The Most Important Move in Golf

December 20, 2011

What’s the most important move in golf? It’s the first move on the downswing. Most experts call it the magic move – the one move that great ball strikers have in common. Why is it most important? If you start the downswing correctly you could loop your swing more times than Jim Furyk and still hit a great shot. That’s the power of the first move on the downswing. There’s no other move that has more influence over the flight of the ball.

The two-way move

Before getting into the details, you need to understand an important concept called the two-way move. The two-way move was coined by top player and teacher, Ken Venturi, which I learned directly from Jim McLean. It describes the simultaneous backward movement of the upper body while the lower body reverses direction. In other words, for a split second the lower body moves forward while the upper body continues to coil on the backswing. This creates tremendous power and torque in the body. The two-way move proves there’s no stopping point at the top of the backswing. It’s a fluid motion, which is a hallmark of great ball striking.

So what actually starts the downswing?

The first move on the downswing is a lateral move with the lower body. Where its felt is different for every player. Some feel a downward push off the right foot, forward movement with the knees, or forward movement with the hips. It doesn’t matter what your secret is, as long as it starts from the waist down – that’s the key.

The first move on the downswing happens below the belt. It can be felt by a downward push with the right foot, forward movement with the knees, or forward movement with the hips.

How shouldn’t you start the downswing?

Never use the hands and release the club too early from the top (this has been done by top players, but, only players with tremendous leg drive). Also, never unwind the shoulders before the hips. That’s a real sequence killer. You’ll never consistently strike the ball with power and accuracy when you start the downswing from these areas.

Long and Straight,


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