HIP HIP HURRAH!

Every DUFFER, young, old or in between wants to add distance to their drives!  Seniors especially with low swing speeds have a difficult time reaching greens in two on most par 4 holes, including myself! This is one essential move that must be part of your swing for any hope at all.

MOVE YOUR HIPS LATERALLY WITH ALL THE POWER YOU CAN MUSTER!

This is what happens: Many Seniors and new duffers tend to use their hands too soon and their lower body too little in the through-swing!

If this sounds familiar, forget the your  hands at the top of the back swing and begin your downward swing with a lateral movement of your hips toward the target. Doing this will help keep your right shoulder from spinning outside, so you will swing the club head into the ball from inside your target line. If you practice this move with an extra fast movement in your hips, you will, with out a doubt, straighten your drives and iron shots with more consistency and with more power. This move with a proper release is most important if you ever want to reach those nasty long par fours more often.

Golf drill: Increase hip rotation for more distance

One of the most common faults I see as a golf instructor, is the degree of hip rotation at the top of the backswing. Most golfers think, “Bigger Swing = More Distance.” At GolfTEC, the data we record on our motion analysis computer shows us how far the hips rotate in degrees.

Based on our testing of over 150 touring professionals, we know that the average hip rotation at the top of the backswing is 45 degrees. The majority of golfers I teach for the first time usually rotate their hips 55 to 60 degrees. The extra 10 to 15 degrees of hip rotation on the backswing is now an extra 10 to 15 degrees that the golfer has to rotate to get back to the ball on the downswing. This creates more room for inconsistency and loss of power.

Power in the golfswing comes from the difference in hip turn versus shoulder turn – otherwise known as the “X-Factor.” Our data shows that the PGA Tour players average a shoulder turn of 90 degrees at the top of the backswing.

Subtract the average hip turn of 45 degrees and we get an X-Factor on 45 degrees. The greater the X-Factor, the greater amount of stretch or “coil” in the golf swing.

So how do you keep your hips from rotating too far back? There are a couple of key checkpoints to see if you are over-rotating. Set up to a ball, take a backswing and hold it at the top. If your right knee (left knee for lefties) is straight, then your hips and belt buckle are probably facing the wall behind you and your left knee has probably caved in toward your right knee. You have over-rotated on your backswing.

To correct this, think of keeping your knees in place and your hips facing the ball when you make your backswing. Make sure your right foot is square to the target line and the knees are flexed at address. When you look down at your right knee, it should appear to be slightly inside of your right foot. Try taking the club away and keeping both of your knees in place.

At the top of your swing, you should feel that your hips have hardly turned and you will feel a stretch in your left side. Your left shoulder should be over the right knee with 80-85% of your weight on your right side.

Practice this in front of a mirror. You will see that your knees haven’t moved, they’re still flexed, your hips are no longer facing the wall behind you, and your left shoulder is over your right knee. One word of caution with this drill.

Do not get in the habit of swaying back to the right in order to keep the hips facing the ball. If you do, you will notice two things. Your right knee will be outside of your right foot and your right foot will most likely be rolled over on it’s outside edge.

By practicing this drill, and eliminating any excess hip rotation, you will create more coil in your back swing. This will result in greater club head speed and more distance.

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