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The Tour Report

September 5 2012

9:39 AM

Tip from Travis: A flatter downswing

Live Report Image
Stan Badz/PGA TOUR
Rory McIlroy rotates completely through impact.

By Travis Fulton, Director of Instruction, PGA TOUR Academy

OK, so I am running out of things to talk about regarding Rory McIlroy. What can I say? The young man from Northern Ireland is on top of the world. McIlroy, once again, was just fantastic with his third win on the PGA TOUR this year at the Deutsche Bank Championship.

One of the things I have always liked about McIlroy’s swing is how good he is in transition from the top of the swing to the downswing. This critical part of the swing is one area that professionals separate themselves a great deal from amateurs. With McIlroy, you may have noticed how his clubshaft flattens out on the downswing. Many amateurs steepen the plane during this first move towards the golf ball.

In order to create this flattening in the shaft, focus on two things:

1. Weight transfer needs to start from the ground up. It's very critical to allow the weight to move into the lead foot during transition. This will move the lead knee, followed by the hip over the foot. This aligns the body to rotate through impact.

2.  The torso needs to stabilize during transition. Lower body weight shift is discussed often, but stability in the torso is often overlooked. McIlroy does a great job of keeping his shoulders relatively closed as the lower body shifts. This differentiation is not only needed to flatten the clubshaft, but can also create a tremendous amount of potential energy that can be delivered through the clubhead through impact.

Practice these two movements slowly while gaining an awareness of both your lower body and upper body. These very movement patterns lead to more accuracy and length, just like it does for McIlroy.

Travis Fulton is the Director of Instruction at the TOUR Academies at TPC Sawgrass and the World Golf Village. For more information on the TOUR Academy, click here.