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Left hip clearing help

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Heya guys

I have had a problem with my left hip not clearing since taking up golf a number of years ago.

The best way to describe the movement is that i get to the top of my backswing, where i get into a good position, i start back down with my hips (as i have been told and read you should) but then instead of clearing away and behind my left hip just shunts towards to target and my spine angle alters (does this make sense?). Although my path is from the inside this leads to me either pushing the ball out to the right or hooking it (tends to be with longer clubs).

Has anyone got any tips, advice or drills that will teach me how to clear my left hip properly? I have tried throwing to the left at the start of my swing but then it clears waaaayyyyy to early and i lose all swing momentum!!

Any help is greatly apppreciated!

PS

I have got a video of my swing but i really dont know how to go about posting it!!
post #2 of 13

Re: Left hip clearing help

This is a common problem when using the hips as a downswing key. The hips do need to lead, but using them as a key does not work for some players. The hip movement needs to be triggered by something else.

Try pulling with your left shoulder while keeping your head and shoulders back, as taught in “The Golf Swing and It’s Master Key Explained”.
post #3 of 13

Re: Left hip clearing help

There is no question in my opinion, the hip clearing move is the hardest one to learn -- especially if you have already developed a swing in which compensation has been learnt to make up for a less than ideal clearning.

I think the backswing is super important before the left side clear will work correctly. If you come inside with the club, and if you let your right hip get turned behind you with a more or less straight right leg, then clearing is going to prove difficult.

To learn to clear effectively, try keeping the club well outside your hands as you start back. This is just a drill, I am not saying do it all the time. Get to the 3:00 o'clock position with the club angled away from your body (clubhead more in front than hands). The toe should be up, not closed. Then swing into the backswing keeping the club more in front of your chest, avoiding the wrap-around move that allows the hands and right hip to get trapped behind you. From there swing down thinking about the left hip turning to pull your arms through. Some think this is taking the club outside -- it really is not. If there was a wall in front of you parallel with your target line, the club would still work inside this wall. But it will feel much easier to turn back with the hips from this kind of backswing.

It is all related... from start to finish. Make the backswing and coil into a resisting right side (allowing no hip slide to the right on the backswing, keep your right thigh and knee braced so the weight goes to the inside of the right foot for resistance.) Now you can turn back through the ball clearing your left hip by just turning it.

If you can't get the feeling down, make-believe you are the shortstop throwing to first base 3/4 underhanded. Notice your right leg and side and how it braces, and how you start opening up your left hip to make the throw. Some call this the skipping the rock drill, but whatever it is, you can learn it in the living room with no club at all -- just coil and simulate. Once at the golf course, on the range, hit 3/4 shots just using your body to pull your arms around through the shot. Once the feel is ingrained, the swing keys I use are to make sure (a) the club does not come inside my hands and stays generally in front of my chest, and (b) keep the right leg firm so it is ready to fire (restricted hip turn.)

To know you are clearing correctly, get a video or picture from directly behind you at impact. You should be able to see your left hip pocket at impact, and if you are really good, the gap in your left pants pocket might show.
post #4 of 13

Re: Left hip clearing help

I had a very similar sounding problem recently. I was mostly hitting pulls, but short irons would sometimes push. I'll tell you what is working for me, although I'm sure someone else will say it is the absolutely wrong thing to do.

For me it seems I was turning my hips before I shifted my weight, because, duh, I was trying to start the downswing by turning my hips. I found that if I start the downswing with a small lateral move of my hips, and then letting them turn naturally, that it really straightened out my divots. Might be worth a try.

Good luck,
greg
post #5 of 13

Re: Left hip clearing help

I too have had an issue here, but I seemed to have solved it. Just recently (over the winter) I have become a disciple of "The Impact Zone" by Bobby Clampett. His lagged downswing demands that the hips clear allowing for a forward of the ball divot.

While watching a Phil Mickelson swing video, I stumbled upon a clue that has helped me greatly. I feel as though my left butt cheek is getting pulled behind me as I start my downswing. I feel as though it happens at the same time, not before, the downswing. If you keep your wrists cocked and hands forward of the clubhead, it all comes together with a very crisp strike.

If you watch Phil, he does a great job of keeping his hands in front of his body and getting his hip out of the way on his downswing. They look connected. Almost as if there is a string connecting his foward (closer to the target) hip and his hands. As his hip clears, it pulls his hands down.

Really works for me. My ball-striking has improved dramatically in the last few weeks since I fully implemented Clampett's teachings and learned to clear my hip.

