Role of the Hips During a Golf Swing

By Steve Silverman

The hips are the engine of the golf swing. Many new golfers think they have to overpower the ball with their arms in order to get great distance off the tee or from the fairway, but that's not the case. A smooth and steady swing will get the job done and it's the hips that get the swing in gear.

Proper address

In order to hit the ball properly, you need to have the correct starting position. In order to allow your hips to drive your swing, make sure you are facing your target. Your left shoulder needs to be facing the target and your left foot should be directly underneath your left shoulder. The ball should be midway between your feet and your knees should be slightly flexed.

Initiating the backswing

The first move in golf is your backswing. You don't have to move your arms or hands -- at least not first. The initial move should come with your hips. If you are right-handed, start the swing by turning your hips to the right. This will help you shift your weight from a neutral position to your right side.

Continuing the swing

Turn your hips until you have gone as far as you can go and your weight is on your right side. The hips help you load your swing and prepare to hit the ball. If you don't get a full hip turn, you are not prepared to hit the ball with maximum clubhead speed. If you complete the turn fully, you are prepared to hit the ball correctly.


Turn your hips back to the left once your have gotten to the top of your swing. Your hands and arms followed your hips on the backswing and they will do the same thing on the downswing. Continue to rotate your hips as you clear the hitting zone so your hands can follow.


Your hips have moved through the hitting zone and you need to continue to turn your hips after you make impact. Follow-through is important in the golf swing in order to get maximum distance and accuracy. Do not stop turning your hips until you are facing your target and the club has reached the natural stopping position at shoulder height.

About The Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.

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