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.

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Don
Craig, thanks for the swing review today. It's so easy to see it after it's explained. I'm a little unsure of sequencing. If I understand you, i'm going to slide over to the left hip neutral position to create room for my arms and then turn my hips to drop the club into the slot? And if I slide to the left how do I do that without pushing the right hip towards the left? Also, at impact are my hips square as in the belt buckle drill, or open? Sorry for the rapid fire questions. Thanks, Don Patten
July 2, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Don. You have to pull the weight with the lead side (Which Muscles to Feel in Golf Swing Transition Video). The trail hip will follow. You don't push with the trail to get to the lead side. At impact the shoulders will be square and hips open 35-45 degrees. The weight will move as the hips are turning. You have to make sure they are always rotating into the impact position. You won't get into perfectly neutral hip until post up.
July 3, 2020
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Lucas
The way I shift my weight to the left is by loading up on the right, and as long as my trail hip is inside of my trail heel, I just lightly lift my lead foot and kind of "fall" onto it. Its very effective to automatically shift my weight but it causes me to have exactly this closed hip slide. Would this be considered pushing from the right side and should i not do this? If i try to slowly pull my body over to the left using my left heel/leg, I can rotate while I shift, but I have no initial momentum working for me and this pulling (mostly me digging my heel into the ground and dragging my entire body over to my left) puts way to much stress on my knee. Have I misinterpreted this pulling from the lead side?
January 25, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Lucas. You pull with the inner thigh adductors and not the knee (Preventing Hip Pain and Which Muscles to Feel in Golf Transition Videos). When we train players to start shifting weight we allow for the pick up of the lead foot (Weight Shift Sweep Drills). Ideally, you don't want to pick up the feet and if you are stressed when pulling weight something is amiss.
January 27, 2020
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Jackson
Hi Craig. When I starts my downswing, I slide. I do not do a closed hip slide, but my hips still slide toward the target a lot and this is bad. Also, my hips are almost 90 degrees open at impact and I don’t know how to fix this. And suggestions?
November 3, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jackson. Take a look at the Belt Buckle Drill to help slow down the hips. Also, Step 2 - Core Rotation. You need to master posting up the hips to 35-45 degrees and allowing the body to stall without the excessive hip spin. The slide is typically from pushing with your trail side leading the the hips getting too far ahead laterally. Take a look at Preventing Hip Pain. Make sure you are pulling the weight over correctly.
November 3, 2019
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Jackson
Thanks for the feedback Craig. Can you explain what you mean by pushing with the right side causes me to slide?
November 3, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jackson. You will see that in the Preventing Hip Pain Video. However, if your right hip is pushing in the transition. The hips will tend to push and drive beyond Neutral Joint Alignment on the left side. Weight needs to get pulled in the downswing and not pushed. Take a look at Which Muscles to Use in Golf Swing Transition Video.
November 3, 2019
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Michal
Hi, I don't exactly understand the relationship between loading right hip/right glute and pulling from lead leg (left in my case) respectively not to push from my (loaded) right hip/glute. I thought that the purpose of loading right hip/glute is to store power for shift and rotate forward. I am confused. Could you kindly explain? Thanks
September 15, 2019
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Mikko-Pekka
Hello Michal. There was a video answering your question but I wasn't able to find it. However here is an article about it: https://rotaryswing.com/golf-instruction/golfbiomechanics/right-leg-in-the-golf-swing .
September 15, 2019
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Anders
When i look at the one of the model swings (last on in the list), to me, it looks like Chuck has a slight closed hip slide combined with the squat before his lower body starts rotating, is that correct?
September 8, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Anders. It may appear the way, but when you start shifting to the lead side the hips must rotate. You chance getting out of sequence, sliding, or getting out ahead of the ball if you don't.
September 9, 2019
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Rick
How do I get my hips to open in the downswing, while keeping my back to the target (for as long as I can) at the same time? As soon as I begin to shift/rotate my hips, my right shoulder wants to come around.
