Loading the Trail Hip

I am continuing to work with John F. in New York via email. John ended last season as a 14 handicapper, and is looking to take his game to the next level.

We have broken down his swing to try to nail all the parts as best we can during his offseason. 

John has taken a lot of lessons over the past few years. He has improved greatly, but without much visual feedback in those lessons, he has been left with some misunderstandings of some key components of a great golf swing.

The first time I saw John’s swing on video I immediately told him that he had what I call a “fake load”. Truly loading up in the backswing is a major part of what we’re working on together.

I told him recently that he should see a crease in his pants by his hip on the trail side in the backswing, and we got to working on having John understand how to move his trail hip in the backswing.

A few things have helped John F. greatly understand what we’re going for here.

John took some time to look at some professional golfers’ swings on YouTube, and the below side by side comparison shows well where John’s trail hip was in the backswing vs Adam Scott’s.

You can see that John’s pocket has spun out behind him, and his leg has already straightened. Adam Scott has loaded his trail side through his hip joint, and you can still see his pocket. You will also notice that his trail knee is still bent. This is the difference between loading the hips and turning the hips.

After John F. sent me the side by side above, I sent him the video below talking about hip load:



After seeing this video, a light bulb went off in his head. It turns out that when he thought about his hips he was thinking about the outer edges of his waist. What we are going for here is the hip joint. In the image below, the red arrow is where John was thinking of previously when he thought of his hip, and the white arrow is where we want to focus.


John is working on trying to load more like Adam Scott, and having it feel normal, and has made great progress in just a few days. We are working on some more positions and movements step by step and he’s excited for his golf season to start again in about a month from now.

One additional note, is that John is working with an iron here and not going for speed at the moment. It is OK (and usually a good thing for speed) to go ahead and straighten that trail leg IF you load the HIP joint. Here are a couple of examples:

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