Hip Movement During the Backswing

By John Giatropoulos
Last Updated: 06/08/2016

Today's post is about Hip Movement or sometimes referred to as hip shift, weight transfer, "sway", they all refer to the same thing. Let's walk through it and make sure you understand what Hip Movement is and then understand what it should FEEL like when doing it correctly (and incorrectly).

Figure 1

Your trail leg is your right leg if you are right handed, and left leg if you are left-handed. It's the leg that is farthest away from where you are trying to hit the ball. In Figure 1, the golfer's right leg is his trail leg.

When you start taking the club back during your swing, your body tends to move back as well. This transfer of weight to your back foot is sometimes referred to as "Loading", as in "Loading your weight onto your back foot".

To feel this, put down the club and place your right hand on the thigh of your trail leg. Now pretend you are taking the club back and making a swing. Do you feel anything? Is your rear thigh tightening? If not, keep reading.

Ok, so let's go through this one piece at a time. When you take the club back you are shifting your weight to your trail leg in order to store potential energy.

Potential energy will convert to kinetic energy during your downswing.

Imagine a rubber band. When its lying on a table not stretched out, it has very low potential energy. But when you stretch it...the potential energy greatly increases.  Potential energy converts to Kinetic energy. The more potential the better ;-)

Now let's apply this to your hip movement. When you take the club back, and rotate your hips away from the target and start shifting your weight away from the target onto your trail leg, you are creating potential energy just like the rubber band.

You should feel resistance in your trail thigh and also on the INSIDE of your trail foot. These two feelings (thigh and foot) will let you know your weight is shifted properly. (think rubber band!)

Too much Hip Movement

I get it, you might want to generate SO MUCH potential energy that you will transfer your weight TOO far back and your trail foot begins to roll over (check your golf shoe and if there is dirt/mud on the outside of your trail foot after your round, you're probably "rolling over" onto the outside of your foot and losing potential energy).

Another way to determine if you are shifting your weight TOO far or "swaying" your hips too much is to check to see if your hip goes beyond your trail foot. When you take the club back and feel the resistance, and go TOO far, you will lose balance, and that rubber band you tried so hard to stretch to its maximum capacity is now a moot point.

I know this is tough to visualize, but its a very fundamental movement in your golf swing. If you want to submit a Full Swing Face On swing video to check on your hip movement you can submit your swing via email by using this link.

To recap the good swing feelings:

  1. Feel your thigh "resist" and get tight during your takeaway and backswing (rubber band visual and potential energy!).
  2. Feel your weight rest on the INSIDE of your trail foot. (Check your shoes for mud on the OUTSIDE, if so, not good.)

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me.



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