Golf – Improving Your Down Swing

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 159,217
    Chuck Will, PGA Director of Instruction at the Chuck Will Golf Academy, demonstrates how to improve your down swing.

    Charles Will

    Chuck Will is originally from Rockville, Maryland. Being the son of a State Department Official he had the opportunity to live and travel abroad. He played his junior golf at the former Washingtonian Country Club in Gaithersburg, Maryland where he quickly developed a love for the game. A three year varsity letterman in golf and captain of the team at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, Maryland was highlighted by qualifying individually for the Maryland State High School Championship in 1973. He graduated from Salisbury State University in 1977 with a B.S. Degree in Business Administration. Having played all four years on the university’s golf team he earned the honors of team captain, most valuable player and held the school’s low scoring record. He began his golf professional career as an Assistant Golf Professional to Ernie Teague, an accomplished player and well known teacher, at Hyland Hills Country Club in Southern, Pines, North Carolina and Pine Lake Country Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. It was during this time that he developed his interest in the mechanics of the golf swing and a love for teaching all levels of golfers. He returned to the Washington, DC metropolitan area in 1980 to accept a position with Jack Walker as Teaching Professional and Assistant Manager at the newly opened Herndon Centennial Golf Course in Herndon, Virginia. During this period, he continued to hone his teaching and playing skills. In 1982 he achieved the singular honor of having the highest test score in the country on the PGA Business School II series exam and was elected to Class “A” membership in the Professional Golfer’s Association of America. Chuck Will - PGA Director of Instruction (cont'd) In 1987, he moved to the Reston Golf Course in Reston, Virginia as Head PGA Golf Professional. In 1989, he was elevated to Director of Golf Operations for both Reston Golf Course and Hidden Creek Country Club, also in Reston, Virginia. During this time he began to incorporate the use of high speed video swing analysis into his instructional programs. He also served as an Officer and Junior Golf Committee Chairman for the Middle Atlantic PGA Section’s board of directors. In 1996, after spending two years as General Manager and Head PGA Golf Professional at the Country Club of Newberry in Newberry, South Carolina, he made the decision to focus 100% of his time and efforts on becoming a “student of the game” and turned his efforts toward teaching full time. During the next couple years, he spent countless hours studying the swings of the world’s best players and researching all aspects and mechanics of the golf swing. His highly productive, result driven instruction style is a culmination of all his efforts. He also created a simple pitching and chipping system that can easily be incorporated into the games of any handicap level golfers. In 1998, with the aid of Dulles Golf Center’s owner, Bob Reiver, he established the Dulles Golf Academy. As PGA Director of Instruction, Chuck was responsible for developing all instructional programs. From it’s inception, Dulles Golf Academy has strived to provide for it’s students the best and most technologically advanced golf instruction available to date! In 1999, he completed a course of instruction with Advantage Golf of Rockville, Maryland to become a Certified Golf Fitness Instructor to further enhance his knowledge, teaching skills and ability to convey a better understanding of the “Body-Swing Connection” in the golf swing to his students. In addition to his teaching prowess, owner Bob Reiver recognized his business acumen by appointing him the facility's General Manager in December 1999. In March of 2004, Chuck and Patrick McGuire, one of his staff professionals, leased the Golf Shop concession from owner Bob Reiver and formed Will & McGuire Professsionals, LLC. Initially focusing on custom club fitting and retail sales, they have recently begun to expand into the corporate logo and tournament prize business. The Will & McGuire fitting center is technologically state of the art featuring the Vector Launch Monitor, Taylor-Made MATT System, Swing View Pro and P3Pro teaching software and this year’s addition of the new 3-D “IClub” Body Motion System for measuring body positions and energy transfer during the swing! Chuck has been selected as one of Golf Range Magazine’s “Top 50 Golf Instructors in America” for 2003, 2004, 2005 & 2006, Golf Digest’s “Best Instructors in Your State” for 2007-2008 as well as to the Consumer’s Research Council of America - Guide to America’s Top Golf Instructors! In the fall of 2003, the Dulles Golf Academy officially changed its name to the Chuck Will Golf Academy! Each year as the Chuck Will Golf Academy and Will & McGuire Professionals continue to grow, teaching, however, will continue to be Chuck’s main focus and foremost love! Chuck Will - PGA Director of Instruction (cont'd) PGA Education PGA Business Schools I & II (1978 & 1982) Club Repair Workshop (1987) Playing Workshop (1987) Teaching Workshop (1987) PGA/GSO Merchandising Seminar (1989) Turf Grass Management (1992) PGA Service Middle Atlantic PGA Section Board of Directors Director, Middle Atlantic PGA (1992-1993) Secretary, Central Chapter (1992-1993) Eastern Director, Central Chapter (1991-1992) Director at Large, Central Chapter (1988-1990) Middle Atlantic PGA Section Committees Chairman, National Golf Month (1993) Chairman, Central Chapter Junior Golf Committee (1988-1993) Member, Section Education Committee (1987-1988) Honors and Awards PGA President’s Society (1989-1991) PGA Business School I - Top 10% test scorer in country PGA Business School II - Highest test scorer in country Captain, Salisbury State University Golf Team (1976, 1977) Most Valuable Player, Salisbury State University Golf Team (1975) Golf Range Magazine Top 50 Golf Instructors in America for 2003, 2004 & 2005 Consumer’s Research Council – Guide to America’s Top Golf Instructors 2003, 2004 & 2005 Teaching Philosophy Chuck feels that all golfers given the right combination of swing fundamentals for them are capable of significant improvement regardless of age, skill level or physical limitations. He uses a combination of computerized video swing analysis, a golf assessment and flexibility screening and club path analyzer data to gather the necessary information required to determine the swing type best suited for that individual. By finding the golfer’s best “Swing Type” he can then make the appropriate changes for success without totally overhauling their old swing. As a result, golfers can see immediate improvement by adjusting their old swing and minimizing their errors. Students also will get a greater understanding of what their own “tendencies” or “poor swing habits” are and how to correct as well as avoid them. Chuck uses a number of teaching aids and practice drills, both outdoors and indoors to help the student learn the new swing changes. He also feels strongly that the “On Range Indoor to Outdoor Video Studio” affords the best way to show the student the cause and effect a particular swing flaw can have on the overall golf swing and outcome of the shot. He also has an extensive digital library of PGA Tour Professionals that are used for comparison and to demonstrate the fundamental “common denominators” of all world class players. His use of on course playing lessons, physical conditioning as well as the mental aspects of the game balances out his instructional program and allows students to reach a new level of success and greatly achieve their full potential.