July 30, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Rick. The pull from the weight shift and hips will bring the shoulders around. The goal is to have the shoulders pulled and not actively rotating them. Combine Keep the Rear Shoulder Back and Step 2 - Core Rotation Drill. You will start to feel how the lower half pulls the shoulders into impact. They will have to move, but not actively.
July 30, 2019
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Ross
An interesting and possibly under-rated video. I thought I had solved sliding past neutral on the downswing in general and this particular fault in particular until I saw a video from behind my back. Sure enough I was sliding nearly all the way to neutral before there was any sign of hip rotation. The most interesting part was that this shows up so much more clearly in the rear view than in the front view. No wonder I have been struggling to get my hips 30* open at impact.
June 30, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ross. I agree. Very important video. Glad you found it helpful to cure your sliding issue.
July 1, 2019
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Alden
What do you think about a slightly close stance at Address I really helps me transition clear the hips and strike more pure shots consistently
May 31, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Alden. I don't mind slightly closed with a driver. But, with an iron it seems like it could cause an issue. So, when you close your stance at address your hips actually open up better in the downswing?
May 31, 2019
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Alden
No from that perspective it does not help but it’s not getting them open that I struggled with it was getting the arms through. And the face square even with a strong grip. I feel so much more stable in transition with just a slightly closed stance and more confident in my strike point.
May 31, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Alden. Hmmm. Sounds like it is a compensation though to fix an issue. If your face isn't squaring even with a strong grip. Do you mind if I ask do you tend to come over plane, or under plane?
May 31, 2019
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Alden
Probably is a compensation. Mostly it was over but the larger problem was consistency in the solid strike on the face. With my right foot 6 inches back It feels easier to concentrate on pulling from the left and I feel like I have just a half second more to let the arms lag to get to the post up.
May 31, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Alden. Sounds like dropping the trail foot back is allowing you to come more from the inside on the way down. It is actually a drill in some instruction circles. I would work really hard on Keep the Rear Shoulder Back and How to Fix Plane and Path Video to correct the plane issue without the compensation.
May 31, 2019
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Alden
Your exactly right about the coming fro The inside. I will check out the video. Thanks
May 31, 2019
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Ross
The sequencing of this video in the weight shift section is interesting. My question is where the hips will ideally be laterally when they are back to square. Will they be back were they were at address with the left hip about an inch inside neutral joint alignment and the right hip about three inches inside neutral joint alignment?
May 23, 2019
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Your weight shift will be completed by time the squat to square is complete. The weight will be over the left ankle and we'll be squatting into that left glute to load it up for power when we post up coming into contact. These moves happen quickly in the downswing so they appear to happen simultaneously, however, the shift to the left side needs to start before the squat to square can.
May 23, 2019
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Ross
Thanks RJ. So the hips get back to square at around the same time as the weight gets over the left ankle? Or does the weight get over the left ankle first while the hips are still say 5* to 10* closed?
May 23, 2019
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
weight shift starts first but they finish at about the same time, the weight shift isn't as quick of a move as rotating the hips are. The point of squatting is to load weight into the left glute, the weight has to be shifted to the left side in order for that to take place.
May 23, 2019
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Douglas
Oh, yeah! I have done this many times. Now I have a better understanding about what needs to be done here. Thanks a million.
May 14, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Douglas. Great. Glad you liked the presentation.
May 15, 2019
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Ron
I never could get my weight over enough to the left side so this video was good for me in that I found out my hips were remaining closed after checking it out on video. I'm going to check out the squat to square video now but I do have one question. Should I try to shift my weight to my lead heal as I am squatting in the downswing?
January 8, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ron. Great. Yes, you are shifting into the lead glute feeling the pressure into the lead heel/center of ankle joint.
January 16, 2019
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Steven
When I turn my hips 30-40 degrees to the right on the backswing it seems that my backswing gets too long and the club gets parallel to the ground or slightly more. How can I get a full hip turn but limit the length of the backswing?
July 19, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Steven. That much hip turn shouldn't cause overswining. Sounds like a trail arm issue. 3 Functions to the Right Arm and Stop Overswinging Video.
