Welcome to Power in Golf Part 3. This entry will focus on the role of your hips in delivering powerful swings.
We must be fully conscious of how our hips should operate. If the right hip twists inwards as the hips return on the forward swing, we will have swung from in-to-out-that is, correctly.
But if the right hip is allowed to slip outwards and around on the downward swing, this result cannot be achieved.
This is because the club head performs the same actions as does the right hip; they are connected (as regards direction) by the right shoulder.
The effect of bringing our right hip inwards with a twisting movement is to guide the right shoulder in the way it should go.
The right shoulder is totally subjective to the right hip; so, when the latter is braced and twisted inwards, the shoulder follows, coming inside and behind the ball-in-to-out.
Do not think that all this is a digression from our subject, power. For power must be guided as well as produced.
We find that it is comparatively easy to drive the ball far; the difficulties begin when we want to add "and straight"; that is when we want our power applied with great accuracy.
And in this matter of the accurate application of power, hip brace and movement are fundamentally vital.
Now this twisting inwards movement of the hips demands a muscular effort from the legs which is worth analyzing. As we pivot back, we turn, whereas on the forward swing, we twist.
That is true even though a certain amount of muscular effort is needed to pivot back.
Considering the swing as a whole, we have to gather up and increase our power gradually.
The movement that starts up as a gentle turn develops on the down swing into a fierce twist.
The turn is preparatory to the twist. So the effort of the leg muscles begins to be felt at the end of the backward pivot and is felt increasingly until the climax of the follow-through is reached.
The inward twist of the hips as we come down and through the ball demands great muscular activity in the calves and thighs, the generators of power in the golf swing, and it is the controlled direction of the hips that sees to it that this power is smoothly and gradually applied in the exactly correct direction.
So we must incorporate into our swing a hip movement which we can recognize and control by a definite feel, so that by feel we may control the degree and direction of power in our swings.
So "turn and then twist" must be our slogan.
These are the basic feels of the golf swing; other feels which we may add to them may help us in building up repeatability, but they will only hinder if we have not built upon "turn and then twist" as our fundamental basis.
Previous Entries in the Power in Golf Series: