Why? Why? Why?

Why do people continue to restrict their hip turn on purpose?

Today’s post is short. I am hoping to provoke some discussion in the comments section.

I seem to be the only person promoting a free hip turn. I have ranted the many pluses and minuses on this subject. Why aren’t any of the big name gurus doing it? It seems to be a very important subject.

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30 Comments

  1. northgolf

    One reason is some of the big names still believe in restricting the hip turn. In Golf Digest on page 46, you have Dave Leadbetter saying “a big turn helps, but only if you have the flexibility to coil your upper body while creating resistance with the lower body…” In reading his piece it is clear he is confused in thinking that resistance is necessary to stay connected (hmmm, resistance is futile). Bad ideas have a life of their own (x-factor anyone?).

    I think the big names repeat this conundrum because they saw one big name get a lot of press out of it and repeating a falsehood is easier than actually understanding and communicating that understanding.

    Reply
  2. David

    People will believe what the majority believes. At one point, you reach critical mass and even if everyone is wrong, everyone continue to believe it because the majority believes it.

    If your job is selling stuff targeted to people with too much money and not enough wisdom to figure things out, then you better be selling what they want to believe. Also, because you’re selling stuff doesn’t mean you’re any wiser so you might even believe your own lies. That’s a never ending cycle that can only be broken by someone coming out of nowhere and completely crush the weakened field with his new revolutionary technique of not restricting hip turn.

    Reply
    • woody

      “People will believe what the majority believes. At one point, you reach critical mass and even if everyone is wrong, everyone continues to believe it because the majority believes it.”

      These are immortal words of wisdom.

      Reply
  3. Andrew from Belgium

    I think it is simply because many top players have relatively little hip turn due to their inate (and highly trained) flexibility. They can reach parallel and beyond with their club without moving their hips more than 20-30 degrees.

    The big gurus look at what the real players do and then try to translate it into useful snippets for us hackers. They think they are being smart in telling us to do something that the pros do and that we do not (Must be better because the pros do it). Instead they ruin what little flexibility and power we already had. Oh yes, and they get paid for such words of wisdom…Grrr!

    My simplification of it all: Turn your tummy button as far back as you can then turn it through smoooothly and as far as you can – easy (Not!!)

    Reply
    • JohnG

      Crack

      Reply
  4. Paul

    What goes along with the restricted hip turn is the advice to keep flex in the right knee going back. This only contributes to more restricted hips.

    The easy was to increase hip turn and shoulder turn going back is to straighten your right leg (not locked) at address, and then take your backswing. You will increase both hip and shoulder turn.

    Reply
  5. meateater

    Yes, exactly. A simple look at top players’ swings show virtually all of them straighten the right knee on the backswing and turn their hips basically as far as they can.

    Hackers tend to sway back, so the advice to keep flex in their right knee is often intended to prevent that. Still, it’s not the way the best players do it.

    Reply
    • woody

      Do top players really CONSCIOUSLY turn their hips? I’m going to say, NO. The windup or coil doesn’t result from either consciously directing or restricting hips. The turn starting either back or down probably comes from below the hips on one side, and above the hips on the opposite side. (These things are directly attached to hips.)

      Do top players really TRY to straighten their right knee? I’m going to say, NO, although they allow it to automatically happen in response to what they are doing, to permit the player to turn.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kf96Xhx2kqM (0:52) Ian Poulter straightening right leg, with a bonus of Kostis disinformation.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAyaoZAcUx4 (1:08) Iron Byron, really good at restricting hips, legs, torso.

      Reply
      • JohnG

        Crack

        Reply
  6. Calvin

    When I turn to the right my hips want to turn.
    So I let ’em.

    Reply
  7. pcb_duffer

    Why do the talking heads on TV analyze Phil’s swing, and never once say “Actually, folks, you shouldn’t do this. There’s not 1 person in ten thousand that can take the club that far past parallel and keep any semblance of control. Find a move that lets you put the tee ball in the short grass reliably, and stick with it.” ?

    Reply
  8. HoldTheLag

    I can see it now, the newest golf training aid sensation:

    A noose that tightens the more you turn your hips back.

    Reply
  9. theMIKE

    These are the **** blog post which make me throw up each time I read them, Monte, when you are going to acknowledge that this is a good medicine for some and a killer for others, some need to restrict their hip turn, others don’t, or need to have a deep hip turn. If you laterally move your left hip in the down swing, and turn your right hip, you can restrict the right hip in the back swing, no problem about that. if you turn your left hip and move the right laterally in the down swing, you better get a deep hip turn.

    Its just different makeup of basic mechanics of the swing,

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      LOL. Nice to have you back and I see you brought your poor reading comprehension with you.

      I didn’t say deep, I said free.

      I am well aware of how the hip turn works.

      Restricting it on purpose is what I am talking about.

      I love it when people come at me like charging bulls, disagree with me, then make my point.

      Reply
      • theMIKE

        sure, I have read and understood every sentence very well, get yourselves into the most upright setup imaginable, then try this “free hip turn thing”;)

        First of course you want to get your hands up and over your head, everything else would be very flat, then, I think you will be begging for some restriction in your back swing..

        There is this little book I did introduce here some time ago, there you find the restricted hip turn in the right caption of the dilemma a non-restricted hip turn causes under some circumstances.

