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Closed Hip Slide
A closed hip slide is detrimental to your golf swing when learning how to shift your weight. Learn what a closed hip slide is and how to fix it in your golf downswing.
One of the most common problems that we see for golfers of all levels, is losing the tush line. That's talked about so much, especially in the forums and people who are trying to understand the golf swing. They can build a lot of good things into their swing but, when it comes to looking at the swing from down the line, they start to stand up and get this early extension into the swing. I'm going to show you exactly what that looks like.
As a golfer's coming into impact, one of the things that we do is look at the tush line, which is basically a vertical line drawn straight down from a down-the-line view from the rear. So, typically, we'll draw that at address. It's not the most important one, but if we draw it at address, and we leave it sitting here, you can basically where a straight line would be drawn down, a couple of inches behind my heel. As I come down into impact, when people lose that tush line, what it looks like is this, they start to stand up. And notice how now my rear has moved in, so I've lost the tush line.
The opposite of that would like, if I maintain it, this. So now my tush line is basically where it was at address. That's what we're looking for because, if you don't do that, if you start to create this look, it makes it very common for the club to drop to the inside and get stuck. It makes it really common to hit blocks, and pushes and snap hooks, and it's also a little hard on your back and your hip. So apart from those problems and several others, it's very important that you learn to maintain it.
But, what it shows is, that when you're not maintaining it but you're doing a couple of very fundamental things with a golf swing incorrectly. And so, I'm going to give you a drill today that's going to help you develop the correct movement, and it's going to be a little challenging at first for a lot of you, because so many golfers are right-handed, and they play from the left side of the ball, the right-handed side. And, when that happens, they tend to really be dominant with this right side. And, when that happens, you start to push off the right foot, and you get that early extension and that's key. You have to understand that, that's where most of the movements coming from.
The second most common cause of this is rotation without any weight shift. And so that looks like, when you get to the top of the swing, instead of shifting into the left side, you kind of stay here and start rotating. And so, when you start to spin your body like this without shifting, what happens is, you've got all these nice angles and then you start spinning, and your body tries to create this straight line condition so now, looking from down the line, my body's much straighter. I've lost all these nice angles I had. So, now what we've got to do is figure out how do we fix this problem? It's very simple, but it's a challenging drill for so many. Okay?
So here's the first thing that you're going to try and work on, and you're going to do this very slow, and you're going to hit very small, short little pit shots at first, until you start learning the sequencing because the sequencing is going to be very different. That's where most people go wrong, is that they don't understand the sequencing of the down swing. So, what they do is, they go to the top and then just push and unwind, and spin everything as fast as they can, and then they end up with this early extension, and they end up with losing the tush line.
What you want to practice is going to the top of your swing, pausing for right now while you're learning, and then sitting into that left side. So you can see, I'm kind of exaggerating this, but I feel like I'm sitting down, and I'm really weighting my left glute and engaging my left glute. And so, as that happens, now I've got my weight over here. Instead of just sitting here spinning where now my weights hanging back on my right foot or maybe it's a bit on the left, but not far enough. Once I sit into that left side, now I've got the power to start swinging the arms and everything down, and release the club, and I'm stacked over that left side.
Now, let's look at what happens down the line when I do that same drill. So I'm going to go to the top of the swing and now, instead of spinning and just unwinding, I'm going to go to the top, and I'm going to sit into that left side. Note my right leg is relatively passive at this point. I'm not trying to push off of it. So, I'm trying to just imagine I'm just going to leave it there for right now. It's quiet, I'm sitting into the left side.
What you'll notice is, that it looks like I'm actually increasing the knee flex in both knees, cause I'm effectively trying to sit down as I do this. So here, sit into that left side and now I can release the club. When this leg goes passive, and you sit into the left side, you're able to finally engage these glutes, which are going to help you stabilize and also use the ground for leverage. So, if you just spin like this, you're not getting anything out of the ground. You might as well be sitting on an ice skating rink. But, once you squat into it and you start to engage these big muscles, now you can push off, and you can stabilize, and you can use the hips for speed and power.
That's the key. This drill is going to be challenging for many of you at first because you're used to going to the top and just spinning. So, what we want to do is, go to the top, sit into the left side. You're going to feel this knee flex increase a bit perhaps for many of you. That's a good thing. Don't be afraid of letting it increase a bit. And don't feel like you're spinning your hips either. That's the key. We're just sitting. We're having some lateral movement. No rotation but you're trying to add into it at this point. You're going to have some rotation naturally just by sitting and starting to come down. But don't try and add to it. That's going to keep you from getting all the way stacked over.
So, as you come down, sit into the left side, feel like you're doing the belt buckle drill that I talked about in the other videos. So your belt buckle's still going to feel shut. And then, as you come down you're going to naturally get into a good squared up, slightly open position with the hips between 30 and 40 degrees. And that's where you want to be at impact. So to sit into this left side, and you're going to start to be able to maintain your tush line.
A simple little extra piece of that. If you're standing up against a wall, you can start to kind of keep your hips up against the wall as you do this, that kind of gives you a good visual feedback or feeling of knowing when your hips are moving away from the wall versus when they're staying on it the whole time. And that will start to build power and stability into your golf swing.