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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Even Luke Has Hip Problems

On GC's On The Range show Wednesday, they talked some more about the improvements Luke Donald has made in his driving. One of the things they specifically mentioned was that Luke had been "slowing down his hips" because they were "getting ahead of his upper body."

Funny, isn't it? Instructors spend so much time trying to get you to "start your swing with your lower body," then they run a show to help you get better that talks about slowing your lower body down! Is it any wonder weekend golfers are confused?

I know what you're going to say. The pros are better players, so they have the opposite problem.

I disagree. Watch the show long enough and you'll hear a number of pros who insist their lower bodies still turn too slow! The fact is that most players, regardless of whether they're amateurs or pros, have trouble getting the proper lower body movement in their swings.

Most players believe that hip speed is the primary cause of clubhead speed. Your hips are indeed responsible for some of your clubhead speed, but not completely. Your whole body works to develop clubhead speed. But that's not the reason the pros worry about hip speed...

It's because hip speed -- at least the way it's being talked about by most of the pros -- has to do with club path. It's that weight shift problem I frequently talk about, where you push your hips too far ahead of your upper body (so you lean backward and push the ball) or you straighten your trailing knee (so you lean toward the target and pull the ball). When you do the former, you literally slide your hips too far forward; when you do the latter, you lock your hips in place so they can't turn.

ipcture of the drillIsn't it easier to just learn the proper movement from the start?

I've referenced this drill several times before and will continue to do so, simply because it's the best drill I've found for learning proper weight shift during your swing -- and, consequently, proper hip speed. So click here if you've forgotten it. I like it because you don't even need a club to use it, and yet it can really help you get a good handle on proper hip movement during your swing. So here it is again.

In my opinion, you simply have to keep working on the fundamentals because they're so... well, fundamental. You never waste practice time when you work on the basics.

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