Opening the hips

January 12, 1959

It is disquieting to learn, as one does all too regularly, that this or that golfing friend has incurred back trouble. It seems to me that these back injuries are brought on when a golfer stays behind the ball too long on his swing and, consequently, hits his shots with the base of his back. As goes without saying, a golfer must stay behind the ball, but only to a moderate and natural degree. As he hits through the ball, his left side should be opening up—the hips should be rotating to the left en route to their open position at the finish. The shoulders don't open this early, but the hips do. Part and parcel of this action is releasing the right side. Granting that a great many players get their right side into the shot too soon and incorrectly, they have had such constant indoctrination in preventing this error that many golfers now are going to the opposite extreme and forgetting that the right side should be released as the stroke is made. You have to release it to swing comfortably and to swing well.

This opening of the hips—let me go on to add—helps an advanced player to bring the clubhead through the ball right square on the line to the target. I think every golfer has to learn first to swing the club from the inside out and has to learn how to cover the ball, but once an advanced player has gotten these essentials into his system, it's my belief he should really try to bring the clubhead through the ball right on the line.

JAY HEBERT, Mayfair Inn CC, Sanford, Fla.

PHOTO
ILLUSTRATIONThe right side starts to release (A) and continues to release (B) as Jay Hebert hits through the ball.
A
ILLUSTRATION[See caption above.]
B

NEXT WEEK: Fred Hawkins on head position on trap shots

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)