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Understanding the role of the hips in the golf swing is a huge advantage… if we can learn how to move them to the best of our ability. So what is the role of the hips in the golf swing and how should they move?

The hips play the role of joining our upper body to our lower body. Together with our pelvis, they are responsible for transferring energy throughout our body. They help us bend forward to create the angles in our body that allow us to maintain balance and posture in the golf swing. They are also responsible for turning our body in the swing. In a sense, the hips are both the motor and the transmission in our golf swing.

Most golfers I work with struggle to use their hips correctly often losing their efficiency in the backswing by swaying and not loading their trail leg properly. In this video, I share two drills that will help you gain a feeling of how the hips should turn in the backswing so that your body won’t be forced to compensate in your forward swing.

Best of luck, and please leave me a comment if you have any questions.

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Adam is a PGA Professional and TPI Certified Fitness and Medical Coach. He enjoys working with golfers of all ages and levels of expertise, and his approach is to look at every golfer as an individual to try to help them achieve their goals as effectively and efficiently as possible. He is also the author of two books: The Golfers Handbook - Save your golf game and your life! (available on iTunes and Amazon) And his new book, My Mind Body Golf Please visit the links below to find out more about Adams books. http://mymindbodygolf.weebly.com http://www.golfers-handbook.com "The golf swing may be built from the ground up, but the game of golf is built from the head down" - My Mind Body Golf Aside being an author, Adam is also a public speaker, doing workshops and lectures introducing concepts of athletic movement for golfers of all ages and levels of expertise.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Gorden

    Apr 2, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    Turning hips back a lot easier then returning them when you get in you 60’s…as I near 70 I have found opening the hips (as they would look if you were opening up to hit a fade/slice] at address just a tad cuts down on the hip rotation in the back swing and makes it much to get them through on down swing…

    • Adam

      Apr 3, 2018 at 7:51 am

      Great idea Gordon. The article is written as a way to inspire golfers that tend to have a reverse spine angle due to a sway of their hips in their backswings(a problem for a lot of golfers) The majority of golfers aren’t aware of what they are doing and for them to try these drills as a way of feeling how they can move more efficiently is the goal here. It Sounds like you are doing a great job though and I wish you the best with your game this year. Thank you for your response.

  2. SK

    Apr 1, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    Adam: — “Best of luck out there…”
    You got that right Adam, because 80% of all golfers cannot turn into and load their trail leg. Why? Because they are rigid in their hip joints due to a sedentary lifestyle that destroys body rotation that causes reverse loading and hip blocking…. believe it.

    • Adam

      Apr 3, 2018 at 7:57 am

      Thank you for your great response SK. Having sufficient joint integrity plays a major role in how efficiently our body’s can move. TPI has an amazing platform with a screening test to help golfers learn about their limitations and help them regain improved functionality so they can improve their game. Thank you for the response.

  3. Speedy

    Apr 1, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    Another time-old drill, which for some reason has to be said a different way. Swing around your rear leg, the post of stability.

    • Adam

      Apr 3, 2018 at 8:18 am

      Speedy thank you for your response. Did you even read the article? Sometimes rebuilding the wheel is not what is needed, good old fashioned swing drills said in a new way can help some to be inspired to learn.
      The trail leg plays two roles in the back swing, stability as you’ve mentioned, but also mobility…too often golfers that have poor mobility are already too stable in their trial leg in their backswing so in order to search for freedom to move their hips they tend to sway which leaves them in a challenging position to play good golf from.
      This article is meant to inspire golfers that are struggling finding good rotation in their back swing which is clearly not you but thank you for your inspiring words of wisdom. Perhaps you should make your own content instead of what the world really needs another condescending critic doing the easy job of building up their own ego up by putting others down.
      Good luck with your game and thank you for your response.

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Instruction

Gabe Hjertstedt teaches Doc Rivers how to hit the lofted chip shot

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In the first episode of this instructional series with Short Game Guru Gabe Hjertstedt and NBA Coach for the Los Angeles Clippers Doc Rivers, Gabe teaches Doc how to hit the lofted chip shot to get the ball to stop quicker on the green.

Look out for more videos this week including more from Gabe and Doc’s short game session, their full lesson, and our interview with Doc.

Enjoy the first video below!

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Instruction

WATCH: How to hit your driver more consistently

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In this video, I share two great drills that will help you improve your driving today.

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Instruction

3 keys for getting out of bunkers with soft sand

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One of the most infuriating things in golf is to land in a bunker that has too much sand, or sand with the consistency of a truckload of talcum power. Now, I am not picking on the Superintendents; they do have to add new sand from time-to-time, so no hate mail please! It’s my fault for hitting it in the bunker in the first place, and bunkers are supposed to be hazards; I know that.

The one thing we will assume for this article is that even though we are in soft sand, we will have a good lie, not a plugged or semi-plugged one. We are in a bunker that just has a bunch of sand, or it’s soft and fluffy sand. Everyone asks me what the secret is to handling these types of conditions and I’m here to help you get better.

1) Get a wedge with the correct bounce

Let’s consider that you play the same golf course every weekend, or that you mostly play on courses that have the same type of playing conditions mostly. When you have this luxury, you should have wedges that fit the conditions you tend to play. So, if you have a low bounce wedge with a sharp flange and you’re playing from bunkers with lots of sand, then you are putting yourself at a disadvantage.

Why alter your swing if the wedge you have can help you? Use a high bounce wedge (9-12 degrees of bounce) for soft sand, and a low bounce wedge (6-8 degrees) for firm sand.

2) Control your Angle of Attack 

As with most things in golf, there are always things that you must pay attention to in order for you to have the odds in your favor. Simple things such as paying attention to the lie you have can help you save shots in the rough. In bunkers, you cannot test the surface, however, you can use your feet to feel the density of the sand. Pay attention to what you feel in the balls of your feet. If you feel a ton of sand below you, then you know you will have to alter your angle of attack if you want any chance to get out of the bunker successfully.

So what do I mean by this?

The setting of your wrists has a very dynamic effect on how much the wedge digs in or skids through the sand (assuming you have an open face). When there is a surplus of sand, you will find that a steeper attack caused by the maximum cocking of your wrists makes it much easier for the wedge to work too vertical and dig too deep. When you dig too deep, you will lose control of the ball as there is too much sand between the blade and the ball — it will not spin as much and won’t have the distance control you normally have.

The secret to playing from softer sand is a longer and wider bunker swing with much less wrist-set than you would use on your stock bunker shot. This action stops the club from digging too deep and makes it easier for you to keep moving through the ball and achieving the distance you need.

3) Keep your pivot moving

It’s nearly impossible to keep the rotation of your shoulders going when you take too much sand at impact, and the ball comes up short in that situation every time. When you take less sand, you will have a much easier time keeping your pivot moving. This is the final key to good soft-sand bunker play.

You have made your longer and more shallow backswing and are returning to the ball not quite as steeply as you normally do which is good… now the only thing left to do is keep your rear shoulder rotating through impact and beyond. This action helps you to make a fuller finish, and one that does not lose too much speed when the club impacts the sand. If you dig too deep, you cannot keep the rear shoulder moving and your shots will consistently come up short.

So if you are in a bunker with new sand, or an abundance of sand, remember to change your bounce, adjust your angle of attack, and keep your pivot moving to have a fighting chance.

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