Hip Slide, A Guide to Properly Pivoting During the Back Swing

Asheville Golf Home

Dear Jitterbug,

Can you explain the proper way to pivot during the backswing?

David Donahue

Jitterbug Gang Fan


To pivot properly is to make appropriate use of the hips from the takeaway all the way to the top of the backswing.

Basically speaking, the hips turn in place during the backswing. In other words, both hips rotate clockwise as the arms and turning body take the club up.

Mr. Vaughn:

The most common pivot problem is the hip slide, also referred to as the sway. This happens when the golfer’s hips slide measurably to the right during the takeaway. It’s truly an awful sight, and the consequences are two-fold.

First, hip sliders got no coil, which means no spring like whip into impact. So, hip sliders don’t have too much power.

Second, by sliding laterally during the takeaway, the bottom of the arc-where the club wants to come in contact with the ground-has moved right as well. So, the hip slider’s only chance is to slide back the exact degree he’s slid off the ball to begin with. And, in the 1.1 seconds it takes the average golfer to take the club away from the ball and return it to impact, that really is asking too much of oneself.

If you think you might be a slider, I recommend that you hit some shots while standing on just your left foot. There is no way you can slide off the ball on one foot. What’s better, you’ll come to understand very quickly the difference between proper rotation and a slide away from the ball.

Lord Berry:

I recommend the single leg drill Mr. Vaughn prescribed for short shots as well. Positioning oneself as such makes precise impact with the ball easy to achieve. After all, it is inconsistent impact, not lack of touch, that most often leads to errant short shots.

Asheville Golf Home

Ask Jitterbug - Golf Advice Column by Bobby Steiner

Ask Jitterbug - Author Bobby Steiner

About the Author

The following are a list of golf teaching columns generously donated to us by teaching professional and author Bobby Steiner. Bobby teaches golf at The Practice Tee in East Asheville during the summer months, and at The Westin Mission Hills Resort during the winter.

You can reach Bobby at: www.bobbysteiner.com or bobbysteiner@msn.com

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Hip Slide, Pivoting During the Backswing