Playing golf with power has always been a benefit to the Pros and a never-ending quest for the average “Joes.” With Bryson DeChambeau pushing the limits on the PGA Tour and Kyle Berkshire hitting 302 yards 8 irons on Instagram, weekend warriors are mystified by how these golfers can create so much more power while they continue to hit the same distances or shorter year after year.
One of the biggest differences that GOLFTEC’s SwingTRU motion study found after looking at hundreds of thousands of swings was how much more PGA Tour players turn their hips at impact than lower skill level players. This movement directly correlates to skill and more importantly- power. Let’s dive into what hip turn is, and how you can get the most of your swing to hit the ball farther.
Hip turn as measured by GOLFTEC is simply the rotation of the lower body towards or away from the target. GOLFTEC Coaches measure this movement in degrees either open or closed relative to a neutral body position. What SwingTRU suggests is that the more you move your hips open at impact, the higher-skilled golfer you have the potential to be.
The above picture shows a comparison between an average 30 handicap golfer and an average professional golfer. You’ve probably heard about this topic during nearly every PGA Tour event when commentators describe the professional golfers making huge turns and hitting the ball massive distances.
Now that you know a little more about hip turn and how it relates to skill, you can begin to identify if you need to improve your hip turn through impact. You might want to look more like the golfer in the green shirt if your contact is good but you struggle to hit the ball far enough or your distance is good and you struggle with control- often pushing or overdrawing your shots.
If either of these golfers sounds like you or someone you know, we’re addressing how you can start to turn more at impact and watch your shots fly higher, straighter and farther.
Before you start to turn faster it’s important to know that is more difficult for your body to rotate when it flexing or bending towards the ground. Think of a figure skater making a spin in the Olympics. As the skater gets “taller” they begin to spin faster, when they move closer to the ice their spins slow down.
If you are trying to turn more at impact, you need to straighten your legs, hips, and shoulders to make it easier for your body to turn faster. Doing this often comes with ignoring the old adage “keep your head down”. The longer your eyes are looking at the ground, the slower you will turn.
If you want to swing like the long hitters on the Tour, then start your next practice session with a few practice swings. In your follow-through measure if you’re finishing with your knees straight and your belly button facing the sky. If you can do these movements you will be turning your hips more like the golfers you see on TV.