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This Will Drastically Improve Your Golf Swing

One of the most common flaws I have seen, as has my husband, a PGA Certified Golf Instructor, is golfers swinging with mostly arms and not fully using the lower body. Most of us are guilty of doing this and it can be a result of a tired lower body, nerves, or just never being taught to use the lower body.

The lesson is, if at first you hit a poor golf shot, focus on using the hips. A concept many of us learned watching Happy Gilmore. Although this is not recommended while putting, as demonstrated in the movie, it is highly recommended and encouraged during the golf swing. Thank you Chubs for making it easy to remind ourselves "It's all in the hips, it's all in the hips" (Happy Gilmore).


During the golf swing, our focus tends to be on the arms and upper body as that is what is completing the most crucial action of hitting the golf ball. This can cause the lower body to get unintentionally neglected in the golf swing.

That begs the question...

Why is the lower body involvement so important in the golf swing?

Imagine hitting a baseball without stepping into it or shooting a basketball without the help of the legs. Or an even more extreme example, imagine trying to swim without moving the lower body in some fashion. We might stay afloat, but we are not getting very far. In all these scenarios, the results are going to lack power. The same in golf. Without proper engagement and use of the lower body, one cannot hit the golf ball to its full potential. Not to mention it also creates a variety of swing complications along the way.


So how do we use the lower body properly during the golf swing?

Now that we understand a bit more on why to focus on the lower body, the next question is how do we get it working properly for our golf swing. What we need to do is give the lower body some responsibility. Like in any situation, when you entrust someone with responsibility they are usually eager to rise to the occasion and prove their worth and ability. Same goes for the lower body. We need to entrust it with some responsibility, that being, guiding the club down and through the ball during the downswing. As we transition from the top of the golf swing, the lower body becomes the leader and the arms get a chance to follow.

But like with any form of responsibility, practice, and trial and error are a part of the progress. We might wonder, what is the best way to practice using the lower body correctly? From my experience, pausing has always been a beneficial component to practicing the golf swing and this is yet another example of it's usefulness.

We can engage the lower body in the golf swing in three easy steps.

1. Let your backswing take place.

2. PAUSE at the top

3. Lead the golf club down and through with your lower body.

It can help to feel like someone is grabbing our hands at the top of the swing and we have to force it free with the power of the lower body.

We will know we did this correctly after we take a second to analyze our finish. Did our weight transfer to the front foot? Can we lift up our back leg to check? Did we turn our hips or sway forward? We want to make sure we are turning around our center body line, not swaying back or forward. This is crucial*. Is our lower body completely facing my target? These are all quick questions to ask as aids to determine how well we are utilizing our lower body during the swing.

Let's go over a real life scenario that I am all to familiar with. With a few butterflies in my stomach, I tee off on the first hole. I notice the ball goes left and shorter than usual. Slightly frustrated, I anxiously begin over analyzing my golf swing in search of a solution. I try one of my many fix it ideas on the next shot and hit it fat and short of the green. The next hole the same thing occurs. As I rack my brain to figure out what is wrong, I start swinging faster and less in sync with my body. What I am actually doing is defaulting to "playing it safe", which for me translates to using mostly arms. Thinking that minimizing my movement will minimize the negative result. This could not be more false. I soon realize my lower body has been neglected and void of any responsibility. The power and synchronistic of my lower body has been out of the game and thus my game has been suffering.

What should be do now to prevent more golf swing heart break?

I quickly remind myself the golf swing uses the entire body. I then add a few more practice swings to my pre shot routine, focusing on leading the downswing with my lower body; allowing it to come aggressively around and through during the swing. I feel the newly generated power as I reinstate the responsibility of my lower body. The next shot might not be perfect but it's definitely improved. As I know how crucial the lower body is to the golf swing, I commit to utilizing it fully until timing proves its success to the golf swing and my golf game.

*It is important to note swaying is an incorrect way to use the lower body during the golf swing. It causes the swing plane to be completely derailed, taking our golf club off track. This makes it very difficult to successfully hit the golf ball. Think instead of turning the hips around the center body line and transferring the weight by pivoting around the body. If you would like more details or clarification on this, please leave a comment below.

Learn how to use your hips in this awesome video below!


Happy Gilmore. Dugan, Dennis. Universal Pictures, 1996.

#learn #grow #golf #gripitgirl #happygilmore #itsallinthehips #golflessons #golfblog #golfforbeginners #learngolf #golfswingimprovement #playbettergolf #improvemyswing #golfinstructor

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