Subscribe now to watch the full video.

How To Use Your Hips In The Golf Swing

One of the most common questions I hear from my students is, "How do I use my hips in the golf swing?" While this is somewhat of a broad topic, it can be a trouble spot for many players given the variety of lower-body swing faults that exist; golfers may struggle with sway/slide patterns, early extension, a lack of rotation at impact, and so forth.

Thankfully, I have found this walkthrough useful for players looking to better understand how we interact with the ground AND how to train the proper lower-body patterns. To do this, we will use (1) key checkpoint in transition and a couple different "feels" related to the timing/rhythm of our pressure shift.

Overall, we want to increase the awareness for how we load the lower-body, so that we can use rotation to improve sequencing, timing, and our overall swing consistency.

Playlists: Pivot Drills, Fix Your Early Extension, Stop Lunging Forward, Stop Moving Off The Ball (Sway), Stop Standing Up In Your Backswing, Trail Leg Understanding

Tags: Fundamentals, Poor Contact, Not Straight Enough, Not Enough Distance, Early Extension, Standing Up, Sway, Impact, Follow Through, Backswing, Transition, Release, Concept, Intermediate

00:00:00,000 --> 00:00:08,000
In this video, we're going to discuss how to use your hips in the golf swing.

00:00:08,000 --> 00:00:14,000
That's one of the common issues that a lot of golfers come into my lessons complaining about.

00:00:14,000 --> 00:00:17,000
My hips aren't open, I'm just swinging all arms.

00:00:17,000 --> 00:00:21,000
Well, in this video, I'm going to give you a couple different ways to approach how to use

00:00:21,000 --> 00:00:22,000
your hips.

00:00:22,000 --> 00:00:23,000
One's going to be a checkpoint.

00:00:23,000 --> 00:00:27,000
I always think it's helpful to have checkpoint so that you don't have to just rely

00:00:27,000 --> 00:00:28,000
on feels.

00:00:28,000 --> 00:00:29,000
But feels can be helpful.

00:00:29,000 --> 00:00:33,000
So, in addition to the checkpoint, I'm going to give you a couple different ways to

00:00:33,000 --> 00:00:34,000
feel your hips.

00:00:34,000 --> 00:00:38,000
So, the first checkpoint I'm going to give you, we're going to use this down the line

00:00:38,000 --> 00:00:39,000
camera angle.

00:00:39,000 --> 00:00:43,000
So when golfers are using their lower body, you're using their hips.

00:00:43,000 --> 00:00:47,000
There's a couple different directions I could be applying forces into the ground.

00:00:47,000 --> 00:00:51,000
So I could either be twisting my body like this or I could be pushing vertically or

00:00:51,000 --> 00:00:54,000
I could push it, be pushing side to side.

00:00:54,000 --> 00:01:01,000
We're going to focus on two major ones, which is focusing on rotation and vertical.

00:01:01,000 --> 00:01:06,000
So some golfers do use their hips, but they do so just vertically.

00:01:06,000 --> 00:01:10,000
They tend to push more up just like so.

00:01:10,000 --> 00:01:15,000
Now that can be powerful, so these golfers don't always complain about, oh, I don't

00:01:15,000 --> 00:01:17,000
hit it anywhere.

00:01:17,000 --> 00:01:22,000
But what can happen is if I'm overly vertical, then I really have to use just my arms

00:01:22,000 --> 00:01:26,000
and shoulders to get the hands ahead and get solid contact.

00:01:26,000 --> 00:01:29,000
The other thing is when I tend to go more vertical, it's hard to get my chest open and

00:01:29,000 --> 00:01:32,000
create more of this flat spot at the bottom of the swing.

00:01:32,000 --> 00:01:36,000
So then what happens is the club passes my chest down at the bottom and the club face

00:01:36,000 --> 00:01:38,000
tends to close quickly.

00:01:38,000 --> 00:01:44,000
So I might struggle with more pull shots and pull hooks, or in fearing that kind of have more

00:01:44,000 --> 00:01:47,000
of a scoop style release and hit big shots off to the right.

00:01:47,000 --> 00:01:52,000
So we want to get a blend of some of this vertical motion, but we also want to get some

00:01:52,000 --> 00:01:54,000
of this rotational movement.

00:01:54,000 --> 00:01:58,000
It's usually the rotational movement that messes up golfers.

00:01:58,000 --> 00:02:05,000
So I'm going to give you two quick little pre-requisites that if you're going to try to get

00:02:05,000 --> 00:02:11,000
your lower body more open, then your arms have to work a little bit shallower, so they

00:02:11,000 --> 00:02:12,000
can't work straight up and down.

00:02:12,000 --> 00:02:17,000
They have to work a little bit more out in front of your body or more shallow.

00:02:17,000 --> 00:02:23,000
In the club face, we'll have to be more closed in order to allow for the body getting

00:02:23,000 --> 00:02:26,000
open and not hit it way off to the right.

00:02:26,000 --> 00:02:32,000
But when we talk about using this lower body, let's start with this checkpoint.