July 20, 2018
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Steven
Got it. Thanks, Craig.
July 20, 2018
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Joe
I purchased access to your program but do not know how to begin to open your site
June 17, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Joe. Are you having trouble logging in?
June 18, 2018
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Stephen
I had a similar question, it sounds like the question is "how to best use the site". I found at first it's a bit confusing if you go through the dashboard videos by the numbers, there are drills that are interspersed in the "RST Foundation" section but if you are starting out, you want to do the drills in the "RST 5 Step" section to master the basics. If Joe is able to comment, I would imagine he is logged in.
July 10, 2018
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John
The closed hip slide video is inconsistent with swinging from the ground up, squat to square and right arm release videos in that the hip slide video talks about the hips being open at impact and the other videos talk about the hips being square to the target line at impact. Need to know which is correct. Thanks.
June 14, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. The closed hip slide is an error in the swing. The information isn't inconsistent with the other videos mentioned above. The goal at impact is 35-45 degrees open at impact. For example: Squat to Square is halfway down and not impact. To squat to square you have to shy away from a closed hips slide. I will be happy to answer where you think the inconsistency issues are. I apologize if one of the videos confused the issue for you.
June 14, 2018
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John
Thank you for the clarification.
June 14, 2018
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VENKAT
Chuck, this is most helpful and the timing is perfect, as I have been struggling with this lately. Cant wait to get back to the range to try your suggestions. By the way, your videos and your unique approach to analyzing and guiding amateurs like me to improve golf swing has dramatically improved my game. Thanks!
June 14, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Venkat. Love it. Much appreciative of the compliments.
June 14, 2018
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Martin L
Very useful. Exactly what I have been doing.
June 13, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Martin. Great. Get to work on those hips.
June 13, 2018
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rick
This video has me confused. I thought the weight transfer was used to add lag and occurred with the hips closed. Once my weight is moved to my left leg, I engage the glute and mash my left heel into the ground thus rotating my hips to open whipping the club through, no?
June 12, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Rick. The post up will open the hips at impact and trigger the release. However, as you shift weight to start the transition/create lag the hips will have to rotate. Take a look at Fixing Your Weight Transfer and Squat to Square.
June 12, 2018
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Greg
So am I to take away from this video the idea that the hips start the downswing? Does the weight shift then hips follow, then shoulders/arms/hands?
June 12, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Greg. As you shift the weight the hips will start to rotate. Yes, your sequence sounds correct. A good visual would be Step 2 - Core Rotation and Step 3 - Add the Lead Arm.
June 12, 2018
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bob
So my problem is partly this as I rotate to square with the hips but don't get them open through impact and it obviously costs me power as I lose the tush line and release the right hand early and stand up through impact. What drill would you recommend to cure this?
June 12, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Bob. You Hit the Golf Ball with Your Legs and Step 2 - Core Rotation.
June 12, 2018
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David
This makes so much sense to me and I now realize why I have always had trouble shifting my weight as my right hip is definitely closed when I start my downswing. I can't wait to get out to the range and try this. Your advice has been invaluable to me as I am returning to golf this year after missing all of last year with back surgery and hip replacement surgery. You have made me realize that many of my physical problems were caused by incorrect swing patterns that were never discovered with many lessons from club pros who usually say "do this" without explaining why (probably because they don't know why). You have a way of explaining things that make perfect sense and are counter to "conventional wisdom". Please keep up the good work. You are really making a difference for many of us. By the way, I will be 77 years old this week and playing the best golf of my life after taking up the game only 10 years ago. Keeping it simple is the best way to learn.
June 12, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. Awesome post. Very happy you are enjoying the content and much appreciative of the compliments.
June 12, 2018
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Steve
Hi Ive had a bad right hip for the past few weeks and i suspect ive been doing this in an effort to stop coming over the top. Its interesting in the video how this makes coming over the top worse! Thanks.
May 15, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Steve. Glad you enjoyed the video.
May 15, 2018
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. 

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