Hip Movement In The Golf Swing

Hip Movement In The Golf Swing

The vast majority of professional golfers have a very distinct movement of the hips/pelvis – one which helps them create power and consistency of strike and accuracy.

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Fewer Moving Parts

The prevailing wisdom is that “fewer moving parts” equals more consistency. I discussed that idea in this article (click to read).

As a result, I have come across many golfers who are trying to limit movement in certain areas of their swing. Sometimes this can be a good thing, but often times (as in the case below) it may cause a loss of power and consistency – and potentially injury.


Quick Video

Here is a great video from a fellow coach (Shaun Webb) using some fantastic technology (GEARS) to analyze the swing of a pro – specifically their hip movement.

Shaun explains how the hips of a professional go through a slight lowering towards the ground during transition, followed by a sharp raising up through the execution phase.


But Why?

This is a concept I explain in The Strike plan – see the clip below.

Basically, this motion

  • is a result of increased ground forces – helping us produce speed and rotation
  • helps us set up and then create a professional hand-path through impact

This allows us to hit the ball farther, increase strike consistency and can even help with path and face control.


The Opposite

Some amateurs I see, in an attempt to create fewer moving parts, may not have that slight hip drop in transition, but have the huge raise through the execution phase. This can then get the hips and lead shoulder very high through impact, resulting in a loss of lag (due to the forces applied to the club, and also out of sheer necessity in order to reach the ball).

This motion can create a lot of thinned shots, toed shots or higher and weak-flighted shots.


No one likes a bladed ball.

Sometimes, in an effort to compensate for the hips raising up, the player will stay down with their upper body longer. This high-hips, low upper-body combination can crunch the spine and cause a lot of stress during the rotation – potentially risking injury.

I also see the movement where a player raises the hips (and entire body) in the backswing and is forced to lower during the execution phase. This can cause a poor hand path, loss of power. Lot’s of people who have this movement report that they can’t seem to finish their swing/follow through.


Learn More

So if you suffer with

  • early extension
  • loss of lag
  • lack of forward shaft lean at impact
  • inconsistent divot depth and position
  • struggle to follow through

This might be something to look at. If you want to find out more, why not check out The Strike Plan video series, where I explain how this fits into making you a better golfer. You also find out drills and techniques to help you improve the quality of your ground contact and sweet spot strike – vital components of any good player’s technique.

Strike plan enter



  • Julietstrike

    This is a miracle. Although I am able to play golf well, through practice and determination, I never was able to visualize the role of the hips until now. Thank you.

  • Raymond CHASTEL

    You can minimze the hip rise in the through swing with a more circular motion ,level to he ground ,both in the backswing (Don’t dip your left shoulder down in ne backswing and don’t move your right shoulder up in the throughswing )DUSTIN JHNSON does dip in he backcswing but we are not Dustin JOHNSON ‘s!

    • admin

      Yes, some players are more vertical with he left shoulder movement (Tiger, Watson), and some are more rotary (Rory, Furyk).

  • Marc Fine

    I’m noticing the spine angle/tilt through the swing. Established at address looks fine, but then a gentle raising/straightening through impact and of course beyond. Interesting, so feel must be straightening up through impact? and beyond. of course.

    • Al

      More generally, are we now countermanding Hogan’s five lessons? Have we changed the concept of what a properly struck iron shot looks like (meaning results: flight, spin, etc.)? Do you find that a lot of older amateurs are held back by their notion of what “good” is?

  • Jim A

    I don’t know who the model was for this animation, but the hips, while rotating during the backswing, should actually be shifting 2-3 inches toward the target to deepen the position at the top and create space for the hands on the downswing. Just about every pro makes this lateral hip move during backswing rotation.

    • admin

      That depends on what marker system you are using. Goltec advocate this – because their markers are on the back of the hips, so any rotation induces a backward movement too. The GEARS software used in this animation digitizes the center of the hips.

    • John

      Super late reply, but I’m experimenting with my swing and noticed a lot of good things happen when I focus on feeling the hips move slightly toward the target approaching the top. I imagine a string attached to the middle/back belt loop coming from the target line and someone slightly pulling on it as I come into top transition. Strikes and compression are better, divot is more consistent and I’m getting that “pure” feeling. The downside so far is getting back into the same spot consistently. Results of to far or not far enough are not pretty.

  • pete avenson

    Interesting video,
    without listening to dialogue, however correct, the right arm movement looks to be lacking power.
    Adam your swing and explanation would be more beneficial. Tell me if I am wrong.

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