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GolfGuy123

Hip Action in Golf Swing

8 posts in this topic

Ok so...I was at the range today - pretty much working on drawing the ball and getting my weight over the front foot / left side. Was having issues doing so (as usual), so I started making a bunch of practice swings in very slow motion to see if I can notice WHAT is is stoping me from getting my weight over / hanging back and flipping the club etc. I realized I have very little hip action in my swing, I am very flexible and have no problem getting my back to the target, shoulder under chin etc. but when I unwind, I noticed I pretty much am just using the muscles in my back, arms and chest to swing the club down....very little of the movement was being generated from my hips / legs...SO...

I came up with a drill (if this is already a real drill please dont bark at me lol! Im saying I came up with it because I came up with it on the spot and I have never heard of it, seen anyone do it, been instructed to do it etc.), anyways I took my normal setup, alignment etc. and absolutely 100% forced my self to make the swing using NOTHING but my waist / leg muscles (but more so just waist). At first it was very hard because I kept wanting to muscle the club (which is obviously my problem) but after 5-10 mins, I started making swings 100% using only my waist. I didnt even realize you can get the club to top of backwing that way!!! Anyways, the reason Im excited and in somewhat disbelief is because...every shot I hit doing this was striped, center of club face, down the middle or slight draw, 225-235 yards (my 3 wood). I kid you not, once I got the drill down (to the point as I mentioned, was using 100% waist, legs, and I guess weight transfer via waist leg muscles) I hit about 25 balls and all of them were perfect.

1) If you were just looking at my swing even though I was only using hips etc. during the drill, you probably would not know, I didnt video it, but from what I can tell it would look like a normal swing from the outside. BUT is this a reliable way to swing during a round or just a good drill?

2) assuming, sure this might be a good drill but dont play a round doing it - then what are the best ways to practice syncing up the upper body arm movement with the above described action?

3) Based on the fact that I was hitting em really bad before this drill today on the range and then perfect when doing the drill on the range - could you extrapolate that weight transfer and hip movement is/was one of my major issues?

All replies, comments, questions are welcome!

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I think it's valid, because that's the feel I use in my swing now. It helps me with some backswing issues I've had, along with sequencing issues in the downswing. I can go into details if you'd like, but I'm away from my computer atm and it's kind of hard on my phone. Btw, I think if you practice a drill for a feel, the point is to get that feel incorporated into your actual swing. You wouldn't want to practice swinging with your legs and play by swinging with your arms because you'd just be using your old swing and not making any changes at all.
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I think it's valid, because that's the feel I use in my swing now. It helps me with some backswing issues I've had, along with sequencing issues in the downswing. I can go into details if you'd like, but I'm away from my computer atm and it's kind of hard on my phone.

Btw, I think if you practice a drill for a feel, the point is to get that feel incorporated into your actual swing. You wouldn't want to practice swinging with your legs and play by swinging with your arms because you'd just be using your old swing and not making any changes at all.

very true! would really like to hear more details, especially on what you worked on for sequencing when you can type 'em up.

I guess one of the other points I was trying to get at was, I this drill swing (using hips, legs etc.) even a real golf swing? I mean, I know some people will say whatever works, works and just do it. But, Im not sure if there is any teaching pro who would recommend not using arm,back, etc muscles to fuel / power the swing? Maybe im wrong in that assumption? Days like today feel like, im either using way too much upper body and hitting all over the place (plus fat, thin etc) OR doing this drill and hitting it solid down the middle or slight draw (by my personal standards)

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very true! would really like to hear more details, especially on what you worked on for sequencing when you can type 'em up.  I guess one of the other points I was trying to get at was, I this drill swing (using hips, legs etc.) even a real golf swing? I mean, I know some people will say whatever works, works and just do it. But, Im not sure if there is any teaching pro who would recommend not using arm,back, etc muscles to fuel / power the swing? Maybe im wrong in that assumption? Days like today feel like, im either using way too much upper body and hitting all over the place (plus fat, thin etc) OR doing this drill and hitting it solid down the middle or slight draw (by my personal standards)

