You Must Swing DOWN & Not Forward With The Golf Swing


Wishing everyone a safe and Merry Christmas Day!

I’m not saying you can’t swing forward, but that is not mechanically-optimal and can actually lead to mechanical-correctness issues, which of course means you’re sacrificing performance and raising injury risk.

One of the main issues of trying to swing at the target with the golf swing is that the ball is located near the bottom of the swing arc… so trying to direct force and energy at the target with the club when the ball is nowhere near that point means wasted energy and inefficiency.

So, the main thing about swinging down with your golf swing means that:

  1. You must have the proper setup in order to do so and
  2. You must perform the proper motion, which is the “drop” from the top of the back swing pivot.

I can show you an impressive “drop” move other than Mike Dunaway’s, and even if they don’t have what I’d call a technically “perfect” swing (who does, really?), you’d see that anyone who does it is also a very powerful swinger:

Luke List’s Awesome Drop


The only thing about Luke List’s swing that I would say makes it not perfect is the early heel lift (it begins to lift even before he gets to the “3 O’Clock” position), which has to do more with his wide stance and ball position more than improper mechanics.

Setup or ball position flaws will make you have to react out of the optimal mechanics to hit the ball.

Without the early heel lift, List comes into the ball with a forward-leaning shaft and the club head open – narrow the stance and move the ball to its optimal position, and List would be able to swing down shifting all of his weight to the leading foot without the trailing heel coming up until just before, at or just after impact, as Dunaway was able to do:


Note: In this regard, always bear in mind what I mean by “setup flaw” versus “swing flaw.”  Luke List has no swing flaw I can see – the setup that isn’t optimal makes him deviate from the optimal motion, but nothing he does in motion is a “flaw.”

Lexi Thompson’s “Drop” Move


Lexi Thompson, another powerful swinger, has an awesome “Drop” move from the top – it’s the failure to shift the weight and balance to the leading foot coming into impact that causes the “flying foot” she displays.

Now this, my friends, is a “swing flaw” as it involves improper mechanics – it’s not “using the ground,” because of the reason it’s occurring as stated in the previous paragraph.

It’s the only way she can get through impact without blowing out her leading leg joints or seriously hurting herself in the lower back area swinging through impact with the trailing foot bearing most if not all of her weight – and if you think it doesn’t, how much weight is her leading foot bearing as it leaves the ground and slides back?

Can you imagine trying to throw a ball without shifting weight to your leading foot? How well would that work out?


It can be done as you see above, but is that the way you really want to be throwing a ball if you have a choice, and it isn’t the only way based on the situation?

Ask any baseball player if they’d rather be shifting to their leading foot to throw, or doing it while in the air or on their trailing foot, and you’ll get a look, most likely, that says “Why on earth would I want throw a ball in any other way than the optimal way if I had the choice?”

Well, in golf, you aren’t running or trying to hit a moving ball – you’re standing over it and have all the control over how you set up over it and the mechanics you’ll use.

There is almost virtually no reason you’ll have to hit a ball the way Lexi does (or any other of the “flying foot” swingers), other than a very troubled rescue shot, and then the question again becomes, “Is that the way you’d swing if given the chance?”

It shows the state of golf biomechanics analysis and instruction when someone can’t tell Lexi Thompson or any other of the “flying foot” swingers exactly why they’re doing that.

Instead, you get all of this balderdash about “using the ground” and “vertical lift nonsense” that is nothing more than someone who has no clue what proper motion and the mechanics involved are, to be brutally honest.

But then again, you’re still being told by most of the “experts” that the Modern Golf Swing way of restricting the hips and torquing the lower back is mechanically-sound technique.

So… no surprise…


Back Pain or Back Injury Swinging a Golf Club?

Lacking Power, Speed, Distance and or Consistency? 

Need A Swing That Is More Easily Maintained?


If You Answered “Yes” To Any Of The Above Questions, The Answer Is In The Formula For The Golf Swing:

“E = MCS” The Swing Video

4 thoughts on “You Must Swing DOWN & Not Forward With The Golf Swing

  1. Goose

    Hi DJ,
    Great post!
    As you know, Austin was always telling Dunaway and all his students to swing under, out and up. You have to swing DOWN to swing under, out and up…It’s the only way to get full acceleration and not break the pendulum.

    1. D Watts Post author

      You have to swing DOWN… It’s the only way to get full acceleration and not break the pendulum.

      I think you nailed it right there, Goose! 🙂

  2. Mr. McJohn

    Sam Snead mentioned his first move down was a pull with his left side. Sounds a lot like this.

    Does the leading side have anything to do with the “drop”? I always thought it was the case, but I’m not sure. With a passive leading side on the backswing, does it lead the downswing?

    I figure it’s like throwing a ball. The leading side is passive on the windup, but as you throw the leading side pulls.

    Not sure if it’s the same with the golf swing or not.

    1. D Watts Post author

      Does the leading side have anything to do with the “drop”? I always thought it was the case, but I’m not sure. With a passive leading side on the backswing, does it lead the downswing?

      Short answer, Mr. McJohn, is “Absolutely!” 🙂

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