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Sandhills Golfe

Is a Lower Body Swing Key Essential

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After a lot of reading and research, it seems that starting the downswing is a swing key essential. However, when you see videos from teaching pros on tv and on line , in my opinion, you rarely hear it mentioned. On tonights Skill Code, Cameron just talks about curving the ball. Which is a topic for another time, lol. The question is, is a lower body swing key essential. Such as a hip bump or swing from the ground up? Cheers, SG

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Simply put, yes.  At least in my opinion.  You can certainly swing the club quickly with only your upper body, but I believe that lower body movement and rotation amplifies everything your upper body does.  Personally, I feel like proper lower body movement makes it easier to hit the ball solidly with less apparent effort.  

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54 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

Personally, I feel like proper lower body movement makes it easier to hit the ball solidly with less apparent effort.  

I spend a gross amount of practice time trying to find out how to do this. On those rare occasions when I succeed it provides a glimpse into what decent ball striking might be like... just how you've described it above.

@Sandhills Golfe, in my opinion, being able to control your lower body is very important. A failure to do so makes other keys such as a better downswing path and a better inline position at impact more difficult. Again, just an opinion from someone who struggles to do it.

When I'm failing more than usual on the course, I just feel beat up after the round. It's as though I'm fighting against myself because I'm trying to hit the ball from the awkward position of having too much weight on my back leg. I can hit the occasional good shot like this, but it is with such a small margin of error.

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Well, that Skill Code was about working the ball, not the mechanics of the downswing. 90% of my  work at the range is sequencing the downswing, getting off the back, bumping the hips, getting onto the front foot, and opening the hips and turning the chest ... so yes ...

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It is but in my own experience, not something that can be focused on too much.  I think it's enough to know that the swing starts from the ground up, find whatever cue helps you (bump hips, press down on front foot, etc.) but you can start from the ground up all day and still hit a variety of bad shots if you don't get the club into a good position at the top and have proper a turn away from the ball.

Practicing consistency in setting up to the ball the same way (grip, stance, alignment), good visualization of the target and target line, practicing a good takeaway, and a good shoulder turn have all led me to more success than trying to perfect the hip bump.  I find that if I do all the things I just mentioned correctly, proper sequencing kind of takes care of itself.

Swing a weighted club to practice starting from the bottom up.

I just find that if I think about starting with the lower body too much it actually does the opposite and makes me rush down.

 

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13 minutes ago, hespeler said:

It is but in my own experience, not something that can be focused on too much.  I think it's enough to know that the swing starts from the ground up, find whatever cue helps you (bump hips, press down on front foot, etc.) but you can start from the ground up all day and still hit a variety of bad shots if you don't get the club into a good position at the top and have proper a turn away from the ball.

Practicing consistency in setting up to the ball the same way (grip, stance, alignment), good visualization of the target and target line, practicing a good takeaway, and a good shoulder turn have all led me to more success than trying to perfect the hip bump.  I find that if I do all the things I just mentioned correctly, proper sequencing kind of takes care of itself.

Swing a weighted club to practice starting from the bottom up.

I just find that if I think about starting with the lower body too much it actually does the opposite and makes me rush down.

 

Just wondering, have you filmed your swing to see if you’re achieving what you think you are? Specifically have you viewed your impact position to see where your hips are at impact? I’m asking because I once thought I was spinning open too soon only to see on video my hips were actually square to the ball at impact. 

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17 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

 Personally, I feel like proper lower body movement makes it easier to hit the ball solidly with less apparent effort.  

Reading this again, I should probably clarify.  For me, a feeling of effort isn't always positive, its comes most often when I'm feeling out of sync, when I'm kind of hitting at the ball.  On those days, a golf swing is work!  When I'm swing with the proper sequence, I'm not feeling like I'm adding effort.  I know I'm using my muscles, throughout the swing and through most of my body, but somehow it seems "easy."

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43 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

Reading this again, I should probably clarify.  For me, a feeling of effort isn't always positive, its comes most often when I'm feeling out of sync, when I'm kind of hitting at the ball.  On those days, a golf swing is work!  When I'm swing with the proper sequence, I'm not feeling like I'm adding effort.  I know I'm using my muscles, throughout the swing and through most of my body, but somehow it seems "easy."

