By Paul Myers
When asked what the most important part of the body is for building speed in a golf swing, many amateur players might answer their arms, or hands, or even shoulders. Very few would respond that their hips are a key to power of the swing. Your hips have the potential to help propel your lower body aggressively through impact and add speed to the swing that may not be possible otherwise. If you are currently making a swing that doesn’t take advantage of what your hips can do, you could be leaving a good deal of power unused on each shot that you hit.
To get the most power from your hips, make sure that you are using them at just the right time. If they rotate toward the target too early, or too late, the effect will be lost and you may only be causing damage to your swing speed. When used at the right time, your hip rotation can be a catalyst for the rest of your downswing – pulling the club into its downward motion and putting it on plane for a perfect strike of the ball.
Starting with the Hips
A common amateur golfer mistake is to start the downswing with their arms, which can lead to a weak throw of the hands down toward the ball without any lower body action at all. This kind of swing is anything but powerful, and may create a slice as well. Instead of that, let your hips get you going in your downswing. If you are able to initiate the downswing with your hips and lower body rotating toward the target, the club can be pulled into action and your upper body, arms, and hands can do the rest.
Of course, it is easy to say that your swing could work that way – but may be much more difficult to execute. To start working on this kind of sequencing in your swing, use your shorter clubs on the driving range first to simplify the process. By hitting wedges while focusing on your hip rotation, you may have a better chance at success, since they are typically easier to hit than a driver. As you gain confidence, move up to longer and longer clubs until you are hitting your driver more powerfully than ever before.
There is a certain amount of flexibility and strength that you will need to make this kind of swing successfully. If you can work on your level of fitness through swing speed training along with working on the technique of your swing, that combination could lead you to results. When you watch golf on TV, you may notice that some professionals use their hips nicely to create their impressive speed and deliver all of it into the ball. You can do the same thing – it will just take some practice and training to engrain the proper sequencing into your swing.
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