Why You Need This: In this video, you'll learn how to use the hips in the golf swing.
This is an in-depth look at the hips at address, in the backswing, and all the way through to your finish.
You'll learn, in crazy detail...
- How your hips rotate and tilt forward and back throughout the swing,
- How one common mistake may be hurting your posture (and destroying your distance).
Watch this video now to get an in-depth look at your hip movements...
And start hitting with more consistency and power!
Golf Pros Featured:
Instructors Featured: Clay Ballard
Video Duration: 10:00
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Normally, this video in our step-by-step, course-based training is only available to our All Access Members...
But I'll let you watch this ONE video today only... because I can already tell I'm going to like you !
Hey guys, welcome back. I’ve got a really detailed video for you. We’re going to talk about how the hips and your pelvis, the bone that connects your upper and lower body, works throughout the swing.
Sounds a little bit scientific, but we’re going to go into some really good detail, really simplify this for you.
This all came about, I had a student asking, he was struggling with early extension. So basically in his swing, he was letting his hips move forward early in the downswing, coming up out of his posture, and then really flipping the club to try to reach the ball.
It’s pretty common, that happens to a lot of players I see. So we’re going to talk about your pelvis, or the bone that connects your legs to your upper body, how that works throughout the golf swing.
So rotation, how it moves up and down, and just really go into a lot of detail with that.
First off let’s go over one of the most common problems that I see and what he was talking about, the student, is that as he comes into the downswing, trying to get some power and what happens is, the hips move forward toward the ball.
We stand up out of our posture, and then from there, we end up staring to flip this club – if we’re looking from this angle where we kind of stand up and we flip the club to try to get some power and some speed.
It feels really powerful, but the problem is we’re actually losing some power, we’re losing speed, and we’re having to flip the club to be able to reach the ball because as my hips go forward, watch how my upper body goes back.
I’m farther away from the golf ball, and now I’ve got to really flip just to be able to kind of reach the golf ball down there.
A great way to visualize this is if we visualize what your pelvis does or that bone in the middle of your body does throughout the swing.
I’m going to use just a box from a dozen golf balls, and what’s happening at address is as I tilt forward, my pelvis is going from straight up and down. As I tilt forward this midsection, my pelvis, starts to tilt forward.
So some players will do this a little bit too much, and they’ll get like a big arch in their back. It’ll be really curved, and that’s turning their pelvis down quite a bit.
All I want to do is I want to let my hips drop back, my upper body drop forward, and now I’ve turned my pelvis forward there a little bit. I should feel like my hands and arms can hang down just naturally from my shoulders and I can grip the club and swing the club.
Now as we go to the top, we’re going to call this forward tilt and backward tilt. I think it’s flexion and extension would be the proper terms for it.
But when we tilt forward like this, when we’re getting early extension, what’s happening is we’re tilting up tucking our pelvis under, our belt moves toward the ball, and we’re kind of moving our pelvis this way too early in the swing and then we have to flip for it.
There’s several different motions that’s happening here. This would be forward, backward. This would be rotation, so as I rotate my hips my pelvis rotates about 45° going back, and then as I come through.
Those are the main two things we’re going to be talking about is forward/back and then when we add rotation to that. The last one is going to be just moving that up and down.
So I’m going to go over in the swing what that would be, and then I’m going to use that kind of cardboard box to simplify things throughout the swing.
As I start, as I already mentioned, we’re already tilted a little bit forward. As I go to the top of the swing, what’s going to happen is I’m also going to rotate my hips about 45°.
Very important, we talk about this in the Power Turn. As you go to the top of the swing, your hips need to rotate at least 45° so that your shoulders can rotate to at least 90° or a little bit past 90°, preferably, that’s going to get you a lot of speed.
Some popular instruction out there now that I think really hurts people’s distance, is to try to limit the amount the hips turn.
So if my hips only turn say 20° or 30° in the backswing, I don’t have enough separation, enough flexibility, personally, and I see most people don’t, to really get that 90° shoulder turn.
If the hips stop turning, my pelvis stops turning, then I can’t get to the top of my swing because I’m stretched out as far as I can go here, and because my hips haven’t turned, I can’t turn my shoulders.
As I let my hips turn, now my shoulders can go the rest of the way. So it’s very important in the backswing, this part of the Power Turn we teach in the Top Speed Golf System is as we’re tilted forward, we’re going to go ahead and let these hips rotate at least 45°, so 45° to the top.
