The bio-mechanics of the golf swing can be a very deep subject. Fortunately, you don’t need a PhD to figure out how the movements of your body can help you achieve better golf shots. Leave that to the experts to study, and work with a qualified coach to have them apply it to your game.
In the meantime, it is good to be curious about the movements of the golf swing and seek out information. Unfortunately, when we do this on our own, often there is a lot of misinterpretation that leads to applied swing myths.
Ask any pro, we see them show up on the lesson tee just about every day.
Take the pelvis (hips) for example. Through the last two decades there has been a lot of stories and tips related to their movement in the golf swing. Much of it had to do with “restricting” its movement during the swing motion to help develop speed. While shoulder and pelvis separation can assist in creating “speed”, sadly, this evolved into a lot of players keeping their pelvis from turning in the swing. Instead they tried to rely on the twisting of the upper body to help propel the club, and thus the golf ball.
The result has been plenty of injuries. And a lot of bad shots.
The Pelvis Rotates (among other movements)
While the pelvis certainly does not rotate as much as the torso and shoulders in an effective backswing, it is not without rotation. The movement alone not only helps create power in various ways due to affiliated movements and forces; it also helps control the clubface direction and clubhead path. A 3D capture of the pelvis will actually see it move multiple ways in the golf swing motion with bends, tilts, and rotation.
For golfers with the requisite flexibility we may see the pelvis rotate (which is different than swaying, another topic altogether) upwards of 30 to 48 degrees closed at the point when the pelvis stops rotating in the backswing.
It is not uncommon to find amateurs “trying to keep their hips still” and closing (rotating) their pelvis no more than a few degrees in the backswing.
It leads to some real disasters in ball striking (out to in paths, a lack of clubhead speed, etc) and can lead to injury.
Chat with your golf coach, assess any restrictions you may have in your pelvis, and get to work on how having rotation in it (both in range and speed) can help make you a better golfer.
Flagstick Associate Publisher Scott MacLeod is a Class A Member of the PGA of Canada .