The Power Move: Turn and Separate by George Kasparis

Golf Digest July 2

How often during your golfing career have you either been told or read that in order to create power in the downswing, you must lead with the hips? Quite often, I'll assume.

In my experience as an instructor, I have learned that most of my students struggle to achieve this, purely through lack of coordination and body control. I often compare it to dancing;the power move: turn & separate.

Many amateurs are aware of the correct downswing sequencing but are unable to execute it. Here's a drill that will power up your swing.Most of us have memories of attempting to dance and feeling like the human body was simply not designed to execute such movements, while those who can dance will tell you it took a lot of practice and repetition of each specific move.

Shoulder Turn vs. Hip Turn

Leading with your hips on the downswing to produce the powerful position we see pros in at impact is actually a move that should be initiated in the backswing. As the lefthand aerial image above clearly demonstrates, I have turned my shoulders more than my hips as I reach the top of my swing, creating a 'separation' represented by the angle illustrated by the yellow lines. My shoulders have turned about 90 degrees from their position at address, while my hips have rotated between 35-40 degrees. A big problem many golfers have is that their hips either over-rotate in the backswing, or they start the downswing by going with the shoulders first.

The righthand image represents a good impact position; you can see I have maintained a similar, preferably slightly larger angle of separation from the top of my backswing all the way into impact. This transition from a good turn at the top of the swing into impact requires correct sequencing, coordination and control. It's a very advanced move
made to look simple by tour pros, but there's a fantastic feel drill you can practice (shown opposite) that can dramatically improve your ballstriking. In the hot summer months, it's also ideal to practice indoors.

The Drill
Place your arms across your chest and adopt your golf posture with your left shoulder (for right handers) firmly against a wall. The tip of your left foot should be up against the corner of the wall (not pressed against it). Now try and push hard against the wall while turning your hips and keeping your eyes trained on the spot where the ball should be.

You should feel that the resistance created by the wall will allow you to drive the hips forward, clearing the corner of the wall while turning over your left heel. The shoulders will remain square. There will be a lot stretching here as your hips  separate' from the shoulders, so take it easy on your first few attempts. The position feels very alien to players who typically thrust, or slide into the ball at impact. Once comfortable with the feeling of the hips turning and clearing past the wall, move on and attempt the same feeling with a golf shot. Work hard with this drill and you will improve core flexibility, swing sequencing and power.

Golf Digest July 1

Top players refer to how they apply pressure to the golf ball to achieve that crisp, penetrating ball flight.

Practicing this drill will help you improve your ball-striking, too. With your shoulders square to the wall, push against it while rotating your hips to the left. It will probably feel uncomfortable at first, but stick with it, and you'll soon see the results.

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