By Josh Zander
Have you ever hit balls at the range next to someone who made an awesome sound when they hit the ball? That sound is compression. It makes other players turn and watch because obviously this is a great ball striker. The player has made his divot past the ball and transferred the energy efficiently from the clubhead to the ball. Distance control is one of the keys to scoring. Great golfers don’t always hit the ball accurately but they often hit the ball pin high which means they are making solid contact. Proper hip action on the backswing plays a major role in compressing the ball.
A common swing thought is to transfer your weight to your right side on the backswing. Unfortunately, most players sway their hips back to do this causing fat and thin contact. The key is to allow your hips to truly turn, not sway. Think of your belt buckle as the center of your hips. If your hips turn around this center, your right hip will actually move towards the target during the backswing. This does not mean you are reverse pivoting as your spine angle should not tilt towards the target during this movement. In order to make sure of this, make sure your head is still or even moves a little away from the target during the backswing.
The focus of this video is the hip turn on the backswing but compression will only occur if you move your hips correctly on the follow through. The downswing should start with a slight bump of the left hip towards the target. You will hit the ball even longer if you can get this bump to happen before your upper body completes its backswing turn. This will set up the proper kinematic sequence for the downswing. Like any sport where you hit a ball with a stick, the movement starts from the ground up. Proper hip motion on the backswing will help you set up this efficient downswing sequence. If you do, you may just be that guy on the range who causes heads to turn.