If you go and search “Golf swing hip and knee movement” on youtube you’ll come across so may conflicting ideas on the subject. No wonder people get confused about the golf swing.

I think a lot of coaches are confused about how things work because they are torn between what they have been taught by their mentors and what is going on in the world of golf instruction nowadays.

Heaven knows – I used to think the hips turned level when I was growing up playing the game.

This I think came about by coaches teaching a movement to the right and then to the left. Allowing the head and the hips to move laterally which allows a more level hip turn.

This kind of teaching is bad news if you really want to succeed at the game. In my world I never want the head to move until the ball has been struck. The hips help keep the head steady and centered throughout the swing if they work properly.

So let’s be absolutely crystal clear – the hips do not turn level!

They are on a tilted axis during the set-up, so they have to turn around that axis.

In a good hip turn during the backswing, the right hip moves higher than the left hip.

The best way to understand this is to combine the right shoulder and hip together. Both move in an upwards direction. The left shoulder and hip move in a downwards direction. In the backswing.

How do you know if you’ve moved too far, simple! you’ve moved your head.

During the start of the downswing we want the hips to slide – just a little – towards the target.

This allows the hands to move down on line from the top down to impact.

This little hip slide makes room for the right elbow and hands to move down towards the ball.

So if you can allow your right hip to move up and back – this then makes your tailbone actually move closer to the target
heres a video i did on it 

Then slide your hips closer to the target during the initial movement coming down. You’ll be well on your way to achieving a good pivot and allowing your right elbow to move back down in front of your right hip and allow the hands to work properly.

Training our hands to work well in the swing is impossible if the pivot (our body) isn’t functioning well.

If the hips aren’t doing a good enough job it will probably cause the right elbow to collide with the right hip which will then prevent the hands from moving back down to the ball properly.

Also, if the right elbow and hip are on a collision course you’ll probably make compensatory movement and find a way to move your elbow around your hip.

Drill – watch the tailbone drill above and then combine it with allowing your right elbow to move back down in front of your right hip. Always in slow motion first however. Understand the move, then add speed and reps.

Try and feel the right hip move slightly higher than the left going back then slide the hips towards the target to start the move down. As they slide, allow the right elbow to come back down in front of the hip.

And Robert’s your fathers brother… 

The hips and knees

The correct knee movement will allow your hips to function properly.

We want the right hip to move higher than the left during the backswing so it’s important that we understand both knees roles.

To allow the hips to turn on a tilted angle, the left knee should flex more during the backswing and the right knee should straighten.

This is classic modern instruction v’s old instruction. I was taught when I was younger growing up in England that the right knee had to stay flexed. We have to turn our hips around a flexed right knee. I was told that on many MANY occasions.

The truth is (upon close observation) most of the best players of all time straightened their right knee a little.

Check out Mr Hogan (I don’t see him keeping his right knee flexed)..

I actually prefer how the older pros used to go about it. I believe they had it more figured out than we do today.

The problem with a flexed right knee is that the hips have to turn more level. This actually causes the hips to turn less and therefore the shoulders to turn less which generally produces a head movement to the right.

Gees, that sounds exactly like my old swing before I saw the light!! Back in the day…

Drill – In slow motion (you can do this at home without a club) start moving your hands (back, up and in) to imitate your backswing. As soon as your hands have moved a couple of inches, start allowing your right knee to straighten and your left knee to flex more. Try and get your left knee to move over the ball of your left foot. At the top, the left knee should have flexed several inches towards the ball of your left foot and your right knee should of straightened several inches.

How do you know if you’ve over done it? Your head has moved! We want to keep the head still.

If you can understand this idea of flexing and straightening your knees, you’ll be well on your way to an increased hip turn and a centered backswing.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave a response below.

For a simple online formula that gives you the knowledge to teach yourself CLICK HERE