GOLFERS!!! “It’s All In The Hips”

Wow , that was a long winter! I got a fever and the only cure is more GOLF! My poor basement ceiling can’t take anymore of me swinging my clubs downstairs, and my wife is getting very upset with the marks I’m leaving. If you are anything like me, you are finally starting to get OUTSIDE and swing the clubs again. How’s it going?  If your game is not where you want it to be, I might have an answer for you.

Chubb’s from the movie “Happy Gilmore” said it best: “It’s all in the hips, it’s all in the hips.” He wasn’t lying. There’s a lot to a golf swing, but it all comes back to the hips. Every golf pro that I have every read or watched have always talked about your posture, and the importance of the hips relative to executing a proficient golf swing. I’m always blown away watching Pros like Rory Mcilroy and Dustin Johnson, and how much hip rotation they have on their drives. It is incredible, and I’ve actually heard commentators on television compare Rory’s rotation to “cracking a whip”.

The bottom line is that the hips are one of the most important joints in the body as it pertains to the rotary requirements of a golf swing. The ability of the hips to move through their intended ranges of motion is important to rotate around the imaginary axis of the golf swing. If you can’t get the rotation in the hips due to limited mobility, the result will be a poor golf swing and most likely you compensating in other areas of your swing. Ultimately, developing major defects in your swing, resulting in a very inconsistent golf game.

You may know exactly what you need to do on your swing, or have the best intentions, but you physically can’t do it because of your biomechanics.   Think about this: Your hips should have more rotation, about 30+ degrees of internal rotation compared to the ~10 degrees of lumbar rotation. If the hips aren’t mobile then the body steals the rotation from somewhere else to make the proper turn in the swing. In this case the lumbar spine. Forget about the proper swing, because now you need to worry about the pain that will keep you OFF the golf course. Also, the lack of motion in the pelvic joints (sacrum-illium) may lead to degenerative changes and excessive compression. No Way!!

Research shows that golfers with Hip Asymmetry or Pelvic Unleveling (misalignment in the hips) had a decrease in spinal rotation of up to 35% on the more limited side, and nearly 15% on the opposite side.   They also said that 95% of participants in the study had some degree of asymmetry in the pelvis and spinal rotation.

Research also shows that with proper treatment, and focus on the frame asymmetry, the rotation can be improved. So if you have never had your spine and hips checked for alignment issues, do it today! Our corrective care approach at Life Source Chiropractic may just help you shave a few strokes off your golf game!


-Van Dillen LR, Bloom NJ, Gombatto SP, Susco TM. Hip range of motion in people with and without low back pain who participate in rotation-related sports. Phys Ther Sport.  2008;9(2):72–81.
-Vad VB, Bhat AL, Basrai D, et al. Low back pain in professional golfers. Am J Sports Med. 2004;32(2):494-7.
-The Effect of Frame Asymmetries on Spine Rotation-David Ostrow, PT, CEO Balance for Performance, Inc.