Skip to main content

Class Continues July 5, 2011

Q: I'm 26 and have been playing for about nine months now. I've been having trouble using my hips with my golf swing. It feels like I'm using all my upper body. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

- Michael (Arroyo Grande, CA)

A: The hip action in a good swing is a combination of turn and ‘un-turn’ as you shift the weight and slightly tilt the hips. As you swing the club away from the ball, the hip turn should resist then follow the shoulder turn, and on the downswing the reverse should occur. That is, the hips should unwind, the shoulders resist and then follow the hips catching up just after impact. Point of reference: the hips should probably be about 30-degrees open to the target line at impact. As you do this do not make the mistake, sometimes advised, that the hips turn in a barrel. There needs to be a weight transfer to back first, then through to the front foot, and as you do this the lead hip goes down a little, about 10-degrees, then goes up on the downswing, again about 10 -degrees. Good luck.

Q: I struggle with a low pull hook.  Is having a short backswing a problem in principle? How short is too short? Thanks.

- Robin L. (Facebook)

A: Anytime your golf ball hooks, your club face is closed to the path of your swing. Now a short backswing doesn't necessarily make that the case. Short backswing or not, it is my suggestion that when you are at belt high with the club on the backswing, the toe of the club should be up to the sky; that is the club face vertical to the ground. If that is the case, then I don't think a short swing will cause a hook. As for how short is too short with the backswing, as long as you make a full shoulder turn I don't think the length of swing is too critical.

Q: Love the show! I feel like I’m not following through to the target well enough. Surely you have one of your awesome tips for following through.

- Marya B. (Facebook)

A: Many golfers suffer from an inability to get through the ball correctly. They often 'short arm' the finish, the left arm bending too soon and the club coming off plane and failing to release. The job of the hands and arms is to push gently away from the turning chest as you go through. As you set up, imagine an elastic cord from your sternum to the top of the grip on your club. It should be reasonably taut and should stay so throughout the swing. This will result in the elbows staying fairly close together through the swing, will get rid of any chicken wing in the finish and should lead to better golf. Good luck.