00:02:32,000 --> 00:02:38,000
So as a quick checkpoint, I want you to go up to the top of your swing and while your chest

00:02:38,000 --> 00:02:44,000
is still facing towards the back camera or the down the line, so my back is still towards

00:02:44,000 --> 00:02:45,000
the target.

00:02:45,000 --> 00:02:50,000
I'm going to try to get my thighs so that they're back to parallel to the stick on the

00:02:50,000 --> 00:02:51,000

00:02:51,000 --> 00:02:59,000
So while the club is up here, I'm going to try to get my thighs parallel to where the

00:02:59,000 --> 00:03:00,000
stick is on the ground.

00:03:00,000 --> 00:03:04,000
Now my arms are going to come down some, but they're going to be led by my body.

00:03:04,000 --> 00:03:09,000
Instead of what some golfers or most golfers who struggle with using their lower body

00:03:09,000 --> 00:03:15,000
might feel is that when they try to get their lower body to turn open, the club is already

00:03:15,000 --> 00:03:16,000
getting way down here.

00:03:16,000 --> 00:03:18,000
So already getting down to shaft parallel.

00:03:18,000 --> 00:03:23,000
I want to try to get my thighs back to parallel before this left arm breaks parallel to

00:03:23,000 --> 00:03:24,000
the ground.

00:03:24,000 --> 00:03:28,000
That's going to be a challenge for some of you, but that's going to give you a feeling of

00:03:28,000 --> 00:03:32,000
using your lower body or it's a checkpoint of using your lower body.

00:03:32,000 --> 00:03:37,000
To get the feeling, you notice when I describe this, I often talk about using the lower

00:03:37,000 --> 00:03:40,000
body, not just the hips.

00:03:40,000 --> 00:03:44,000
I find that a lot of golfers concepts is that they need to turn their hips just like

00:03:44,000 --> 00:03:48,000
so, but I want to engage the whole lower body.

00:03:48,000 --> 00:03:53,000
I want to use my legs, I want to use my knees, I want to use my ankles as well as my hips.

00:03:53,000 --> 00:03:59,000
And so I'm going to do a little kind of rhythmic drill where I'm basically going to turn

00:03:59,000 --> 00:04:04,000
my hips so that my pelvis points to the right, my right leg straightens and my left leg

00:04:04,000 --> 00:04:05,000

00:04:05,000 --> 00:04:08,000
Now my right leg isn't getting fully straight and I'm not getting onto the outside

00:04:08,000 --> 00:04:09,000
of the heel.

00:04:09,000 --> 00:04:15,000
My right foot is staying flat against the ground or even rolled in on the inside a little

00:04:15,000 --> 00:04:20,000
bit, but my hip is working backward and up kind of like this.

00:04:20,000 --> 00:04:24,000
In order for my hip to work backward and up, my right leg is going to straighten some.

00:04:24,000 --> 00:04:29,000
And in order for the left hip to match it, my left leg is going to bend some.

00:04:29,000 --> 00:04:35,000
But my left leg isn't going to move too far, laterally, it's going to work more rotationally,

00:04:35,000 --> 00:04:40,000
which will bring it kind of out towards the golf ball but not crossing way past it.

00:04:40,000 --> 00:04:43,000
So I'm going to get this little rotation here in the back swing and then I'm going to do

00:04:43,000 --> 00:04:45,000
the opposite in the downswing.

00:04:45,000 --> 00:04:51,000
So if I hold my arms out and try to keep my chest square to this stick, now I can let my

00:04:51,000 --> 00:04:56,000
knees, my hips, my ankles control some of this rotation.

00:04:56,000 --> 00:05:01,000
Now I have a feeling of not just turning my hips but doing so rhythmically with a little

00:05:01,000 --> 00:05:05,000
bit of a pressure shift just like this.

00:05:05,000 --> 00:05:08,000
So now I'm going to tie that into that checkpoint drill we did at the beginning of the

00:05:08,000 --> 00:05:09,000

00:05:09,000 --> 00:05:13,000
So now I'm going to go up to the top of the swing, I'm going to load the right and then

00:05:13,000 --> 00:05:16,000
load the left, load the right, load the left.

00:05:16,000 --> 00:05:22,000
So now I'm getting this feeling of not just turning my hips but shifting pressure into my

00:05:22,000 --> 00:05:29,000
left side and straightening that left leg to bring my weight more towards the heel as

00:05:29,000 --> 00:05:30,000
my lower body is rotating.

00:05:30,000 --> 00:05:36,000
So it has much more of this rhythmic feel to it instead of just kind of a positional

00:05:36,000 --> 00:05:37,000

00:05:37,000 --> 00:05:42,000
So oftentimes that's the place where I start golfers in trying to get their lower body

00:05:42,000 --> 00:05:46,000
a little bit more active or trying to get their hips more involved in the golf swing.

