The “X-Factor” of your game

In this modern golf world, there are many different kinds of swing thoughts and no matter which one you follow or believe in, there is one thing is common – the X-factor.

What is the X-factor? In creating the rotational speed in your golf swing, the body acts like a “coil” to create and store the energy for use in your downswing. To create this, the upper body and the lower body have to create a separation, which results in the X-factor. Why is it called an X-factor?


The lines through the hip rotation and shoulder rotation at the top of the backswing forms an X, identifying the separation between those two. This separation creates an energy store in the core, resulting in more power generation in the downswing. Looking at the average on Tour, the ideal range for X-factor is about 40-50 degrees of separation with approximately 40-50 degrees hip turn and 90-100 degrees of shoulder turn.

Men in general have less hip turn where women have more hip turn due to anatomy differences. One thing to be aware of is turning more with a bigger separation is not necessarily a good thing! With too much increase in shoulder turn to create a “bigger swing” hence bigger X-factor, it can significantly increase the load on your lower spine which results in low back pain in the long run. Too little turn can also be problematic, where you start to compensate for using more of upper body and arm in your downswing to create the power that you are missing from your core.


Wonder what is your X-factor? Or low back gets sore after a practice session or a round of golf? Talk to one of us when you come in for your practice next and we are always happy to help so you can reach your peak!

~ Michele Liew

Athletic Therapy Biomechanics Specialist

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