The Importance of Hips in the Golf Swing

Three Guys Golf Blog-Hip turn

If you watched any of the US Open last weekend, you are now all too familiar with Rory Mcilroy’s mid-section.  As I noted in an earlier post, I cannot recall being treated to that much slow motion hip movement since a quiet evening in front of Cinemax.

It’s all about hip turn

This brings me to my point, proper hip turn is critical for so many reasons.  First, it is the source of power.  We have all heard about letting the big muscles turn the small muscles but just as important is that a proper hip turn clears the space for you to swing correctly.  Specifically, it allows you to swing on plane rather than over the top.  While I would love to bomb my drives, what I mostly care about is hitting it squarely and that starts with a proper hip turn.

Here is a simple exercise to demonstrate my point.  Set up with a club and take your normal backswing, now rotate your hips to the left and notice how your right elbow drops and how you now have lots of space for the club to pass.  In short, if you get your hips moving first, it puts your body in a much better position to make a good swing.

On the other hand, if you start your swing with your arms, you will most likely come over the top (left shoulder across your body) which is death.

So the quick lesson is, get your hips moving first.  I take no credit for this idea but I will quote Ben Hogan who wrote in his book Five Lessons, “The hips initiate the downswing”. I figure, he was on to something…


Written by Adam Staelin
Founder and Editor of Three Guys Golf. I am always on the lookout for new and innovative products for the discerning golfer. I play about a 100 rounds a year (but don't tell my boss).