paul….I corrected my pull AND greatly increased my lag by combining your folded left arm/club touching back of neck drill with proper lower body turn…..In a mirror one can see how club flattens/perpendicular to body axis…Proper tilt ..good direction..improved lag…Power!,…..Thanks!

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      January 1, 2019

      Paul Wilson


      Very good. A lightbulb moment. These take your game to a whole new level. Just ingrain it so you do it long into the future.

  18. January 25, 2019


    Paul, can you address head movement on the downswing through follow through. I try to keep my head behind the ball and I think it causes the upper body holding back causing the reverse C. When should your head move forward?

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      January 25, 2019

      Paul Wilson


      Here is a tip I did on the head movement.

      My head is still off the instep until I am three quarters through. Then it moves overtop of the forward leg. Sounds like you are sliding keeping too much weight back there. The weight has to come off of this foot into the through swing. Watch how I do it:

      Secret of the Starting the Downswing (using triggers – off big toe curve):

      This might help you see it too:

      2 Axis in Your Swing:

      This might help too:

      Back Toe:

      You can also think about looking at the outside of the forward shoe as you reach the follow as a drill. You will only see this if you are overtop of the forward leg.

      Also, be sure your forward foot is turned out. If your forward foot is straight you will have trouble getting off this back foot.

  19. January 26, 2019


    Brilliant tip! You’re The best! I tend to make the turn without getting to my left side. I think that is why I continuously miss left. Thanks for explaining!

  20. January 27, 2019


    Paul, thanks for bringing this one back. I was a late-60s, early-70s learner and was told to shift my hips laterally, leaving me fighting a life of unsolid contact and wild duck hooks. I finally found the Body Swing and Ignition Golf. Your swing has produced great results for me. It took a while but I hope people stay with it. I am committed to doing 25 7-iron and 25 driver practice swings a day. It really is helping me. By doing it over and over I find that the touch the knees and touch the head positions just happen automatically. With your swing, even if I don’t make perfect contact the ball goes straight. Just loving it!

    Thanks Paul!


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      January 28, 2019

      Paul Wilson


      Very good. Too bad I can’t fix everyone who is a slider. I am trying though.

      Yes, it just takes repetitions. You have to do them daily.

  21. January 29, 2019


    After the splendid golf played by BRIAN DE CHAMBEAU,I am curious as to what your assessment of the same shaft length irons is .
    You mentioned a long time ago you would convert yourself to these clubs .
    Did you do it ?
    Two clubmakers make these clubs :STERLING and …. (I don’t remember who !)
    Which are the best ones ?
    What is the lowest number (Lesser loft ) to buy ?
    Shaft :graphite or steel?
    With kind regards
    Raymond cHASTEL

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      January 29, 2019

      Paul Wilson


      I have the Sterlings and the Cobra One. For me the Sterlings wer better. I now use PXG as I think these are the best clubs out there. Single length are good. They take about 10 rounds to get used to. I took out the Sand Wedge as it’s too long for short shots.

      The Cobra One looks better. I just don’t think I had the right shafts for my swing. I would like to get them re-shafted and try them again.

      I had all the way to 4 iron and never had an issue with distance or trajectory with the Sterlings.

      Shaft is dependent on you. Steel is for feel. Graphite is distance and less shock.

  22. February 26, 2019


    Another way of saying that the shift occurs naturally with your touch the legs position is “Shift Happens”.

  23. February 26, 2019


    Turning on the left leg is not enough for me ,especially when I play a fairway wood flush off the deck (3 wood more difficult to play than 5 wood ).
    I must also think moving aggressively forward the left hip (Bump the hip !)to make sure my swing arc bottoms out where the ball sits ,that is two inches behind the left heel .
    I don’t need to do this when I hit the driver and when the ball is perched on the tee

  24. February 28, 2019


    Paul ;Does it make sense to have the clubhead resting several inches behind the ball at address with the driver ,instead of having it close to the tee and the ball ?
    A well known golf teacher emphasizes this was the way famous MOE NORMAN did to “”better compress the ball” .I don’t see why this can happen compared to the normal set up!

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