Limited versus restricted hip turn.

If golf instruction and the public could understand one concept, everyone would get better.

When you have a problem, the answer is not the opposite extreme.

When you cast, you don’t hold the lag, when your hips and body over rotate, you don’t restrict the hip turn.

A limited hip turn is very simple. You let them rotate freely, allowing the turn of the upper body to rotate the hips from the initial takeaway. When the hips reach their maximum range of motion, they will stop turning and the shoulders will continue. For those with proper, but not extreme flexibility, that will be approximately 45* and 90*.

A restricted hip turn is forcibly not allowing the hips to turn from the initial takeaway, the torso won’t rotate properly and the arms will create much of the backswing and will over run the turn or create a short turn/backswing.

When you look at it from that perspective, restricting the hips seems pretty stupid, but as I have said many times, “The opposite of bad,” teaching approach is common with many flaws.

Hips over rotate for a couple of reasons. The level of the hip turn is too flat, the upper body tilting toward the target, etc.

So your hip turn will limit itself and create your own personal maximum X-factor if you turn properly. What a concept.




  1. Jake G

    I agree with this 100% as it has created so much more room for my arms in my own swing. My question to you is why does a guy who seems to be a well respected teacher overall (Harmon), teach to restrict the hips in the backswing? Does he not see this simple concept? So hard to find really quality golf instruction these days

  2. Don Lissen

    “restricting the hips seems pretty stupid”

    –Of course it is. Your body is connected with itself. If somebody restricts hips, he’s also restricting legs.

    I think this guy is onto something…but he hasn’t come up with the solution: “The hips and shoulders merely represent the easiest markers or indicators of the human body. But to take it one step further and say that the shoulders and the hips are doing this or that to drive the swing, that isn’t right. Perhaps a whole new language must be developed to identify, characterize and classify some of these moves without using the chosen markers as our guides.” ~ K.M.

  3. Paul K

    Receiving this was a spooky coincidence as the day before I’d seen something about Sam Snead and Bobby Jones which said their hips rotated with the upper body. I realised that this was how I felt the most comfortable so checked out some WRX threads and saw what you had said in various posts on this matter. I shot off to my club to try it out on the range.

    It was just about to get dark and the lad who looks after the range asked why I’d bothered coming so late. I told him there was something I wanted to try out.

    After he’d watched me hit balls he said ‘I thought your swing looked good when I saw you last week but it seemed to lack a bit of power. Today you look fully committed on every shot’. I’m not a long hitter but I was easily a club longer.

    For me this just makes everything more fluid. I know the downswing starts from the feet up but for me it feels like the upper body starts and the lower body reacts. Doing what you recommend Monte feels much more in synch.

    Restricting the hips in the take away produces the feel that it’s shoulders first then STOP,then hips then STOP. Then I’m feeling static at the top and wondering how to transition. Your way is an action which flows.

    The side effect is the zipper move is natural, secondary tilt is natural, head behind the ball is natural.

    When I first tried the zipper drill it worked a treat then I lost it. I think it was because I went back to shoulders first then hips. All very mechanical but unnatural.

    Going to practice nothing but this and the 9/3 wedges drill for the next 3 weeks.

    Many thanks.

  4. Bruce H

    Is it a bad idea to adjust the width of my feet to increase
    or decrease the amount of hip turn.
    If I shorten my stance I can increase my hip turn and
    by making my stance wider it restricts my hip turn.

    • Paul K

      What you describe Bruce is a physical feature for everyone. If you adopt a standard stance are you still able to turn.
      For me if I took up a normal stance I would let that dictate what is my turn and would not tinker with it by changing the stance.

      Other than that I monitor how it changes with the different clubs. Sometimes I get too wide with the longer clubs.

  5. Peepee

    I haven’t been hitting the ball great lately. I have Monte’s wedge video since it came out. Rewatched it. Within a few minutes I realised I had been moving forward slightly during the downswing. Straight to the range and hitting it sweet a bucket of balls. 6i to wedge. 3/4 swing, staying back, nice shallow shaft and AoA and plenty of distance. This is the best instruction out there guys.

  6. John

    For years I have moved my hips laterally on the takeaway and BS. To avoid this I tried to limit my hip turn but felt very awkward in doing so and lost my rhythm. Monte suggested that allow my hips rotate more. The emphasis on rotate. Cant wait to try it.

  7. Osmond H

    My problem is my hips rotate almost 90 degrees and my shoulders about 130 – and I don’t think I’m turning too flat. Haven’t yet figured out how to turn less.

    • Monte Scheinblum

      If your hips are rotating 90* they are turning too flat or pelvis is moving toward target too much.


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