Waukesha County Seniors Monday Golf League


get hip for power

There are a number of ways to build the clubhead speed necessary for good distance as well as optimum trajectory. The right one depends on each player's physique. If you don't have the hands and forearms of a blacksmith, you can't rip the club through impact like an Arnold Palmer or a Hal Sutton. Nor can you copy super-supple Tour pros like Greg Norman; he "torques" his upper body, turning it against his resisting hips to build tension in the midsection that uncoils on the downswing.

What you can do for more power is turn your hips freely along with your upper body on both the backswing and the downswing.

Backswing Turn

Any number of keys will start the club back effectively. Some golfers push it back with their left arm, some drag the clubhead back with both hands, others turn their torso clockwise. Whatever key you prefer, remember, as you turn your upper body, let your right hip turn with it. The drawing above shows that the player's hips have turned to the right nearly as far as the shoulders. This free hip movement builds the momentum for the downswing. If the hips were to remain in the address position throughout the swing, you wouldn't get much of an upper-body turn and you'd strain the abdominal muscles. Allowing your hips to turn leads to a full body pivot.

The hips must turn in a circle. Don't sway them to the right -- that makes returning the club squarely to the ball difficult because you'll have to make the same amount of sway on the downswing.

Clear on the Downswing

On the downswing, turn -- don't slide -- your hips counterclockwise. At impact, your hips should be turned slightly past the address position. This turn gives the hands plenty of room to move and release the clubhead so it squares up at impact and then closes beyond it, which helps you draw the shot for additional yardage.

Sliding rather than turning the hips toward the target makes them square to the target line at impact. This action "blocks" your hands from releasing. The result is a high, lazy shot that drifts right and sacrifices yards you can't afford.

Let your hips turn clockwise going back and counterclockwise through the downswing. You'll get a freer, fuller backswing turn with the room you need to release through impact.

Private Lessons 1999 Time4 Media, Inc., used under license by GolfServ Online, Inc. Instructional information provided by Golf Magazine.

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If you have any comments or suggestions regarding this web site, please write to me: Ed Matarrese / revised November 15, 2002.