You just feel like you're not using your upper body, but I'm sure you are. I'll definitely type something up for you later tonight. You mentioned that you have video capability, why don't you post your swing? I'll bet the legs only swing looks a lot more like a golf swing than you think, and your arm powered swing is probably overswinging. A lot of people think they need to feel powerful to hit the ball far and it usually does more harm than good. Edit: remember, the point of golf is to put the ball into the hole in as little strokes as possible, so I'd certainly advocate using the swing that lets you hit it solidly down the middle ;-)

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You just feel like you're not using your upper body, but I'm sure you are. I'll definitely type something up for you later tonight. You mentioned that you have video capability, why don't you post your swing? I'll bet the legs only swing looks a lot more like a golf swing than you think, and your arm powered swing is probably overswinging. A lot of people think they need to feel powerful to hit the ball far and it usually does more harm than good. Edit: remember, the point of golf is to put the ball into the hole in as little strokes as possible, so I'd certainly advocate using the swing that lets you hit it solidly down the middle ;-)

Sounds great. I'm hoping if I continue to practice it - that it holds up and was not just some fluke today. I fall into the category of people who know muscling the club is bad and am aware the ball can go far with what feels like little effort but had the natural tendency to use arms etc too much. In other words, I'm not intentionally trying to be some big shot and blast it out of the park it's more so something that I fight in my swing and have a natural tendency towards. Guess if we all didn't have some bad tendencies we would all be scratch or close to it lol!

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Not trying to rain on anyones parade- If the drill works great, keep at it -But obviously theres no way you were just using your waist.-Your waist would not get the club to the top of the backswing. Your arms and chest muscles ewere still being used-You just didnt feel like they were being used. Put your swing on a camera and post it.
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Not trying to rain on anyones parade- If the drill works great, keep at it -But obviously theres no way you were just using your waist.-Your waist would not get the club to the top of the backswing. Your arms and chest muscles ewere still being used-You just didnt feel like they were being used. Put your swing on a camera and post it.

cool. I will post one of what is my normal swing and one doing the drill where it "feels" like I am using waist / lower body.

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Ok, @GolfGuy123 , I just want to point out beforehand that these are things that work for my swing and that they may or may not work for yours, depending on what issues you have, but it's hard to tell without a video. So again, when you read this, it is simply stuff that I do in MY swing that works for ME. A lot of the changes I've made for myself are the result of a lot of work on other aspects in my swing, so I don't want you to think that this is like some magic move that will solve everything.

I started using the legs as the key feel for me in my swing (I've tried numerous other feels, but this particular one gave me the best results). Basically, I push against the ground with my right foot to get to the top of the backswing. I needed to do this for two main reasons: I needed more extension to complete a centered pivot, and using my arms as the key feel in my backswing caused me to overswing. I feel like the arms just come along for the ride. The backswing ends when I reach the limit of my motion with the "leg turn." This keeps my arms from being overactive: lifting too far beyond the necessary range of motion and pulling my right elbow behind me.

From there, my feel is to "fall" towards the target. I really want to drive the left knee towards the target, and it feels like I'm falling into my left side, so that's how I describe it. This gives me that squatting move in the downswing that drops my hands and shallows the club. My old swing feel had me swinging too steeply and throwing away all of the lag in my swing prematurely; this move allows me to get more of my weight forward and retain the lag better (not great yet, still needs work, but I'm heading in the right direction). I finish my downswing by pushing down against the ground with my left knee (this feels like I'm trying to jump off of my left leg). This last move gets me the final extension in my swing.

There's a lot of other information that led me to make the changes that I made, so here are a few threads that I feel are relevant:

http://thesandtrap.com/t/54134/sequencing

http://thesandtrap.com/t/66573/how-to-effectively-create-lag-on-the-downswing

http://thesandtrap.com/t/64993/weight-forward-using-swingcatalyst-and-sam-balance-lab-to-explain-pressure-throughout-the-swing

I did a small breakdown of the pressure video for another member which got me in this direction in the first place, so I'll link it here:

http://thesandtrap.com/t/71610/foot-pain#post_931921

I realized I couldn't replicate the pressure movements that Grant Waite produced with my own arm-oriented swing at the time, so that's when I really made the switch. Also, watch the video that @mvmac posted right after that because it really highlights the leg action.

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