Squash the Sponge to Start Down

Squash the Sponge to Start Down

One of the most common questions asked about the golf swing is how best to start my downswing? The change over from backswing to downswing is referred to as the transition and what most people will agree with is that it is an important part of the swing in terms of efficient creation and use of power. For the right handed golfer, as you start down you need to feel your weight going straight through your left foot and into the ground. In essence, you’re using the ground as the resistance needed to generate power. To get a feel for this, try the sponge drill on the range. Once you have the sensation of this you can use it as a trigger to hit normal shots. Even if you do not have a sponge available you can always create the effect using your imagination.


Place a thick, rectangular sponge under the front half of your left foot. As you turn back, you should feel some pressure on the sponge, in other words your weight does not come completely off the sponge. As you change direction and swing down, the pressure should increase dramatically and you should be aware of squashing the sponge into the ground. This slight lateral movement of weight should trigger off the movement of rotation that spirals up through the body starting off a sequence that builds tremendous energy into your arms and the club and setting you up for a powerful action.

Paul Thompson has been the Fellow PGA Professional at Powerscourt Golf Club in Wicklow since 1995. In addition to providing coaching on-site he also is a coach with The Golfing Union of Ireland. Appointments with Paul can be booked via Powerscourt Golf Club Reception: Tel (01) 204 6033 or the Golf Shop Tel (01) 204 6031. Read more about lessons from Paul Thompson by visiting the Powerscourt Golf Club Website.

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