If you want to increase your ballstriking ability, you need to understand how to rotate your hips properly in the golf swing. Most amateur golfers rotate their hips too far during the backswing, which makes it difficult for them to get their hips to open up to the target at impact, a key component of a successful swing.
At GolfTEC, we've measured the swings of more than 100 Tour professionals. Therefore, we know exactly how the hips need to rotate in order to maximize power and efficiency in the swing. With a 5-iron, the average Tour player has a hip rotation of 48 degrees closed to the target at the top of the backswing, and at impact, they rotate their hips to an average of 42 degrees open (facing the target). If you're like most players, you rotate your hips 55 to 65 degrees closed at the top of the swing, while only getting to 15 to 25 degrees open at impact. Most golfers can achieve enough hip turn to hit the ball a long way, but it's more important to be open at impact than closed at the top.
There are several common swing faults that cause the hips to rotate too far during the backswing. It's difficult to know which of these movements is causing problems in your swing without seeing it on video or measuring it with motion analysis. Nevertheless, the following swing thoughts may help you make more efficient and powerful use of your hips.
For one, try to keep your right knee flexed throughout the swing. This somewhat limits the free rotation of your hips. Also, focus on the width of your knees at address, and strive to maintain that width all the way to the top of the swing. Another useful tip is to keep your belt buckle pointing at the ball during the entire backswing. On the downswing, try to point the buckle at the target by the time you reach impact.
1. Keep the right knee flexed throughout the swing.
2. Try to maintain the width that you have between your knees at address all the way to the top.
3. Try to keep your belt buckle facing toward the ball at the top of the swing (as it is at address).
4. Try to point your belt buckle at the target by the time you reach impact.
Steve Atherton is the V.P. of instruction at GolfTEC. To find a GolfTEC learning center near you, visit www.golftec.com.