Do you have problems with topping the golf ball?
Do you hit the ground behind the ball?
Do you sometimes hit the golf ball with weak and high results?
Do you feel a loss of power with some of your swings with any club?
Do you have problems hitting the ball near the sweet spot of the clubface?
All of these problems (and more) could be happening because yourhips move in various directions during all parts of your swingmovements. If your hips are moving about then you know that yourlegs are moving. Your body will also be moving or it will betwisting and hunching out of good posture.This instructional article will show you what to do to stop”wandering hips” from ruining your golf swing. And, the solutionis unusual and will demand some attention in your early effortsto control your hips.On my website I have a video clip which shows too much hipmovement in my swing. This hip sway causes an unstable and weakfoundation. It is difficult to generate power because thisswaying places you in unnatural positions.The golf swing demands balance. Swaying hips will cause loss ofbalance or a feeling that you are about to lose your balance.Your mind quickly senses the loss of power and the loss ofbalance. Instinctively, messages go to your arms and hands todo something to make up for a weakening swing. Almost alwaysthe hands or arms make a wrong move or a movement which is outof time with the leg and body movements.In this clip you can also see that my forward sway causes my clubto reach the bottom of its swing arc past the ball towards myright foot (I’m a leftie.) This would result in poor contactof the golf ball or a complete miss.THE MOVEMENT WHICH ALLOWS HIP SWAYYears ago a friend told me that my hips wandered erraticallyduring my golf swing. He also said that there was no patternin the hip movements from swing to swing.We did not have a golf pro to turn to for help on this. I hadto solve the problem on my own.I used to teach physical education from Grades 1 to 9.I recalled the various age groups of young people tryingto learn athletic movements for some of the sports.Why were my hips moving? I could stop them from doing this butI had to give too much attention to them during my swing. Eventightening my hip muscles did not solve the problem.I stood in front of a floor length mirror and did my impressionof Elvis Presley (uh, the late rock and roll guy who couldreally sway his hips.)OK! At least I wiggled my hips around while watching what washappening in the mirror.If I moved my hips in any direction my back would arch out ofits natural upright position. This is not good to have golf swingmovements with your back out of position. Golf’s ‘bad backcemetery’ is too full of former golfers who succumbed to injuredbacks. (By the way, the techniques which I teach for basic swingmovements and control did bring one man out of this back injury.He was able to golf with his grandson and his former golfbuddies.)If I tightened my hip muscles and made my hips move then my wholebody swayed back and forth like a tree. You do not want thischange of positioning of your upper body during your swingmovements. It becomes very difficult to re-align yourselfto the ball as the club is hitting the golf ball.Somewhere, an area of my body was collapsing to permit thisunwanted hip movement.The answer came from observing my movements in the floor-lengthmirror while keeping my hip muscles firm. My body was swayinglike a tree but my feet were not moving.The only part of me which could allow this ‘tree-like’ sway wasmy ankle joints. I yanked up my pant legs (what a ghastlysight!) I swayed some more.Sure enough there was a lot of movement in my ankle joints.In 2 clips on my website I use exaggerated hip and leg movementsto show how much bending of the ankles there can be. You will seehow far away my legs and hips move from their start position.Can you imagine how hard it would be to push a car out of a snowbank or mud puddle if your hips were wandering or swaying?CORRECTING THE FAULTY MOVEMENTPrior to producing any swing movements I would firm my lower legmuscles to prevent joint movement in my ankles. No wandering hipsand a much stronger connection to the ground while I swungthe golf club was the result.You will have much better control in your lower body by firmingyour lower leg muscles.Two clips on my website show that my hips rotate around mytailbone. There is no wandering or swaying of my hips or legs.My lower legs stay in proper alignment with my feet. There isNO bending at my ankles.My turning movements are balanced. They are controlled and havepower from a solid connection to the ground. Sloppy movementsat my ankles which would rob some of the power of my turnare prevented.Firming your lower leg muscles locks your ankles in place. Thiswill help you to have a more precise golf swing for powerhitting and for delicate chips around the green.Practice at home in front of a mirror to train your anklesto remain at a desired level of firmness to better controlyour leg and hip movements.A good thought is to picture yourself running through roughterrain or uneven ground. The way to do this without twistingor breaking an ankle is to tighten your ankle joints.Oh yes! This better control of your hips will help to protectyour lower back from injury.Hopefully, in the near future, I will show you how to protecta tender or injured back while you continue golfing.Copyright © by Glen Osborne July 2005. All Rights Reserved