For me, results tell me something too. When I pull the ball, I know my lower body was lagging. Then I will do practice swings for the next shot with emphasis on the lower body rotating.

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The lower body movement is essential in a good golf swing. Whether or not one needs to feel it is a completely different story.

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5 hours ago, Vinsk said:

Just wondering, have you filmed your swing to see if you’re achieving what you think you are? Specifically have you viewed your impact position to see where your hips are at impact? I’m asking because I once thought I was spinning open too soon only to see on video my hips were actually square to the ball at impact. 

I've seen a good impact position with my arms and club shaft in-line.  Have taken a few lessons recently where the pro put me on video and never mentioned an issue with my hips.  Guess I never thought about it but I certainly am finishing in the classic golfer pose and feel very balanced with my chest pointing towards the target.  At least as of late...

I do have a habit of taking the club too inside from time to time and even if I try like heck to start with the lower body I'm re-routing that club over the top to get to the hitting area.  Hence why I try and focus on keeping the club on plane in the backswing which leaves me room to shallow out the club in the downswing.  Easier for me than bump the hip...

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1 hour ago, hespeler said:

Guess I never thought about it but I certainly am finishing in the classic golfer pose and feel very balanced with my chest pointing towards the target. 

If you’ve seen yourself with hands in front of the ball, straight lead wrist at impact that’s great. But don’t rely on your finish. I finish with my chest facing the target, arms extended yet at impact my hips were dead square and my shoulders were closed as ChickFilet on Sunday.

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Hip movement is important and if done poorly can lead to a lot of compensations. Like, struggling to get the weight forward and have the hips open at impact can cause the turn rates to stall. This can cause a flip. 

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24 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

Hip movement is important and if done poorly can lead to a lot of compensations. Like, struggling to get the weight forward and have the hips open at impact can cause the turn rates to stall. This can cause a flip. 

Hips should be open at impact no?

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4 hours ago, Vinsk said:

If you’ve seen yourself with hands in front of the ball, straight lead wrist at impact that’s great. But don’t rely on your finish. I finish with my chest facing the target, arms extended yet at impact my hips were dead square and my shoulders were closed as ChickFilet on Sunday.

What kind of shot does that produce for you, when you’re hips aren’t open at impact?

Different for everyone I guess but hips not being open could be a slide which could be the result of trying too much to start with the lower body.    

I keep coming back to getting the club in a good position at the top and not overthinking the transition.

i mean yes, practice not yanking the club down from the top but I don’t like swing thoughts that focus too much on starting with the lower body.  I find those thoughts especially difficult to maintain under pressure.

Disclaimer.  I’m not a pro or low handicapper.  Just a guy who has worked hard and made the full swing the strongest part of my game.  Most of my strokes are lost around the green.

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1 hour ago, hespeler said:

the full swing the strongest part of my game.  Most of my strokes are lost around the green.

If you’re a high handicapper this is most likely not accurate...but that’s another issue. I can make good shots with my defunct swing. Having square or closed hips do not allow for an efficient swing path nor good weight transfer imo. If your hips aren’t rotating properly you’re probably swinging with your arms to the point they are overriding the club face and flipping the club through impact. 

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6 hours ago, Vinsk said:

If you’re a high handicapper this is most likely not accurate...but that’s another issue.

The full swing may be the most difficult part of the game to learn, but if @hespeler or anyone else works disproportionately harder on it than other part, it's shouldn't be that difficult to believe it would become their strength.

Two years ago I would have made that claim (and I have data to back it up). It only meant the rest of my game really sucked.

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I didn’t say impossible, I said most likely not true. And that by far is the case. Someone who shoots 90 is very more likely to be raking up strokes from the long game. It’s not common that someone fires a 90 because they continued to make bogey/double bogey despite hitting a high GIR % or nGIR %. 

Practicing the long game should be disproportionate as it is that much harder. Again it’s possible but it certainly isn’t common that a player can hit fairways and greens in high percentages yet still make bogey/dB on almost every hole. 

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