As an instructor, I see a lot of golf swings every day and a large majority of the golfing public seems to have an obsession with not turning their hips in their golf swing.
Magazines and books have been pushing the idea that if we can restrict our hip turn and rotate the shoulders substantially more, we have the formula for more power: Degree of Shoulder Turn – Degree of Hip Turn = Power. Giving this idea to a novice golfer is like letting a child play with matches; there’s going to be a lot of damage to repair.
Photo 1 depicts a swing where a golfer is attempting to restrict hip turn and generate as much shoulder turn as possible, while Photo 2 shows a golfer who is embracing the notion that the hips need to turn.
What is noticeable is that when restricting the hips the golfer is forced to turn their shoulders and arms on a much flatter plane. Many golfers struggle with taking the club too far inside during their take away and lifting the club to reach the top of their backswing, the classic slicer move (inside-up-over the top). The inside takeaway occurs from the fact that the hips have not rotated and the hands and arms feel the need to fan or rotate the club to generate that feel of rotation.
Going forward the golfer is unable to rotate the hips so they lift the club to the top of the back swing resulting in a very flat shoulder turn (Photo 3) and a loop (Photo 4) that will force them to come over the top.
Allowing the hips to rotate will help alleviate some of these issues and allow you to create more shoulder turn (even with some steepness to them) in the process.
Photos 5 and 6 show a golfer who has allowed his hips to turn on the backswing and, in return, his arms and hands have rotated properly. That created more connection between the arms and chest. The golfer was also able to generate more shoulder turn by allowing his hips to turn more during the takeaway, and potentially breaking the dreaded habit of coming inside, up, and over the top.
So instead of restricting the hips, let them rotate for a more fundamentally sound golf swing.