How To Stop Lifting Up In Golf Downswing

The golf downswing is a critical phase of the golf swing that can significantly impact your ball-striking consistency and overall game. One common mistake many golfers make is “lifting up” during the downswing, which can lead to poor contact, slices, and a loss of power. In this guide, we will discuss techniques and drills to help you stop lifting up in your golf downswing and improve your golf game.

Rangefinder on Discount

Understanding the Problem:

Lifting up in the golf downswing refers to the premature rising of the upper body, particularly the upper torso and arms, before making contact with the golf ball. This mistake disrupts the swing’s natural plane and can result in a variety of issues, including:

  1. Loss of Power: Lifting up reduces the leverage and power generated through the downswing, leading to shorter and less effective shots.
  2. Poor Contact: The clubhead’s position at impact becomes inconsistent, causing mis-hits and a lack of control over the ball.
  3. Slice: Lifting the upper body can cause an “out-to-in” swing path, leading to a slice, which is a common problem among golfers.

Techniques to Stop Lifting Up in Golf Downswing:

  1. Maintain Spine Angle:

    • Focus on keeping your spine angle consistent throughout the swing. Imagine a straight line running down your spine; this line should stay relatively constant from setup to impact.
  2. Engage Lower Body:

    • Initiate the downswing by using your lower body, specifically your hips and legs. Shift your weight onto your front foot while maintaining a stable lower body.
  3. Lag and Release:

    • Work on creating lag in your downswing, which is the angle formed between your wrists and the clubshaft. Release this lag at the right moment, allowing the clubhead to whip through impact.
  4. Stay Connected:

    • Keep your arms connected to your chest in the downswing. This prevents the arms from lifting independently, promoting a more compact and controlled motion.
  5. Practice Tempo and Rhythm:

    • A controlled and smooth tempo can help prevent abrupt movements that lead to lifting up. Practice your swing with a metronome or by counting in your head to maintain a consistent rhythm.

Drills to Correct Lifting Up in the Downswing:

  1. The Towel Drill:

    • Place a towel under both armpits and practice swinging. The towels will help you keep your arms connected to your body, discouraging excessive lifting.
  2. Alignment Stick Drill:

    • Position an alignment stick through your belt loops or just above your hips. During the downswing, work on keeping the stick pointing at the ball for as long as possible, emphasizing hip rotation.
  3. Pause and Check Drill:

    • Take practice swings, pausing at the top of your backswing. Check your posture and spine angle before initiating the downswing. This conscious pause can help you avoid lifting up.

Advanced Tips for Correcting Lifting Up in the Golf Downswing:

  1. Video Analysis:

    • Use video analysis tools or apps to record your swing from different angles. Reviewing your swings in slow motion can provide valuable insights into your downswing and help you identify areas where you’re lifting up.
  2. Golf Lessons:

    • Consider taking lessons from a qualified golf instructor. They can provide personalized feedback and drills tailored to your specific swing issues, including lifting up in the downswing.
  3. Weight Transfer:

    • Work on your weight transfer from your back foot to your front foot during the downswing. A proper weight shift helps maintain balance and prevents excessive lifting.
  4. Core Strength and Flexibility:

    • Strengthening your core muscles and improving flexibility can help you maintain your spine angle and control your upper body during the swing. Incorporate exercises like planks and rotational stretches into your fitness routine.
  5. Mental Game:

    • Don’t underestimate the mental aspect of golf. Stay focused on your swing mechanics and visualize a smooth, on-plane downswing before each shot. This mental preparation can help reduce the tendency to lift up under pressure.
  6. Practice with Impact Tape:

    • Use impact tape on the clubface to monitor your contact point. Consistently hitting the ball in the center of the clubface indicates that your downswing is on the right path.
  7. Slow-Motion Swings:

    • Practice slow-motion swings to ingrain the correct downswing sequence and eliminate lifting. Gradually increase the speed as you gain confidence in your mechanics.
  8. On-Course Application:

    • Take what you’ve learned on the practice range and apply it to the golf course. Start with shorter clubs and gradually work your way up to longer ones as you gain confidence in your new downswing motion.
  9. Patience and Persistence:

    • Correcting a swing flaw takes time and dedication. Be patient with yourself and understand that improvement may come gradually. Consistent practice and reinforcement of correct techniques are key to long-term success.

