How to Turn Your Hips in Your Golf Down Swing
A proper hip turn in a golf swing is a secret to hitting the ball with distance and accuracy. The hips normally rotate 45 degrees and the shoulders rotate 90 degrees, according to most instructors. Some players who may be smaller in stature can hit the ball far because they rotate their hips and shoulders to an even greater degree. That difference in rotation makes a coil that is like a spring. You begin to unleash the power of that coil by turning your left hip first.
Start with correct posture. If hitting a driver, flex your knees and bend to the ball at your hips while keeping your back relaxed and straight. Tilt your spine slightly away from the target, pulling your lead up higher than your trailing hip by about 3 degrees. Decrease the tilt away from the target for shorter shots.
Take your club back to start your backswing. At the top of the backswing, coil fully back while maintaining the spine angle with its tilt toward the ball and slightly away from the target. Let your hips level out.
Start the downswing by rotating the lead hip first, pulling it up as you rotate. As your arms come down, keep pulling the lead hip up and around. Let your hip action of going up and around keep the club on plane as it comes into the ball. Rotate your hips fully until your belt button is pointed at the target.
Use your belt buckle as a reference during hip rotation. At impact the buckle should be pointing slight left of the ball, not directly at the ball. Let your hips continue to rotate after contact until your buckle is pointing at your target.
Don't slide toward the target as you rotate. A proper golf swing is a rotation; sliding saps power and can result in an open club face and a pushed or sliced shot that curves away from you.
Jeff Rogers has edited and written since 1987 for the Associated Press, United Press International and six newspapers including "The Dallas Morning News," "The Washington Times" and "Dallas Times Herald." A Charlotte native who holds a bachelor's degree in journalism (news-editorial) from the University of South Carolina, Rogers has also worked as a technology analyst, sales executive and professional golf caddy.