If you want to hit more greens, create better iron contact by understanding how your hips move in the golf swing
Picture this: You just hit a perfect baby draw off the tee. The ball lands in the middle of the short stuff, 150 yards from the green. The hole location is dead-center, so you have plenty of room for error with your approach.
That leaves a stock iron shot which should be textbook, right?
Maybe for someone else. You, instead, have sweaty palms just thinking about failing to make solid contact, because history has proven the case more often than not.
So, upon a timid, unconfident attempt, your result is a chunked shot that leaves a challenging up-and-down to save par.
Sorry to rattle your cage if that hit too close to home, but unfortunately discomfort over “routine” iron shots is all too common for many golfers. That’s why we’re here with advice to make those wasted opportunities a thing of the past!
What did you sway?
There are several contributing factors to poor contact with your irons. An important one we’re going to examine is how the hips move throughout the swing.
Hip sway — the lateral movement of your hips — determines where the bottom of your swing arc, or “low point,” occurs. As we learned in our big-data study of the golf swing, hip sway is a major differentiator of skill level.
Ultimately, hip sway influences contact. So, it represents the difference between solid, ball-first shots and fatted or thinned shots.
High-handicap golfers who have always been told to “shift their weight to the trail leg” tend to sway their hips farther away from the target than better golfers, which often results in low-point consistency issues.
Hip sway this way
Our simple solution? Make an adjustment at address and maintain that change throughout the swing.
When you set up to the ball, move your hips toward the target so your belt buckle is vertically over your lead heel. As you begin to swing back, rotate around your belt buckle, while trying to keep your hips centered over the same area instead of swaying back toward the trail leg.
To accomplish this, your lead knee will flex while your trail knee straightens.
As you get comfortable with instilling hip sway more toward the target by keeping your belt buckle location in mind, you will improve contact, increase spin and make those green-light approach shots much more fun to hit.
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