Ever go through a period of time where you just don’t feel comfortable in your own swing? I am more than certain that you have felt this way. Unfortunately, I am feeling this way recently and it is severely affecting my psychological health :-). I was golfing the other evening with a teaching pro, not a lesson, just a friendly round of golf, that in the end was a very poor performance on my part. Anyway, we were chatting a bit after the round and he mentioned that I might have a little bit too much lateral hip bump in my downswing and I also tend to swing out of my shoes! Well, I do like to swing hard and fast. I mean come on, I was a sprinter and I love to jump. Strong and powerful is what I like, but I know it’s not always the way to go, sometimes I need to sacrifice distance for form to be more accurate.
Lateral Hip Bump and/or Clearing the Hips
So when I got home after the above noted round of golf, I do what I always do when someone mentions something about my swing or health, I research it. I did a bit of research on Google and YouTube for lateral hip bump during the swing, and role of the hips during the downswing. I came across a number of great resources, and came to the understanding that everyone has a different opinion 🙁
However, it does seem to be clear that a lateral hip bump to start the downswing is common and recommended, both for power and proper impact position. That being said a later hip bump is exactly that, lateral, not a thrust forward or backwards, it is a lateral movement of the hips down the target line to get the left side of your hip over the left foot. This movement is also not a huge movement, over exaggerating this movement can cause some issue in your swing like pushes and pulls, which is my issue. Another issue that can be combined with an over exaggeration of this movement in lack of clearing the hips. A lateral hip bump needs to be immediately followed by hip rotation so the hips can be clear (ie. opened to target line) at impact.
I think I will try and hit the range tonight and do a few drills to practice limiting my lateral hip bump, and maximize hip rotation. One such drill will be half swings with a narrow stance to work on rotation, as well as a drill with a vertical club or stick beside my hip to limit how far it can move laterally. I will also be doing slow half swings to work on my impact position to get the feel of where the club needs to be at impact.
Lateral Hip Bump and/or Clearing the Hips – Resources
Here are a few YouTube videos that I found helpful in my research to a better understanding of the use of the hips during the downswing.
In the end, I hope you find the above helpful, and honestly, I hope the it is helpful for me too! I guess I will find out this weekend at my next tournament!
The Barefoot Golfer