True of False? The hips should slide laterally toward the target during the downswing.
Golfers fear “sliding” or “swaying their hips toward the target to initiate the downswing… and rightfully so! Many golfers overdo the lateral movement leading to problems! Such as:
LOWER ball flight (as in too low!)…
LOWER BALL flight that GOES RIGHT (for a right handed golfer)…
DIVOT that happens TOO FAR FORWARD of the ball…
POOR ball contact...
LITTLE or NO BODY PIVOT… translated: DISTANCE LOSS!
As an instructor, I see this quite a bit in juniors and long-ball hitters, often caused by the obsession with distance (none of us adults obsess about distance… do we!?!?). In effort to get more distance they slide their hips aggressively toward the target… sometimes overdoing it and resulting in one or more of the shots mentioned above.
The hips DO slide! Limiting forward hip movement limits a key power move. Try throwing a ball by just rotating your hips with no forward movement and you’ll see what I mean.
Check out this quick video by Jim McLean commenting on Ben Hogan’s hip movement:
Check out the pictures below. The white lines indicate where the hips were at Address…
|Aaron Baddeley at Impact with Hybrid|
|Freddy Couples at Impact with Driver|
|Ted Eleftheriou at Address|
|Ted Eleftheriou at Impact|
(For those of you who don’t know who Ted Eleftheriou is… sigh…)
Here’s another video this time of Luke Donald… you know… the World’s Top Ranking Golfer! Check out the drill he’s performing. I’m guessing he’s working on a bit of hip “bump.”
Wow! As in WOW!!
Allow the hips to move laterally toward the target and toward the left heel as you transition from the top of the swing to the downswing.
At address position, place a bag stand, umbrella, club shaft, or something that’s about hip high… outside of your target-side hip (left hip for right-handed golfers). The position should be right up against and outside of the target-side foot. If placed correctly, you’ll have about three to four inches of space between the object and your hip.
Now… without a ball… take the club to the top of your backswing… and like Luke in the video above (maybe not as exaggerated… then again… maybe so!), s-l-o-w-l-y start the downswing by laterally moving the hips and “bump” the object before pivoting to impact position. Do this several time.
Now remove the object (so you don’t impale yourself and up in the Emergency Room!), hit some half shots. Hold the finish position and check to see that your hip is over the target-side leg and you can feel your weight transferring to heel of your target-side foot.
Eventually work this move into your full swing.
When doing this drill… although the hips move laterally toward the target… the head should remain back and over the ball at impact position. Review Luke Donald’s video. Notice how his head doesn’t move forward? If your head moves forward past the ball at impact… you’ll most likely experience one or more of the miss-hits mentioned at the beginning of this post.
If done correctly… you’re shots will start a bit lower but then climb to a nice trajectory (known as “tour flight”). You’ll also probably gain a few yards! Yay!
Let me know how it goes!!
Peace… Love… Golf!
BTW… the answer to the “True” or “False” questions is… “TRUE!”