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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.
Tags: Fundamentals, Poor Contact, Not Straight Enough, Not Enough Distance, Early Extension, Standing Up, Sway, Impact, Follow Through, Backswing, Transition, Release, Concept, Intermediate
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In this video, we're going to discuss how to use your hips in the golf swing.
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That's one of the common issues that a lot of golfers come into my lessons complaining about.
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My hips aren't open, I'm just swinging all arms.
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Well, in this video, I'm going to give you a couple different ways to approach how to use
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One's going to be a checkpoint.
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I always think it's helpful to have checkpoint so that you don't have to just rely
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But feels can be helpful.
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So, in addition to the checkpoint, I'm going to give you a couple different ways to
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feel your hips.
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So, the first checkpoint I'm going to give you, we're going to use this down the line
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So when golfers are using their lower body, you're using their hips.
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There's a couple different directions I could be applying forces into the ground.
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So I could either be twisting my body like this or I could be pushing vertically or
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I could push it, be pushing side to side.
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We're going to focus on two major ones, which is focusing on rotation and vertical.
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So some golfers do use their hips, but they do so just vertically.
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They tend to push more up just like so.
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Now that can be powerful, so these golfers don't always complain about, oh, I don't
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hit it anywhere.
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But what can happen is if I'm overly vertical, then I really have to use just my arms
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and shoulders to get the hands ahead and get solid contact.
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The other thing is when I tend to go more vertical, it's hard to get my chest open and
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create more of this flat spot at the bottom of the swing.
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So then what happens is the club passes my chest down at the bottom and the club face
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tends to close quickly.
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So I might struggle with more pull shots and pull hooks, or in fearing that kind of have more
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of a scoop style release and hit big shots off to the right.
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So we want to get a blend of some of this vertical motion, but we also want to get some
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of this rotational movement.
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It's usually the rotational movement that messes up golfers.
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So I'm going to give you two quick little pre-requisites that if you're going to try to get
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your lower body more open, then your arms have to work a little bit shallower, so they
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can't work straight up and down.
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They have to work a little bit more out in front of your body or more shallow.
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In the club face, we'll have to be more closed in order to allow for the body getting
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open and not hit it way off to the right.
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But when we talk about using this lower body, let's start with this checkpoint.
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So as a quick checkpoint, I want you to go up to the top of your swing and while your chest
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is still facing towards the back camera or the down the line, so my back is still towards
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I'm going to try to get my thighs so that they're back to parallel to the stick on the
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So while the club is up here, I'm going to try to get my thighs parallel to where the
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stick is on the ground.
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Now my arms are going to come down some, but they're going to be led by my body.
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Instead of what some golfers or most golfers who struggle with using their lower body
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might feel is that when they try to get their lower body to turn open, the club is already
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getting way down here.
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So already getting down to shaft parallel.
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I want to try to get my thighs back to parallel before this left arm breaks parallel to
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That's going to be a challenge for some of you, but that's going to give you a feeling of
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using your lower body or it's a checkpoint of using your lower body.
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To get the feeling, you notice when I describe this, I often talk about using the lower
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body, not just the hips.
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I find that a lot of golfers concepts is that they need to turn their hips just like
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so, but I want to engage the whole lower body.
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I want to use my legs, I want to use my knees, I want to use my ankles as well as my hips.
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And so I'm going to do a little kind of rhythmic drill where I'm basically going to turn
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my hips so that my pelvis points to the right, my right leg straightens and my left leg
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Now my right leg isn't getting fully straight and I'm not getting onto the outside
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of the heel.
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My right foot is staying flat against the ground or even rolled in on the inside a little
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bit, but my hip is working backward and up kind of like this.
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In order for my hip to work backward and up, my right leg is going to straighten some.
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And in order for the left hip to match it, my left leg is going to bend some.
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But my left leg isn't going to move too far, laterally, it's going to work more rotationally,
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which will bring it kind of out towards the golf ball but not crossing way past it.
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So I'm going to get this little rotation here in the back swing and then I'm going to do
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the opposite in the downswing.
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So if I hold my arms out and try to keep my chest square to this stick, now I can let my
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knees, my hips, my ankles control some of this rotation.
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Now I have a feeling of not just turning my hips but doing so rhythmically with a little
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bit of a pressure shift just like this.
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So now I'm going to tie that into that checkpoint drill we did at the beginning of the
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So now I'm going to go up to the top of the swing, I'm going to load the right and then
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load the left, load the right, load the left.
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So now I'm getting this feeling of not just turning my hips but shifting pressure into my
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left side and straightening that left leg to bring my weight more towards the heel as
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my lower body is rotating.
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So it has much more of this rhythmic feel to it instead of just kind of a positional
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So oftentimes that's the place where I start golfers in trying to get their lower body
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a little bit more active or trying to get their hips more involved in the golf swing.
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If I get to that point, if I get to that checkpoint and then I just continue with my body,
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I'm naturally going to get my hips into an open position.
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Rough checkpoint would be at impact having your pelvis where your hips pointing more
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about 45 degrees out in front of the golf ball 30 to 45 degrees somewhere in that zone.
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But if I get my arms pulling down and my hips haven't gotten open early enough, there's
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no way that I'm going to quickly get my hips open as fast as the club is moving down
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to the bottom.
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So using your hips in the downswing, first let's take a look from my point of view.
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Let's take a look at that first checkpoint.
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So if I go up to the top of the swing, by the, you'll see that the arms aren't even
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coming into view, but you can maybe see by my left arm, my thighs are quickly getting back
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to this parallel position.
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So first one, we're going to try and pump that a couple times, so we're going to go up to
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the top of the swing, pump that one, pump that two, and just kind of feel that movement.
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Now you can either do a nice easy swing after that, so basically get up there, pump, pump.
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Nice easy little swing, just kind of feeling the exaggerated sequencing and timing, or what
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I like to do is once I have that feeling, I can do a little slow motion movement afterwards.
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So I go up there, I pump.
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I've got that feeling of starting with the lower body.
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Now I'm going to feel like I just kind of move through that space and work on that timing.
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But 20, 30 percent, so a really slow, slow shot, it might be hitting this club half
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the distance that I would normally do.
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So then the second one is getting more of this rhythm of feeling the right leg straight
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and left leg straight and left leg straight.
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So now when I get set up, I'm going to feel like the club is getting swung by legs
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and more my knees, and my hips and my knees are working together, it's not just trying to
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turn my hips back and forth.
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Okay, so I've got this room feel.
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Now I'm going to set up in my head, I'm going to do right leg, left leg.
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And sometimes I will have golfers even start with doing a little step step step to feel
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that timing and feel that rhythm.
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So now I'm going to get the feel of stepping without stepping, so my foot's not going
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to come off the ground, but I'm going to feel a little pressure shift, pressure shift.
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And it's the same rhythm of that step step.
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Now I'm going to take a little bigger swing closer to a full swing, trying to feel the step taking
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a little bit longer both in the back swing and transition.
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One of the keys to getting your lower body involved is that the lower body should go early,
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but it's not going to go really, really explosively until you get lower in the swing.
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I just think of it similar to if I was throwing a ball.
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I'm not going to just explode with my leg right off the bat.
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I'm going to push and it's not until I get that weight transferred, then I start to really
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kind of ratchet up the lower body use.
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Okay, so bigger swing.
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Now we've got step step, slow, but early.
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So step step.
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So there's a little pressure shift to let my leg straighten to get my lower body involved.
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If you struggle with using your, you're probably missing out on using the whole leg,
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and you're trying to do it just from the hip socket.