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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

How to fix the root cause of hitting your golf shots fat

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Of all the shots golfers fear, hitting the ball FAT has to be right up at the top of the list. At least it heads the list of commonly hit poor shots (let’s leave the shank and the whiff out for now). After fat, I’d list topping, followed by slicing and then hooking. They are all round-killers, although the order of the list is an individual thing based on ability. Professionals despise a hook, but club golfers by and large fear FAT. Why?

First of all, it’s embarrassing. Secondly, it goes nowhere — at least compared to thin — and it can be physically painful! So to avoid this dreaded miss, golfers do any number of things (consciously or subconsciously) to avoid it. The pattern develops very early in one’s golf life. It does not take very many fat shots for golfers to realize that they need to do something differently. But rather than correct the problem with the correct move(s), golfers often correct a fault with a fault.

Shortening the radius (chicken-winging), raising the swing center, early lower-body extension, holding on through impact (saving it), running the upper body ahead of the golf ball and even coming over the top are all ways of avoiding fat shots. No matter how many drills I may offer for correcting any of those mistakes, none will work if the root cause of fat is not addressed.

So what causes fat? We have to start with posture. Some players simply do not have enough room to deliver the golf club on a good plane from inside to inside. Next on the list of causes is a wide, early cast of the club head. This move is invariably followed by a break down in the lead arm, holding on for dear life into impact, or any of the others…

“Swaying” (getting the swing center too far off the golf ball) is another cause of fat, as well as falling to the rear foot or “reversing the weight.” Both of these moves can cause one to bottom out well behind the ball. Finally, an excessive inside-out swing path (usually the fault of those who hook the ball) also causes an early bottom or fat shot, particularly if the release is even remotely early. 

Here are 4 things to try if you’re hitting fat shots

  1. Better Posture: Bend forward from the hips so that arms hang from the shoulders and directly over the tips of the toes, knees slightly flexed over the shoelaces, seat out for balance and chin off the chest!
  2. Maintaining the Angles: Casting, the natural urge to throw the clubhead at the golf ball, is a very difficult habit to break if one is not trained from the start. The real correction is maintaining the angle of the trail wrist (lag) a little longer so that the downswing is considerably more narrow than the backswing. But as I said, if you have been playing for some time, this is risky business. Talk to your instructor before working on this!
  3. Maintaining the Swing Center Over the Golf Ball: In your backswing, focus on keeping your sternum more directly over the golf ball (turning in a barrel, as Ernest Jones recommended). For many, this may feel like a “reverse pivot,” but if you are actually swaying off the ball it’s not likely you will suddenly get stuck with too much weight on your lead foot.
  4. Setting Up a Little More Open: If your swing direction is too much in-to-out, you may need to align your body more open (or feel that way). You could also work with a teaching aid that helps you feel the golf club is being swung more out in front of you and more left (for right-handers) coming through — something as simple as a head cover inside the golf ball. You’ll hit the headcover if you are stuck too far inside coming down.

The point is that most players do what they have to do to avoid their disastrous result. Slicers swing way left, players who fight a hook swing inside out and anybody who has ever laid sod over the golf ball will find a way to avoid doing it again. This, in my opinion, is the evolution of most swing faults, and trying to correct a fault with a fault almost never ends up well.

Get with an instructor, get some good videos (and perhaps even some radar numbers) to see what you are actually doing. Then work on the real corrections, not ones that will cause more trouble.

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Instruction

Right Knee Bend: The Difference Between PGA Tour Players and Amateurs

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The knees play an especially important role in the golf swing, helping to transfer the forces golfers generate through our connection with the ground. When we look closer at the right knee bend in the golf swing, we’re able to get a better sense of how PGA Tour players generate power compared to most amateur golfers.

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How to eliminate the double cross: Vertical plane, gear effect and impact location

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One of the biggest issues teachers see on the lesson tee is an out-to-in golf swing from a player who is trying to fade the ball, only to look up and see the deadly double cross! This gear effect assisted toe hook is one of the most frustrating things about trying to move the ball from left to right for the right-handed golfer. In this article, I want to show you what this looks like with Trackman and give you a few ways in which you can eliminate this from your game.

Below is the address position of a golfer I teach here in Punta Mita; his handicap ranges between scratch and 2, depending on how much he’s playing, but his miss is a double cross when he’s struggling.

Now let’s examine his impact position:

Observations

  • You see a pull-hooking ball flight
  • The hands are significantly higher at impact than they were at address
  • If you look at the clubhead closely you can see it is wide open post impact due to a toe hit (which we’ll see more of in a second)
  • The face to path is 0.5 which means with a perfectly centered hit, this ball would have moved very slightly from the left to the right
  • However, we see a shot that has a very high negative spin axis -13.7 showing a shot that is moving right to left

Now let’s look at impact location via Trackman:

As we can see here, the impact of the shot above was obviously on the toe and this is the reason why the double-cross occurred. Now the question remains is “why did he hit the ball off of the toe?”

This is what I see from people who swing a touch too much from out-to-in and try to hit fades: a standing up of the body and a lifting of the hands raising the Vertical Swing Plane and Dynamic Lie of the club at impact. From address, let’s assume his lie angle was 45 degrees (for simplicity) and now at impact you can see his Dynamic Lie is 51 degrees. Simply put, he’s standing up the shaft during impact…when this happens you will tend to pull the heel off the ground at impact and this exposes the toe of the club, hence the toe hits and the gear effect toe hook.

Now that we know the problem, what’s the solution? In my opinion it’s a three stage process:

  1. Don’t swing as much from out-to-in so you won’t stand up as much during impact
  2. A better swing plane will help you to remain in your posture and lower the hands a touch more through impact
  3. Move the weights in your driver to promote a slight fade bias

Obviously the key here is to make better swings, but remember to use technology to your advantage and understand why these type of things happen!

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