Guest Column #5

I just sat down at the computer, Googled a few LINKS, and here’s what I found out, condensed into my own words:


We hear a lot about hip rotation in the golf swing. Unfortunately, hip rotation is a result, not a cause, if we look at the swings of expert golfers.

Many golf instructors teach hip-turn. Hip-turn can be a valid “Feel” thought…as long as the player realizes that Feel Is Not Real. If a golfer feels or sees hip movement, and attempts to teach others this “Feel” thought, there is the danger that someone might take it LITERALLY and actually try to turn their hips with their hips. And, if hip movement is exaggerated, it can result in lower back pain. Uh-oh.

In the past, we could excuse golf instructors for parroting the same old nonsense, but now, with computers and Google, it is easy to learn the function of the hips. In golf, they don’t turn—they GET TURNED. (That is, if you want a pro-style swing, and are physically capable of it.).

The function of the hips is to provide range of motion, flexibility, locomotion, and to maintain balance. If we try to turn our hips…with our hips…then what is going to provide our balance? The results would be weak out-of-sync rotation, loss of balance, and possible injury. Not good.

What kind of movement can we expect from our hip muscles? Forward and backward movement of the legs, moving the legs to the side and returning them, and inward or outward rotation of the legs.

We do find that smaller muscles going from the pelvis to the hip help to rotate the hip. This is the only hip rotation caused by hips–but we’re not looking for this because we want to use more powerful muscles to provide rotation.

If we want to find out what turns the hips, we’ll have to look somewhere besides the hips.

“Hips,” as a result, might work. As a cause…I doubt it.




  1. S.

    Well, here’s a joke on me.

    I once went to Youtube and found this:


    Some folks made it based on Ben Hogan’s swing. As you can see, the left hip does slide forward and to the left, just like in the previous day’s column.

    Taking this new-found knowledge to the course, and applying Hogan’s advice that the lower body leads, I tried it out.

    I found that trying to manufacture this hip movement didn’t work for me. Although I did hit some nice shots, it was erratic and unreliable. Perhaps it might work in long-drive where you only need to get one of six [?] in the grid, but it takes a lot of coordination to save your left knee when the rest of your body comes piling into it.

    Too bad I didn’t have Monte to tell me that the lower body leads because hips get rotated less in the backswing. And too bad I didn’t have him to tell me that everything works together.

  2. S.

    Part of paragraph 2 got omitted. It said:

    “As you can see from the Hogan model, the left hip does slide forward and left, as in the previous day’s column.”

    “I tried it at the course, with Hogan’s advice that the lower body leads, but it didn’t work for me. I hit some good shots, but it was erratic. It might work for long-drive where you only need one of six in the grid…”

  3. Wally

    I suggest that people read BEN HOGANS POWER GOLF. Although it was written in 1948 it gives you a pretty good idea of how to obtain power in the golf swing. Read this book. Hogan computer model is a bunch of technical nonsense. You don’t need a so called guru explaining some computer model of what golf swing should look like.

  4. S.

    I hope the book did a better job than this video. Yes, there was lower body involvement, but I don’t think Ben really could explain what he did. It’s certainly not necessary that he should be able to do so.


    It’s a great video, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. Anyway, he knew the “feel” that he was looking for.

    • s.

      P.S. Here’s what I see: Hogan turning his torso, and his knees, legs, and hips reacting. I see no conscious movement at all coming from his body below the belt.


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