The Down Move – Stored Energy

There is a reason that the late Harvey Penick’s quote about the down swing’s first move (it’s all one move from the top to the finish, really, but there are stages to it when you break it down) is the same as how I describe it in the “E = MCS” video and why Moe Norman’s “Master Move” as he described it is the same as mine and Penick’s…

And that’s because… it’s the best way to swing efficiently due to the energy you’re storing on the way down, to be released into the bottom, what I call the “Pop” in the “Drop & Pop.”

I’ve talked about the “Drop,” and this is where you’re storing the energy (I like to call it potential energy) as you’re simply using the leverage stored in your leading side with the proper “top” position:


And when you look at my top position above, once that pressure plate shift occurs in the feet, the left leg or “gate” swings shut, the left shoulder comes back and up, and that leverages the left arm, the hands and the club down so that, in Penick’s exact words from his Little Red Book:

“… to start your downswing, let your weight shift to your left foot while bringing your right elbow down to your body.  This is one move, not two….  Your head will stay well back.” p.96


You can take the utility pole in the background of the above gif. and see that my head stays back of it on the down move.

And this (the right elbow having dropped to the hip) is the point where the energy you’ve stored in your right arm and the cocked wrists will release the club down into and through impact.


So, you can take Moe’s “Master Move,” or Harvey Penick’s “Magic Move,” or my “Drop” in the “Drop & Pop,” and they’re all the same thing.

As I’ve said in previous postings, if you work on your drop move and can get to this position:


And that position entails the weight planted firmly into the leading foot, the head having stayed back in its “top” position, and the right elbow having dropped to the hip with the arm and wrists still fully cocked…

You’re halfway there!


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“E = MCS” The Swing Video

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7 thoughts on “The Down Move – Stored Energy

  1. Chief Cowpie

    Melville’s writings on The Modern Harpoon Swing are similar albeit the heel is planted, “Forehead to forehead I meet the, this third time, Moby Dick! On deck there!-brace sharper up: crowd her into the wind’s eye. He’s too far off to lower yet, Mr. Starbucks. The sails shake!”

    1. D Watts Post author

      I have read most of the most popular classics, but I haven’t read Moby Dick. Perhaps I should cross it off the list sometime…

      1. Chief Cowpie

        Besides being a great book, as a swing researcher who often goes “Forehead to forehead” with modern swing theories, “Moby Dick” is the book where modern swing began and so you owe it to yourself for that reason too.

  2. Terry

    Dj, when you say,

    ” And this (the right elbow having dropped to the hip) is the point where the energy you’ve stored in your right arm and the cocked wrists will release the club down into and through impact.”

    Are you actively holding the angle and dropping the rear shoulder into position? Or are you starting the release from the top ie Nicklaus ” you cant release the club to early as long as you are moving into your left side.”

    Also when you say

    ” the cocked wrists will release the club down into and through impact.”

    Do you feel the club head moving down and OUT and thru impact?

    Cheers

    1. D Watts Post author

      Hi Terry! You asked:

      Are you actively holding the angle and dropping the rear shoulder into position? Or are you starting the release from the top ie Nicklaus ” you cant release the club to early as long as you are moving into your left side.”

      I don’t make any effort to hold the angle. When you see me get to the end of the “Drop” and there’s still that angle in the right wrist, that is something that will happen when you’re in the proper position and transition from the top to the drop.

      The hands dropping on the proper angle as the club is behind you, is all due to the body action. The club will release after the drop phase is completed, and you simply “help” it along with the wrists, as you would if you swing a hammer.

      As the elbow drops when you’re holding the hammer cocked, the wrist stays cocked until the hammer reaches the same level as the hand, then it begins to release and you “help” it with the wrist.

      Remember that you’re swinging down to the bottom and not out at the target.

      The first part of the “3 to 9” action is the wrists helping the dropping hands release the club into the bottom, and from the bottom to the “9” position, is just continuation and momentum, with the wrists “helping” the club go from 3 to 9.

      I always like to think of the wrist action “helping” the club to release and not actively doing this in isolation.

      Hope that helps!

  3. Terry

    Thank you for the detailed response, DJ

    I may have not been as clear in my question. I have a good grasp from 3 to 9, it is in the transition from the top to when the elbow returns to the side.
    Quote:

    “As the elbow drops when you’re HOLDING THE HAMMER COCKED, the wrist stays cocked…”

    From your post I understand that you hold the wrist cock from the end of the back swing to when the elbow drops to the 3 position

    Am I understanding correctly?

    Cheers mate!

    1. D Watts Post author

      No worries Terry – I believe you’ll find a detailed explanation that I posted just as you were writing your comment 😉

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