Common Mistakes in the Golf Downswing

MistakeDescriptionConsequenceCorrectionDrill to Practice
Lifting the ClubRaising the club too quicklyLoss of power and accuracyKeep the club low“One-Piece Takeaway”
Early Hip MovementHips shifting too soonPoor weight transferDelay hip rotation“Hip Bump Drill”
Overactive HandsExcessive wrist movementInconsistent ball strikingMaintain wrist angle“Wrist Hinge Drill”
Lack of LagUnwinding wrists too earlyDecreased clubhead speedCreate lag in downswing“Lag Drill”
Poor Weight TransferStaying on back foot too longLimited power and controlShift weight to front foot“Weight Transfer Drill”

Key Downswing Fundamentals

FundamentalDescriptionImportanceHow to AchievePractice Tip
Maintain PostureKeep spine angle consistentEnables a consistent strikePractice with a mirror“Posture Check Drill”
Start Downswing SlowlyBegin the downswing smoothlyBuilds sequencing and tempoFeel the transition“Half-Speed Swings”
Keep Arms ConnectedMaintain the triangle formed byPromotes better control andUse a towel under your arms“Towel Drill”
arms and chestsynchronizationduring practice swings
Rotate Hips and TorsoInitiate hip and torso rotationGenerates power and accuracyFocus on lower body turn“Hips and Torso Drill”
Use Lower BodyPower should come from the lowerMaximizes clubhead speed andEngage legs and hips“Leg-Driven Downswing”
body, not just the armscontrolfor power

Common Drills to Improve Downswing

DrillDescriptionPurposeHow to ExecuteRecommended Reps
One-Piece TakeawayPromotes a connected backswingEncourages a smoother downswingStart with a slow takeaway10-15 reps
Hip Bump DrillHelps initiate hip movement earlyCorrects early hip shiftingPractice hip bump motion15-20 reps
Wrist Hinge DrillFocuses on maintaining wrist angleEnsures consistent clubface controlWork on wrist hinge feeling10-15 reps
Lag DrillDevelops a powerful lagPromotes a late release for more speedFeel the club lag behind15-20 reps
Weight Transfer DrillEmphasizes weight shift to frontImproves weight transfer for powerShift weight smoothly10-15 reps

Common Faults and Fixes

Lifting Club on BackswingRaising the club too highMaintain a more compact backswing
Early Hip RotationHips turning too soonDelay hip rotation in the downswing
Casting (Early Release)Releasing wrists too earlyKeep wrists hinged for longer
Over-the-Top Swing PathOutside-to-inside club pathWork on an inside-out swing path
Flipping at ImpactHands flipping before impactMaintain a forward shaft lean

Recommended Drills for Home Practice

DrillDescriptionPurposeSetup in HomeFrequency
Mirror CheckReview your posture and alignmentMaintain proper setup and alignmentStand in front of a mirrorDaily
Slow Motion SwingsExecute swings in slow motionFocus on swing sequence and positionsAny open space3-4 times a week
Impact Bag TrainingStrike an impact bag to develop feelImprove impact position and timingUse an impact bag2-3 times a week
Putting Mat PracticeWork on putting stroke and alignmentEnhance putting accuracy and consistencyPlace a putting mat at home4-5 times a week
Fitness ExercisesStrengthen golf-specific musclesIncrease power and stabilityUse resistance bands and bodyweight3-4 times a week



Eliminating the habit of lifting up in the golf downswing is a critical step toward improving your golf game. By combining proper mechanics with focused practice, drills, and a strong mental game, you can develop a more consistent, powerful, and controlled downswing. Remember that even professional golfers continually work on their swings, so don’t be discouraged by setbacks and keep striving for improvement with each round you play.


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  • Anglo Carson

    Anglo Carson, a Certified Golf Instructor, embarked on a remarkable journey, driven by his unwavering love for golf. He founded The Golf Mine with a singular mission - to create a golfing haven where passion knows no boundaries. His lifelong love affair with golf, combined with his expertise as a Certified Golf Instructor, turned into a vision to share his extensive knowledge, inspire, and promote the game he holds dear.

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