This week saw a continuation of work mostly on the practice tee. I submitted my second swing review for core rotation yesterday. It's not that I think I will pass the review but more that I want to get some feedback from my instructor.
His advice last time was to work on maintaining right knee flex on the back swing. The idea is to get better loaded up with the weight moving over the right ankle. The loading up is used as a sort of brace to improve the efficiency of the hip movement starting down.
For reasons I can't explain I've always associated maintaining right knee flex on the back swing with a stationary right hip. The result is that getting any hip rotation on the back swing means moving the left hip around. That feels pretty awkward and the end result is that I've always associated maintaining right knee flex on the back swing with very limited hip rotation. That in turn restricts torso rotation and just made no sense.
All of this made me think a bit about my left hip action on the down swing. If I had to nominate one thing I've struggled with more than any other it would have to be turning my hips toward the target on the down swing. No matter how much I've tried I just can't get that nice effect you see in all the good players where the down swing starts with the hips sliding a little forward and rotating back to square. Slow motion shows that it is touch and go to even get my hips square by impact let alone the consensus thirty or forty degrees open.
Things have improved since I did some work maintaining the tush line (or the bum line as I call it). That seems to have worked its way into my swing as a consistent feature. The problem is that I have not been able to go to the next stage where the legs and hips actually drive the down swing.
All of that is a long way of saying that I figured out that if viewed down the line my left hip didn't have to move so far at the start of the down swing it would be easier to move both hips back to square. By happy coincidence I stumbled on an Athletic Motion Golf video which provided the missing link.
Now it might seem obvious that moving the right hip away from the target line on the back swing would make it easier to move the left hip better but it hadn't occurred to me. At least it had not occurred to me that it was possible to keep the right knee flexed AND move the right hip away from the target line. As the saying goes some blokes are smarter than others.
The results have been promising. Viewed down the line I am finally getting my hips noticeably open at impact. I wouldn't say that my hips are driving my downswing but I'm not having to work around them quite so much. I'm maintaining a bit more lag a bit later on the down swing. I've even developed a very small amount of forward shaft lean at impact.
Naturally changing my hip action has caused a bunch of other problems including mucking up my weight shift and a slight reverse pivot but those are fairly easy to address. The bottom line is that I feel like I am slowly making fundamental progress.
Now, if I can just get my fitness up so that I can comfortably walk 18 holes.