Golf Swing Hip Rotation in the Backswing

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I’m Ted Norby, Director of Golf Instruction for the National University Golf Academy. What I want to talk about today is the hips in the backswing and how there does have to be some rotation to allow the shoulder to rotate and to get myself to shift back to the target correctly. For a long time people talked about ex factor, Jim McLean putting that out. It’s a great thing. I do want my shoulders to turn more than my lower body. That creates a dynamic stretch. If everything turns all over here I haven’t created any of that coil that I want. However, as a lot of players get older and we’re not all 6′ 3″, 185 like the tour guys are now a days and we’re not that flexible.

I need some hip turn to be able to turn the shoulders, so I don’t want to stand here and make a backswing where my legs and my hips don’t turn at all and my shoulders don’t get back there because then I’m going to have to lift or slide, but what I do want to have happen is my hips have got to rotate and anything that’s turning that rotates. Whatever say if this is round or whatever is on this right side has to work back toward the target a little bit.

If you look at old pictures Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, John Cook, some of the better ball strikers ever. At the top of their swing you can see their left butt cheek kind of pointing out moving toward the target a little bit. A lot of players if you put a line right here on their right hip, at the top of their swing there’s a gap between that line and that right hip. That tells me that their butt cheeks and their hips are rotating toward the target a little bit as their upper body is kind of moving over, turning the shoulders, getting the arms in the backswing right there.

A great way to feel this is to imagine that you have a swivel chair right behind and you can back up, you can even do this in your office or in the house. Make some turning turns with your shoulders but let your right butt cheek push the chair and swivel the chair toward the target, so you can see how that chair kind of pivots back out toward the target a little bit. Now, not so much that I’m putting weight on my left side obviously but as my shoulders turn, this right hip has to turn back, and that allows me to create this pressure on the inside of my thigh that’s going to get me to shift back the other way, so what I’m looking for is the upper body turning and clearly I don’t want my hips to get sliding or twisting around too much, but as my shoulders turn, I’m going to allow my butt cheeks to go toward the target and push that chair toward the target right there. That’s going to give me room to turn my shoulders fully on the backswing and put me in a position where I can use the inside of my right thigh to shift back out toward the target.

If I do this correctly, my hips will rotate in place instead of sliding and my weight still going to get to my right foot. Now I’m in this position where my lower body can shift forward. So, make a few practice swings, just kind of feeling like your butt works back toward the target and if you happen to have a chair out on the range, go ahead and push that chair toward the target. That allows you enough room to get those shoulders fully turned.

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  1. thanks for the video guys. btw have you seen bobby jone's hip rotation? i highly highly recommend you take a look if you don't remember. you will truly enjoy seeing it.

  2. thank  you it made so much sence to me……you have no idea how this has changed my game for the better……

  3. Hey Mr. Norby! I just noticed that I hit the ball flush when I feel a pulling/tightness in my right glute near the end of my backswing. I wonder why? What do you think?