Now as you start down, one of the most popular things that people talk about is what’s called the Sneed Squat, or the Tiger Woods Squat, basically you’ll see a lot of good players doing this where as I go to the top of the swing, my first move to start down would be kind of letting my legs bend into the ground.
As you’re looking from face on, we’re going to see my knees kind of separate, and I’m bending into the ground.
While I’m keeping my pelvis tilted forward as I’m doing that. So here was address, here’s the top of the backswing. I’m going to squat down a little bit as my hips start to go forward, you’ll notice this is still angled forward toward the ground.
Another way to visualize that would be your belt buckle. The flat front of your belt buckle as I get to address, now that’s pointing down toward the ground.
As I go to the top of the backswing, that’s still pointed down to the ground slightly, and as I squat, my knees separate a little bit. My hips start to square up to the ball.
It’s still pointed down to the ground. If we have early extension, or we’re standing up out of the shot, standing up out of our posture.
What’s happening is instead of that pointing down to the ground, we’re kind of tucking that forward and the belt buckle goes from pointing down to moving up this way as soon as we start the downswing.
So we want to wait until about halfway into the downswing when my left arm’s parallel with the ground. This would be kind of our maximum lag position, our maximum power position, we talk about in the Top Speed Golf System.
Now from there, that’s when we can extend up and release the golf club. So if we’re looking at that from this box, from this angle, here’s address, here’s the top of the swing.
As I squat down this is still rotated down, and then as I come forward, what’s going to happen is this box – I’ll turn this way so you can see easier – this box is going to tuck under then.
So I am going to extend up from my hips, look how now I’ve lost all this angle from my upper body to my legs, and I let that extend as I’m coming on through.
Now early extension is exactly that. When we stand up out of our posture, it’s not that we shouldn’t be extending, it’s that that’s happening too early in the swing. We’re burning up all our power before we get to the ball.
The reason this is so important is, we talk about this in a lot of the videos in our Top Speed Golf System also, something we call Impact Glide, where as I’m coming through impact, my hand needs to be turning up. This left hand needs to be moving upward to allow that club to whip on through.
That creates a flat spot throughout the golf swing. So I’ve got a lot of lag, as my left hands turns up, the club releases down and that creates a big flat area where you can be very consistent as you’re coming through the shot.
So the club’s actually doing – I’m exaggerating here – but it’s doing this. It allows it to glide through the turf. That’s why pros can be so consistent because their club’s moving through impact for a very long area, moving very level to the ground. That’s when my hips need to start coming up.
So to recap here, at the start my hips are down, my belt buckle’s toward the ground. As I go to the top I have to get that good 45° turn with my hips, at least that.
If you’re not very flexible, get a little bit more. As I start down, still my belt buckle’s toward the ground and then from there, then I can feel like I drive into the ground.
As I extend my hips upward that rotates my left hand upwards, that allows the club to whip on through contact, and as I come into my straight-line release we talk about through the Top Speed Golf System, now you can see I have lost that angle.
I have extended through the shot to allow my club to whip on through impact. That really allows your club to accelerate under its own power.
So we’re going to do this by feeling like – I don’t know if any of you guys have ever done a dead lift, when you’re working out but you have a bar here, and you feel like you move your hips forward, that extends that angle. That’s what you’re going to be doing as you rotate.
If I was going at kind of a 45° angle, that’s the easiest way to see this, let’s imagine I was hitting the ball this way, this direction.
As I start down, there’s my squat motion, and then as I extend through the ball, now I’ve come up and I’m letting my hips, now you can see it’s a nice, straight, flat angle.
If I can do that in a swing, I’m going to allow my club to whip on through there, and I’m going to be able to get tons of power.
So early extension is when we’re just doing that too early in the swing. We’re burning up all our energy back here. If we do it properly, it’s going to be happening through the shot.
Then finally to finish this off, after I’ve extended, then I’m going to rotate all the way on through to where now my belt buckle would be facing the target.
So I’m swinging all the way on through, I’ve extended my hips up now. My belt buckle’s facing to the target or even a little bit to the left of the target.
In order to do that, I had to take my right foot completely off the ground. That allowed my hips or my pelvis to rotate all the way around, and that’s the finish of the swing.
If we can put all that together, we’re going to have some pretty good power in the swing. We’re going to be able to use that ground to get the club to whip on through, and we’re going to feel very, very athletic while we’re doing this.
All right guys, best of luck. I’ll show you a couple angles in slow motion. See you guys soon.