    Hi! I am Chuck Will, PGA Director of Instruction for the Chuck Will Golf Academy. Today, we are going to work on your downswing; previously, we worked on your grip, setup routine, and getting a correct backswing or loading up to the top of the swing; prior to the forward swing. To review our backswing, we are going to go waist high, create that L position and add the turn. Now on my downswing, we reverse the swing from the ground up. If you remember the backswing, we started the backswing by turning the left arm with the shoulder, so we started with the upper body. The downswing we are going to reverse the backswing, so we are going to start with the lower body. So once I am in a good position loaded at the top of the backswing, my weight is in my right side, my lower body is going to start, my hips are going to unwind to the target, good way to feel that as your belt buckle turns over to that front leg. My arms went up in the backswing, so my arms have to come down in the downswing. You will notice because we have took the club back correctly and got in a good position at the top, when I unwind on the downswing and my arms come down, the golf club again is going to point a little bit out in front of the ball or again parallel to the line to the target.

    Easy way for you to check this in the mirror, as you come down the shaft will come under the right shoulder through your bicep, as we come a little further down, it will come through my right forearm. As I continue down into the hitting area, my wrist we be hinged, still hinge 90 degrees and you will notice the golf club is parallel to the line of the target and the lines on that club basically are straight up in the air, very similar to the take away. As I rotate through, my left arm turns and squares the club face up at the bottom, and my hips are opened at impact. As I continue through, my body rotates, my arms extend in front of me, my left arm turns and falls, and my follow through mirrors my backswing. I am going to do it from the front so we can kind of see what our body is doing.

    So, we do our backswing, we go waist high, turn to the top, downswing, my lower body unwinds, my belt buckle unwinds to the target, my arms come down. As I continue to rotate through, I have got a full wrist set; my weight is on my left side, my left arm turns the club face down into the ball. A common mistake here in higher handicap players as they move the club out and their hands uncork this way. So they lose a lot of power, add loft to the club and then hit a high slice. We are going to bring that club in from the inside, turning with our body, where we actually deal off the ball. Thats how the pros hit the ball so far.

    As I turn through, my arms extend and you will notice here now my right arm is extended along my toe line, like my left arm was in my take away. As I continue, my left arm turns and falls, full rotation I would finish straight over top of my left leg. Good way to check your downswing sequence is to do it without a golf club, rotate to the top unwind your lower body finish over to the top of your left leg. Check your golf shaft positions throughout the swing in the mirror, like we have done in the last two lessons. Its definitely going to help your golf swing. Thank you.