Most players know the backswing is important, but they should also realize that they can get away with some imperfection in that area. The downswing isn't as accommodating: At impact there is only one clubface angle and path that will produce the desired shot. Here are a few downswing thoughts that might work for you.
Trigger Downswing with Left Ankle
Solid contact and straight shots come from proper sequencing on the downswing, which means that it must start from the ground up. One way to start the downswing is to roll the left ankle toward the target. Think of this move as the first domino: The ankle moves the knee, which turns the hip, which turns the torso, which unwinds the shoulders, and swings the arms and club into the ball.
Put Your Foot Down
Some players get into a rut of errant shots -- blocks or pull hooks -- when their right hip becomes overactive and slides toward the target, pulling the club off-line. To quiet the right hip and get the club back on the proper path, focus on the right foot. Concentrate on keeping it flat on the ground during the downswing and past impact. Don't let it roll inward toward the left. Keeping it flat will keep the right knee slightly bowed out and prevent the right hip from sliding through too early.
Swing Left Past the Ball
A simple way to shape the downswing is by working on the follow-through. Some players tend to develop a swing path that is too far from the inside, producing blocks and hard-to-control hooks. If that's you, try this follow-through thought: Focus on swinging the club left, or more around your body on the follow-through, rather than out toward the target. You may feel that your swing will produce a huge slice, but in reality, the low-and-around follow-through will keep your club moving down the target line on the downswing, rather than inside out. A good key is feeling as if your upper left arm stays married to your chest until the last moment of the follow-through. As your torso rotates through the ball, your hands and the club will naturally move left.
Private Lessons 1999 Time4 Media, Inc., used under license by GolfServ Online, Inc. Instructional information provided by Golf Magazine.