00:05:46,000 --> 00:05:51,000
If I get to that point, if I get to that checkpoint and then I just continue with my body,

00:05:51,000 --> 00:05:55,000
I'm naturally going to get my hips into an open position.

00:05:55,000 --> 00:06:00,000
Rough checkpoint would be at impact having your pelvis where your hips pointing more

00:06:00,000 --> 00:06:05,000
about 45 degrees out in front of the golf ball 30 to 45 degrees somewhere in that zone.

00:06:05,000 --> 00:06:10,000
But if I get my arms pulling down and my hips haven't gotten open early enough, there's

00:06:10,000 --> 00:06:15,000
no way that I'm going to quickly get my hips open as fast as the club is moving down

00:06:15,000 --> 00:06:16,000
to the bottom.

00:06:16,000 --> 00:06:20,000
So using your hips in the downswing, first let's take a look from my point of view.

00:06:20,000 --> 00:06:22,000
Let's take a look at that first checkpoint.

00:06:22,000 --> 00:06:27,000
So if I go up to the top of the swing, by the, you'll see that the arms aren't even

00:06:27,000 --> 00:06:35,000
coming into view, but you can maybe see by my left arm, my thighs are quickly getting back

00:06:35,000 --> 00:06:37,000
to this parallel position.

00:06:37,000 --> 00:06:41,000
So first one, we're going to try and pump that a couple times, so we're going to go up to

00:06:41,000 --> 00:06:46,000
the top of the swing, pump that one, pump that two, and just kind of feel that movement.

00:06:46,000 --> 00:06:53,000
Now you can either do a nice easy swing after that, so basically get up there, pump, pump.

00:06:53,000 --> 00:07:00,000
Nice easy little swing, just kind of feeling the exaggerated sequencing and timing, or what

00:07:00,000 --> 00:07:06,000
I like to do is once I have that feeling, I can do a little slow motion movement afterwards.

00:07:06,000 --> 00:07:08,000
So I go up there, I pump.

00:07:08,000 --> 00:07:09,000

00:07:09,000 --> 00:07:12,000
I've got that feeling of starting with the lower body.

00:07:12,000 --> 00:07:19,000
Now I'm going to feel like I just kind of move through that space and work on that timing.

00:07:19,000 --> 00:07:24,000
But 20, 30 percent, so a really slow, slow shot, it might be hitting this club half

00:07:24,000 --> 00:07:26,000
the distance that I would normally do.

00:07:26,000 --> 00:07:32,000
So then the second one is getting more of this rhythm of feeling the right leg straight

00:07:32,000 --> 00:07:35,000
and left leg straight and left leg straight.

00:07:35,000 --> 00:07:43,000
So now when I get set up, I'm going to feel like the club is getting swung by legs

00:07:43,000 --> 00:07:48,000
and more my knees, and my hips and my knees are working together, it's not just trying to

00:07:48,000 --> 00:07:49,000
turn my hips back and forth.

00:07:49,000 --> 00:07:52,000
Okay, so I've got this room feel.

00:07:52,000 --> 00:07:57,000
Now I'm going to set up in my head, I'm going to do right leg, left leg.

00:07:57,000 --> 00:08:05,000
And sometimes I will have golfers even start with doing a little step step step to feel

00:08:05,000 --> 00:08:09,000
that timing and feel that rhythm.

00:08:09,000 --> 00:08:12,000
So now I'm going to get the feel of stepping without stepping, so my foot's not going

00:08:12,000 --> 00:08:17,000
to come off the ground, but I'm going to feel a little pressure shift, pressure shift.

00:08:18,000 --> 00:08:21,000
And it's the same rhythm of that step step.

00:08:21,000 --> 00:08:29,000
Now I'm going to take a little bigger swing closer to a full swing, trying to feel the step taking

00:08:29,000 --> 00:08:32,000
a little bit longer both in the back swing and transition.

00:08:32,000 --> 00:08:36,000
One of the keys to getting your lower body involved is that the lower body should go early,

00:08:36,000 --> 00:08:42,000
but it's not going to go really, really explosively until you get lower in the swing.

00:08:42,000 --> 00:08:45,000
I just think of it similar to if I was throwing a ball.

00:08:45,000 --> 00:08:48,000
I'm not going to just explode with my leg right off the bat.

00:08:48,000 --> 00:08:53,000
I'm going to push and it's not until I get that weight transferred, then I start to really

00:08:53,000 --> 00:08:55,000
kind of ratchet up the lower body use.

00:08:55,000 --> 00:08:57,000
Okay, so bigger swing.

00:08:57,000 --> 00:09:02,000
Now we've got step step, slow, but early.

00:09:02,000 --> 00:09:04,000
So step step.

00:09:04,000 --> 00:09:11,000
So there's a little pressure shift to let my leg straighten to get my lower body involved.

00:09:11,000 --> 00:09:15,000
If you struggle with using your, you're probably missing out on using the whole leg,

00:09:15,000 --> 00:09:29,000
and you're trying to do it just from the hip socket.

Subscribe now for full access to our video library.