Robert Rock has one of the most admired swings on the European Tour – here he explains how to do the hip turn.
People get confused about what their knees and hips should be doing in the backswing. If you keep your right knee still (and your left knee is not doing much) then your hips will remain level – and it is difficult to get your shoulders to turn at the right angle.
The turn should be angled down towards the ball, this helps you to hit down on the ball and take a proper divot. A flatter turn sweeps the ball and leads to clean, thin strikes.
To allow the shoulders to turn at the angle you need, your left knee needs to go down and closer to the ground and towards your right knee on the way back. It doesn’t stay where it is. That allows your left hip to go down a little bit and, when the right leg straightens, it allows the right hip to go up a little bit. That then puts your hips on a more tilted angle – they have turned but they have turned downwards to where the ball is.
You can now turn your shoulders properly.
You’re not dipping down with the head – your head doesn’t move. You move your left knee and your hip and shoulder down but, at the same time, the right side is lifting up.
It might feel awkward to tilt downwards but everything is working in the same direction. If you try to hold the hip turn then it is quite a stretch to get your shoulders tilted down and it is making movements more awkward than they need to be. My shoulder turn gets to 90Ëš and angling it down makes it easier to do this. If you are an overturner and/or an over-swinger this will restrict your backswing.
TIP: A lot of golfers, before they play, put the shaft behind their shoulders and make a turn. Most people do that from a vertical position and that is pointless as it doesn’t simulate what you are doing.
Put the club behind your shoulders, get into set-up posture and get the grip of the club pointing down towards the ball. It is then easy to tell if you are doing the right thing.