Hip speed good or bad?
Fri Apr 5, 2013 by Dave Phillips
It is know secret that hip speed is an asset when it comes to creating power in the golf swing but can it also be a detriment? The answer is categorically YES. At TPI we study 3D kinematics on golfers to determine how they create their speed and power, it is easy to see when you have data on all levels of golfer, the differences between players that have power and those that don’t.
The hips are always one of those areas that are mentioned when talking about speed, in fact Rory McIlroy has the fastest hip rotational speed we have ever tested and pound for pound he is one of the longest and most powerful players on tour, but there is more to it than just hip speed. The sequence of great players is a blending and thus a building of speed between the lower body, torso, arms and club. If one of these segments over powers another you can actually lose speed and not maximize what you have.
We see this is in young developing golfers and college players, many of which are great athletes; they move their hips and lower body aggressively in the downswing, as this is often their major power source and the first power source they develop as youngsters. The problem is they leave their torso way behind and have to rely on their arms and hands to time the delivery of the golf club to the ball. This creates erratic players that rely on good timing to hit good shots. The good news is that much of this can correct itself by developing a stronger core and oblique abdominals, in elite level golfers with great sequences of movement their hips fire but are controlled by the firing of the next segment, in this case the torso, this allows the arms to get into the correct position to deliver the club with the maximum energy into the ball.
So if you feel like your club often drops behind you in transition or you struggle from the occasional block or hook, this could be because your hips are out racing you. Try a few of the drills attached to this article to help control those hips and harness the power you do have.