Forward Swing Hip Rotation: How to Rotate Your Hips Properly on the Downswing
One of the more controversial parts of the golf swing has to do with the function of the hips in both the backswing and the downswing. Ideally, you have to have some forward hip rotation on your downswing, but in order to do that effectively you must make sure that your hips are in the proper position once you reach the top of your backswing.
While you will no doubt hear a variety of opinions on the issue, I’m going to cover what many top golf instructors (as well as myself…although I’m not a top instructor) have to say on the topic of forward swing hip rotation in the downswing.
1. Know What Your Hips Should Do in the Backswing
Getting your forward swing hip rotation correct is predicated by making sure that your hips are in the proper position when you start your downswing. In order for this to happen, your hips have to be in the right spot when you finish your backswing!
In order to make sure that your hips are in the right position at the top of the backswing, you must start your golf swing by rotating your shoulders against your hips; meaning there should be a certain level of resistance between your hips and shoulders in the backswing. This results in the proper level of tension between your shoulders & hips, which means when you unwind your hips in the downswing it will be like pulling back a rubber band, and letting it go. This results in a lot of speed, which means you will hit the golf ball a lot further than you are now!
2. Starting Your Hip Rotation on the Downswing
There are a variety of theories as to the proper way to start your downswing, but I happen to subscribe to the theory that starting your forward swing by turning your hips to left (for right-handed players) is the most effective move for most golfers to try and master. The key is to feel like you are not “sliding” your hips forward, but instead turning. It is important that this be a natural move, as there is some sliding of the hips involved (but if you are relaxed and natural with your rotation, this slight slide of the hips should happen automatically without you even having to think about it).
When your forward swing hip rotation is executed correctly, it drops the club to the inside, right into the slot position. This promotes an inside-out golf swing, which is ideal for stopping a slice and hitting a nice draw to impress all of your friends and playing partners.
3. Carrying your Forward Hip Rotation Through to the Finish Position
For people that may not completely understand the golf swing (then again, who does?), it may seem counter-intuitive that focusing on your finish position could help your hip rotation in the downswing. But using the simple philosophy of “planning where you want to go to figure out your travel route,” you can see how focusing on the finish position of your golf swing can really improve your hip rotation.
If you focus on finishing with the golf club behind your head and belt buckle pointed at the target, then you will have rotated nicely through the golf ball, resulting in more consistent golf shots time and time again.