Pro golfers know how to clear their hips and why it is important. However, new golfers battle to understand this. They have a hard time understanding the physical motion as well as what clearing your hips means. Here we delve into why this movement is important, what it means and how to do it.
What The Heck Does It Mean To Clear Your Hips?
You might be scratching your head as to what this even means. It sounds kind of silly but it is quite practical and useful. Clearing your hips simply means that your hips are open in the direction of the target at impact.
When starting your golf setup, the line across your hips is in direct alignment with the target. If you are right handed, your hips should alternate in the left direction of the target at impact during your swing. This is what is known as “clearing the hips.”
Clearing your hips is merely about turning early in your golf swing and moving your hips out of the way.
The Importance of Clearing Your Hips
Did you know that moving your hips gives you the ability to improve on your contact?
When you increase hip mobility, you find it’s easier to make firm contact with your golf ball.
Clearing your hips is also an impactful way to improve your speed.
This is because rotating your hips increases speed. It involves a sequence of movements where a single motion can boost or hinder the following.
Clearing Your Hips Can Be Difficult
Rotating your hips is an energetic movement which could have an impact on the rest of your body- if you aren’t careful. For this reason, it will be hard, if not impossible, to carefully observe and correct your movement at a whim.
Unfortunately, there are quite a few factors that can have a negative impact on your ability to clear your hips.
In the first place, your own genetics can play a huge part in your ability to clear your hips. Your ability to perform this movement is largely dependent on how flexible you are. Being flexible is a lot like skipping. There are those who can skip higher and faster than others just because they are inherently better at it.
Similar to other sports just like swimming. Some of us lack the ability to swim fast, so we avoid getting in the deep end of the water altogether.
As a second point, and this can be the most vital reason for them all—you might be struggling with some tension in your body. It could be that there’s tension in your hips or lower back. Perhaps your body might be incredibly stiff altogether. It is most important to fully comprehend what your body is and isn’t capable of here.
Drills To Help you Clear Your Hips
The following drills will help you practice clearing your hips at the driving range or in the comfort of your own home.
Using an Alignment Rod
For this drill, you need an alignment rod and that’s all. Take the alignment rod and hold it end-to-end diagonally over your hips. You could even move it through the loops of your belt, this could be a little more comfortable if you prefer.
Here’s how it’s done:
- Move your body to copy your usual swinging movements from the takeaway to the finish.
- While doing this, exercise getting the back of the rod facing downward at your ball as you reach impact.
- Perfect practice makes perfect, so do this many times for better results.
Using a Swinging Arc
In this drill you will actually hit the ball. You will also need to get your hands on a swinging arc- you can get this at your nearest pro shop. A training arc is really just an arced alignment rod. Its curved shape helps you to see and recognize the path of your hips.
Here’s how it’s done:
- Get in your golfing stance and position the swinging arc on the ground. It should be placed between yourself and the ball. If you are right handed, one end of the rod has to be where the ball is placed. The rest of the rod should curve out to the left of the target line.
- Take your shot, be cautious to follow the curve of the swinging arc with your hips.
Clearing your hips from the backswing to finish can be as easy as getting yourself fit and flexible.
A sporty and wide open stance with your knees bent will help your spine rotate.
By doing this you will be halfway through the transition before even swinging.
Prepare your muscles and practice the drills provided and you will be clearing your hips with greater ease.