How to Use Hips in Golf

By Steve Silverman

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Once you have gotten past the beginning stages of golf, you are no longer worried about making solid contact and keeping the ball in the fairway. However, you are interested in adding distance to your game and becoming a more powerful golfer. In order to get more power, you have to use all of your body. Using your hips in your swing is probably the biggest key to getting 25 to 30 more yards from your swing.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
  1. Go to the driving range as you attempt to refine your golf swing. You have learned how to grip the club properly and align your body with the target. But to add distance to your swing without sacrificing accuracy, you have to learn how to get your hips into the ball. Take your club back as you normally do, but remain aware of your hips at all times. Not only are you turning your back and shoulders as you take the club away, your hips are also turning about 45 degrees.
  2. Lead with your hips as you begin your downswing. You may have been bringing your hands down and through the ball previously--completely unconscious of the role of your hips. That may have been fine, but now you must think of your hips as being the lead part of your downswing.
  3. Get maximum hip turn on your downswing. After rotating your hips 45 degrees on the backswing, you will now rotate them the other way the 45 degrees to get back to the starting position and another 45 degrees to finish. Notice how different your swing feels now. Instead of thinking about your grip or your alignment, you are now thinking about your hips.
  4. Hit 20 balls in succession at the driving range while thinking of your hip movement. This is not your natural thought process, so you need to be conscious of your hips to snap off a good turn. After doing it 20 times, take a break and hit 20 more. The second 20 should be more comfortable. You may struggle for accuracy as your retool your swing but it will come back as you practice turning your hips.
  5. Watch the top players in the game as they rotate their hips every time they swing. Tiger Woods is especially proficient. His hips get through the hitting zone before his hands and that's how he generates his power. If his hips didn't clear the ball before contact, his power output and the distance of his shots would be down significantly.

Tips & Warnings

  • Practice using your hips by going to the driving range. Get comfortable with the move before using it on the course in a match.

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.