I expect to lower my handicap to a 5 this year. That's how much better I am striking the ball compared to last summer.

Hope it works for you.
post #6 of 13

Re: Left hip clearing help

The left butt cheek getting pulled behind is exactly the way I feel when I flush one. When it is slow or I get the shift going before the turn, the ball draws, but when the timing is perfect, the ball flight is dead straight.
post #7 of 13

Re: Left hip clearing help

One thing to be careful about though is when hitting shorter irons, I can't open my hips as much because I'll cook the ball to the left. But, with a driver, I can't open my hips enough.

My 4 iron requires quite a bit of hip turn also.
post #8 of 13

Re: Left hip clearing help

Best way to think of it I think was put by PGA Pro Shawn Clement on Youtube:

1) Picture both of your "cheeks" against a pane of glass at address so that the pane of glass is perpindicular to the ground and your cheeks are nice and up against it.

2) During the backswing: you are wiping the pane of glass with your right "cheek"; this causes your left cheek to leave the pane of glass.

3) initiate the downswing by turning your hip back to the left so that your left cheek returns back to touch the pane of glass; remember that you aren't wiping the glass with your left cheek, you are merely returning it back to position to touch the glass...

This image ensures that your hip turn keeps your swing on plane.
post #9 of 13

Re: Left hip clearing help

Clement does a great job of articulating the golf swing.

I've learned from many of his videos.
post #10 of 13

Re: Left hip clearing help

Originally Posted by lordnazgul View Post
Heya guys

I have had a problem with my left hip not clearing since taking up golf a number of years ago.

The best way to describe the movement is that i get to the top of my backswing, where i get into a good position, i start back down with my hips (as i have been told and read you should) but then instead of clearing away and behind my left hip just shunts towards to target and my spine angle alters (does this make sense?). Although my path is from the inside this leads to me either pushing the ball out to the right or hooking it (tends to be with longer clubs).

Has anyone got any tips, advice or drills that will teach me how to clear my left hip properly? I have tried throwing to the left at the start of my swing but then it clears waaaayyyyy to early and i lose all swing momentum!!

Any help is greatly apppreciated!

PS

I have got a video of my swing but i really dont know how to go about posting it!!
One way to prevent hip sway is to turn your foot into the ground (clockwise).

Works during backswing (right foot) and downswing (left foot).
post #11 of 13

Re: Left hip clearing help

Here is something very simple that will help. Keep your trail foot on the ground until after impact. If your foot is on the ground, your hips can't turn as much. It takes a little getting used to, but trust me, it is right. Look at Tiger when he is playing to control the ball. His trail foot is on the ground a very long time. Maybe not all the way to impact, but for him, still a very long time. When he hits it hard, his trail foot is way off the ground very early in the downswing.. What happens?? His hips whip through the ball so he can hit it further, but with a lot less accuracy.
post #12 of 13

Re: Left hip clearing help

Originally Posted by MiniMoe View Post
Here is something very simple that will help. Keep your trail foot on the ground until after impact. If your foot is on the ground, your hips can't turn as much. It takes a little getting used to, but trust me, it is right. Look at Tiger when he is playing to control the ball. His trail foot is on the ground a very long time. Maybe not all the way to impact, but for him, still a very long time. When he hits it hard, his trail foot is way off the ground very early in the downswing.. What happens?? His hips whip through the ball so he can hit it further, but with a lot less accuracy.
Did you mean "heel" instead of "foot"?
post #13 of 13

Re: Left hip clearing help

Originally Posted by JackLee View Post
Did you mean "heel" instead of "foot"?
That's gospel with my teacher, "keep the trailing foot on the ground till after impact, and make sure your weight gets to the trailing heel in your backswing." And I feel how important it is. That makes me want to ask you about the following:

Originally Posted by JackLee View Post
This is a common problem when using the hips as a downswing key. The hips do need to lead, but using them as a key does not work for some players. The hip movement needs to be triggered by something else.

Try pulling with your left shoulder while keeping your head and shoulders back, as taught in “The Golf Swing and It’s Master Key Explained”.
I get in trouble (too fast) when I lead with my hip or my left shoulder. But I do well when I lead with the upper lat area of my right side (not the shoulder) and hold the hips still until they naturally join in with the right side. Then they clear fine, as long as I keep the right heel flat as I come through.

Several of you have ideas that mesh with the ideas of my teacher, which has been surprisingly rare. It's very helpful to hear things stated in a slightly different way. Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge.
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