When There is a Sway, There is a Slide

I’m sure many golfers have heard the terms Sway/Slide before. Do you do them in your golf swing? Have you ever watched your swing on video? Do you ever wonder why you sway or slide?

There are many reasons that could contribute to a sway or slide in your golf swing. Reading back to our last blog post on X-factor – a lack of separation of your upper and lower body is one of the reasons. Today, we will focus on the lower body and particularly the hips.

Hip rotation plays a big role in the golf swing. When one cannot turn their hips enough to allow the completion of backswing, a sway usually occurs when the body tries to compensate to get to the top of backswing. As a result, the body will slide back towards the golf ball to begin the downswing and to ensure contact that can result in inconsistent impact.

To achieve ideal rotation of hip during your golf swing, your hip joint should have at least 30 degrees of internal rotation and 40 degrees of external rotation. This will allow you to be able to turn into your hips (internally rotate your trail hip) during your backswing to create the energy and avoid swaying away from the starting position. Another commonly seen limitation is the lack of stability in your lower body to allow the hip rotation in the short time during your golf swing.

Here’s some information on what Hip rotation is in your golf swing  – Your Hips and Your Swing by TPI

How do you know how much rotation do you have?

Here are a couple tests that we use to measure how much rotation you have and how you rotate in your golf swing:

Swing Characteristics of Sway

Pelvic Tilt Test – To identify if you are stable to control hip rotation movements

Pelvic Rotation Test – To identify if you are able to separate lower body and rotate only hips

Lower Quarter Rotation Test – To identify the total amount of rotation in the lower body in a loading position

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Some of the common stretches to help with hip rotation:

Hip Drops – Laying on back with knees bent, drop legs out to the side one by one and keep back flat on the ground

Clam Shells – Lay on your side with knees bent and lift top knee off without moving hips or ankles

Bird Dogs with Hip Rotation – On hands and knees – bring leg straight out to the back with rotation in hips while keeping spine stable to help improve core strength and amount of hip rotation

Now when you are able to stop the sway, it will make it easier for you to get back to the ball during your downswing and efficiently use the big muscles in your legs to create more power.


Michele Liew

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