Are you one of those golfers who is all arms swinging at the ball, or do you get your hips into the action? If you want to gain distance off the tee, you’ve got to get your hips moving! Guest author, Dan Winger explains.
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Hip Swing Speed-vs-Club head Speed – Do The Math!
A recent hot topic, how hip rotation speed affects club head speed, has been over-stated by many golf swing gurus who may have failed high school math. The claim, and I’m not sure where it originated, is that one mph increase in hip turn speed increases the club head speed by 25 mph. Anyway, several golf writers picked up on that idea and ran with it, without doing the math.
The 1 to 25 ratio is physically impossible. How can we know this? Here’s the correct way to determine the results:
- Assume the diameter of the circumference around the average golfers hips to be 14 inches.
- Assume the diameter of the circumference of the club head path to be 178 inches (24” arm length + 46” driver length times 2)
- Using the basic formula C= Pi x Dia., the hip turn circumference is 44” and the club path circumference is 559”
- Now, simply divide 559 by 44 and you get 12.7
- 12.7 is the correct number, not 25.
But, wait, don’t ignore this lower calculation. It’s very significant. If I can turn my hips 1 mph faster and gain 12.7 mph in club head speed, I’ll take it every day because I’ll gain approximately 26 to 29 yards in driving distance. That will mean that I’ll be hitting one less club into the green for a second shot (maybe 2 less clubs). And, since the strongest part of my game is approach shots, my scores will be lower.
So, now I’m headed for the gym to do some hip turn exercises, because I love out-driving my buddies. They, all, failed high school math.
Dan Winger is owner/writer of 2 clone golf club review websites, DW Golf and Golf Shop Bolton. He worked most of his professional career as a mechanical engineer/designer. Dan has been testing clone golf clubs and writing reviews since 2004. He resides in St. Joseph, Michigan, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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(Editor’s note: Read this post: Tiger Woods, Your Hips and the X-Factor by our fitness guru, Kathy Ekdahl, for more information about exercises to improve your hip turn.)