Shoulder and hip rotation are important components of your golf swing.
A bad turn can affect your swing path and reduce your clubhead speed. For optimal results, rotation is essential from takeaway to impact.
Your hips and upper body should move through impact until they align with your target line. This position will decelerate your clubhead velocity and leave the clubface open through contact. This means you will produce fewer yards and more slices.
In this article I will show you how to clear your hips during a golf swing.
Table of Contents
- What Clearing Your Hips in Golf
- Step-by-Step: How to Properly Clear Your Hips
What Clearing Your Hips in Golf
Clearing your hips means that you can get your lower body and shoulders open for the target through impact. Follow through. This allows you to accelerate the clubhead into contact with the target and keep it on the plane.
Clearing your hips through impact is the ultimate goal. You want to get your ball on the right line and generate the necessary velocity.
Next time you’re at the driving range, aim for a shot that stops your hips from rotating when they are square. Also, your hips should be square to the ball. You’ll notice that your arms take control and direct the clubface towards the ball.
This decreases your clubhead speed dramatically and reduces your ability to square your face up at contact. This results in a weak strike that is inaccurate. Notice the difference in accuracy and distance when you hit another shot.
Step-by-Step: How to Properly Clear Your Hips
Step 1: Alignment
I will start with the basics so you know how to correctly address your mail. This will allow you to make more powerful shots by maximizing your hip and shoulder turn.
Identify your target and ensure that your front foot is parallel with the landing zone. Your clubface should be pointed directly at the target. This setup will improve your accuracy by ensuring that your golf balls start on the target line.
Step 2: Ball Position
The position of a ball in the stance impacts a golfer’s angle of attack. This is the difference in hitting the ball straight and hitting it hard. Additionally, your ability to clear the hips can be affected by ball position.
If the ball is too far back in you stance to allow for a longer club, there is little time to clear your hips. This means that you should strike the ball at a level angle to maximize your clubhead speed. Additionally, you only have a short time to get your clubface in line for a precise strike.
If you are struggling in this area, we have some tips to help you get the perfect position.
Step 3 – Shallow the Club at The Top of the Backswing
Most amateurs are able to do the backswing with ease by turning their hips and shoulders. The implosion begins at the top of your backswing. The club is often pushed over the edge by players who prompt the hip turn too early during their downswing. From this position, an inside path is the only way to get the ball.
An inside path causes the clubface to remain open to the target at impact. This is a common cause of left to right sidespin. This results in a lot more clubhead speed.
Top Speed Golf offers a simple solution to this problem. If you are right-handed, the experts suggest that your left elbow points directly ahead at top of the backswing. It is possible to lower the golf club shaft at this point and transition to your downswing.
The clubhead will stay on the path and the shaft will stay on plane by you letting go of the club with your backswing. This motion can also help you increase your swing speed and wrist hinge.
Step 4: Shoulders and hips rotate in sync
Clay Ballard explains that the shoulder and hips must work together in order to achieve maximum clubhead speed. Many amateurs lose their rhythm or tempo during the downswing.
Clearing our hips on the downswing is the first thing that comes to mind because we are constantly reminded. Golfers are able to immediately activate their hips from the top, separating their upper and lower bodies.
Ballard suggests this to bring the hips into line in the downswing and keep them there through impact. This will require your shoulders and club members to try to catch up, leading ultimately to a disjointed strike.
Your upper body will jerk because your muscles are more stretched than the lower body. Your rhythm is being obliterated by the upper body, which needs to catch up.
This can be overcome by feeling your upper and lower bodies rotating in unison.
When I feel disconnected, I stop at the top my backswing. I don’t suggest doing this on the golf course, as it will impact your clubhead speed. This position allows me to feel my body’s flexibility and transition. It is easy to tell if one side is separate from the other.
Once you reach the top end of your backswing, stop and then turn your hips to the side.
Step 5: Move your hips towards the target
These are the 4 previous steps. Clear your hips during the downswing. The momentum generated by your lower and upper body rotations thrusts the clubface downwards and towards your ball for powerful strikes.
You must keep your clubhead moving forward, as it lags behind your hips or shoulders. This gives enough momentum to keep your club on the plane and accelerate through impact.
You can stop rotating and keep your hips at contact. Your arms will guide the club into your ball. This can slow down your swing speed and cause you to miss the target at impact.
Clay Ballard suggests that PGA Tour golfers should be able to open their shoulders and ribs by 20 degrees after impact. Their downswing rotation can be optimized to help them swing faster and improve their consistency.
Here is a simple exercise to improve hip mobility through impact. Set up your swing as if you were hitting your shot.
Next, take your takeaway and then step back with the trail foot. For right-handers, this is the right foot and for lefties, it’s the left. This movement allows you to feel the rotation of your upper body and lower body as you backswing. Take a moment to pause and then move forward. Do not touch the ball.
This process should be repeated five times. You will notice a shift in weight from the front to your back. You will feel more power, control, and speed from takeaway to impact.
Finally, keep your standard swing intact without taking a step back. Clearing your hips in the downswing should feel more natural, which will allow you to maximize clubhead speed and square face contact.