        Monte Leadbetter:)

        Reply
      • theMIKE

        ps. sure I am charging you, you do not know both totally different hip turns, and if you would, you would not criticize the restriction part…
        Simple hypothesis…

        Reply
      • Monte Scheinblum

        If someone has a Drunk-English dictionary, could you pleae translate this for me.

        Reply
  10. mookie

    what’s the difference between “free” hip turn and “deep” hip turn?

    Reply
    • theMIKE

      none, you just have for both a generally more bend over posture and then its natural.

      Reply
  11. woody

    “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed, and third, it is accepted as self-evident.” –Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher

    The truth is that Tour pros are not consciously doing anything with their hips. I’ve never read anything by Monte saying so, or heard any Tour pro say so. They’re using their legs and torso. (Bun is a hip muscle, but it works with the legs.) Proof: no Tour pro is ever off-balance unless he/she is injured, or has a bad lie, or bad footing.

    If they were really trying to coordinate their hips and shoulders, somebody somewhere would be off balance. It would take perfect timing and wouldn’t offer much power.

    Craig Stadler: The power comes from the legs.
    Wiki Answers: Most important muscles in the golf swing are the abdominals and torso.

    Get these people in a room together, and I’ll bet they could come up with something.

    Reply
    • theMIKE

      the OP did “ridicule and violently oppose” on many occasions, this is like ridiculing “wrong way” drivers because they use the left side of the road. It’s surely appropriate to ridicule someone if he does that on a motorway in the states, but kind of a dumb thing to do to someone driving the M4 between London and Bristol. This is for folks who do not know that the Brits are driving that way..

      Surely no tour pro does these things consciously anymore, but here is no tour pro reading and writing…

      Take any tour pro down the line, as more the rear hip gets behind, as more it stays behind in the down swing, as less it goes behind, as more it gets closer to the target line in the down sing and these are the folks who tend to restrict the knee/hip a tad on the way back, there are very few of them left, but they are out there.

      Reply
      • woody

        –ridiculing “wrong way” drivers because they use the left side of the road–

        You are onto something here. The body is simultaneously doing something, and getting out of the way of it…which is actually enhancing it. So, it would be possible to think about it backwards and still be right, if enough of it was on auto-pilot.

        A spaz-type person is more focused on what he is trying to do (but so much is going on that it’s hard to mircomanage). A more coordinated person is probably thinking of the effect that he wants to feel. These could be far different, and even seem contradictory.

        That’s why great golfers aren’t usually great teachers. They don’t know what they do, just what they want to produce, and the feeling that they want to create.

        Hips? I think they’re kinda like training-wheels on a bicycle. Can somebody do this by thinking about turning their hips?

        http://www.yakima-golf.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/CIMG0872.jpg

        Reply
      • theMIKE

        I think that is for some a matter of the subconscious mind, because if you are set up more upright to the ball, turn back, without any “coil or restriction” the backswing feels weak, sure if you don’t know that these two things have to better go in pairs and think “free turn” you are likely a very bad and inconsistent golfer.

        In the reverse, if you are bend over more and turn properly and not swing your everything to violently back, you have a slight restriction, you just can’t turn more back and that is for many well short of 90 degree shoulder turn.

        The difference between both is also that the sequencing and moment of coiling and uncoiling is different, for the upright guy it coils around the end of the back swing and uncoils then, for the more bend over guy its more around the down swing. there are a lot of nuances in between, but as a rule of thumb, proven correct.

        In golf, all is relative to something else and very little is complete Bravo Sierra.

        Reply
  12. Laying6Hitting7

    Here is something both the pro hip-restriction and the anti hip-restriction crowd can agree one: No one over the age of 11 should be using “LOL” anymore.

    Reply
  13. jaybee

    Personally, I think it’s Montes blog, not any commentator’s one and if you don’t like it, go start your own blog instead of venting your frustrations here.
    I have just found this video which might answer the particular question raised:

    Reply
    • woody

      The question raised was restricting hips.

      In these two demos (classic & modern) he wasn’t restricting hips in either one. If you “turn everything” you’re going to have a harder time getting everything back to the ball consistently and staying in balance. If classic was so great, they’d all be doing it now on Tour. Get way up on your toe like Bobby Jones. If you can do it, my hat is off to you. Classic is much harder.

      On the other hand, as he said, some people might not be physically able to do a modern swing. You need some flexibility…but it requires less coordination, I’d say.

      Reply
      • theMIKE

        Both ways of playing golf are probably out there since golf exists, so I wouldn’t name it classic/modern, if you refer to Bobby Jones styled golf, that relies on much more intuitive motions to achieve relative top performance. While the other way relies partly on quite counterintuitive things and you figure them only out if you are totally desperate because of some misses and start to exaggerate some moves… to just figure out that these exaggerated moves are the way forward.

        There is of course a large grey area in between and they both are not fully black and white, but for the sake of talking and analyzing, they are.. and all in between CAN require millions of balls hit.

        The bad thing is only that IMO a to big share of the golfing public DOES NOT have the flexibility or core strength to hit the ball far enough with the so called modern way. Then they do overcompensate with their arms, by that they choke down the rest and never make any progress..it requires some patience..or just sticking consequently with bobby jones golf, but that forbids a too free hip turn going back.. there needs to be some resistance from the ground up.

        Reply
      • jaybee

        The question raised was:
        “Why do people continue to restrict their hip turn on purpose?”

        Reply

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