The hips are described as one of the most important parts of the body in a golf swing. Their turning motion provides the rotation which gives the swing it's power. Turn the hips well in the backswing to gain easy distance.
Unfortunately, the hips do not get used enough in the swing by most golfers. Usually, it is the hands and arms that drive the swing. In golfers who are lacking in strength, flexibility or suffer from injuries in the upper body, the hips are even more important as power from the other areas becomes even more limited. The hips need to turn properly in the backswing and should turn far more than most golfers realise. A big hip turn means that the shoulders can coil backwards more and allows the hips to turn before any other part of the body in the downswing, allowing the whole body to attack the golf ball at the same time, creating huge power for very little effort.
The backswing should begin with the golf club being taken away from the golf ball with a turn of the hips. As the club head moves away from the golf ball, the feet, knees, arms and hands should remain extremely still until the golf club has moved at least a foot away from the golf ball. Following this, the wrists begin to hinge but the hips need to continue to turn until they have turned approximately 40-55 degrees of turn from their original start position. More turn allows the shoulders to make a full coil of approximately 90 degrees from their set up position. If flexibility does not allow this amount of rotation then it is okay to slightly lift the heel of the front foot in the air during the backswing to achieve full rotation.
To understand how to use the hips correctly in the backswing, try this exercise. At the set up position, hold the golf club at approximately the halfway point in the club shaft with the grip end of the golf club touching the stomach just below the naval. The arms should be nice and straight and the posture position should be as normal for hitting a golf shot. At this set up position the golf club is pointing at 6 o’clock. Turn away for a backswing so that the golf club points to 8 o’clock. At this point, the club should still be attached to the stomach and the arms and hands should not have moved. The only movement should have come from the hips. This highlights a perfect hip turn and at this point in the swing the shoulders can then continue to turn while the hinging of the wrists will remove the club from the stomach. This action is often termed the ‘one piece takeaway’ as the body is moving in harmony in ‘one piece’.
Use this exercise to power the backswing with the hips and create a consistent powerful motion.