This week, I'd like to write about the role of the hips since they, along with proper shoulder rotation, are critical in executing a strong, consistent golf swing. In fact, those two movements must work together. And you'll see that when the hips are moving correctly, it's much easier for the shoulders to also turn correctly.
Your hips and legs are a major power source in the golf swing and they add rhythm and tempo to your swing. However, the importance of your hips in the golf swing has been often misunderstood. Many players try to force the hips to turn. This usually results in the hips opening up too early, and results in the loss of distance and the ball being blocked to the right or hooking to the left. Watch any of the masters of the game, such as Hogan, Snead or Nelson and you'll notice their beautiful tempo, rhythm and footwork that were keys to their success.
When demonstrating the proper hip turn, you must start with the correct posture at address. The hips must act as a counterbalance in the swing. As your upper body tilts forward to the ball, the hips push back to counterbalance. In order to maintain your spine angle throughout the swing, the hips need to stay pushed back as they rotate in swing. This will allow you to make solid contact with the ball. As you can see in illustrations, during the backswing the right hip moves up and away. It actually replaces the spot where the left buttock was at address. When starting the down swing, the left hip moves forward and towards the front foot, as you maintain backward pressure on your hips. You NEVER want to push off the right foot. Let the left hip move slightly lateral while it pulls out of the way then the right hip fires forward. There has to be a slight lateral bump or shift as your weight moves into your left side. Two things you CANNOT do in the downswing: 1.) Do not stand up to where the hips push forward towards the ball and raise your body and 2.) You cannot back up. Backing up is when your hips turn too early, which prevents your weight form shifting forward and you end up hitting the ball off your back foot.
By improving the rotation of your hips you will add distance, balance and consistency to your swing.