Golf Coaches’ Perceptions Of Key Technical Swing Parameters (P6)
When discussing posture the coaches also referred to the key technical parameter ‘Body Rotation’ [Q13]. Several terms were used to communicate the idea of body rotation including ‘Core’, ‘Upper Torso,’ ‘Trunk’, ‘Shoulders’, ‘Hips’ and ‘Pelvis’. Nevertheless, the most common terms used were Shoulder and Hip rotations as these were deemed the most appropriate words to communicate clearly with the golfers during coaching sessions. Due to the various terms used to describe Body rotation, the terms trunk rotation and pelvis rotation will be used to aid clarity in this paper.
The rotation of the trunk and pelvis was referred to throughout the swing. The coaches believed that the rotation of the trunk and pelvis during the backswing was an opportunity to generate a powerful, repeatable and simple swing by producing torque or energy, which could then be transferred to the ball at impact.
…if there was minimal rotation…you’re not going to be able to create as big torque in the backswing, create as much pressure in your right leg, therefore, you’re not going to be able to shift that back across through into your left side and transfer that energy back through your arms and your club. [Q16]
I want the club to come down…I don’t particularly want that to be fine movement with hands and arms…that can vary enormously…whereas hip turn can’t vary as much. [Q17]
Only a selection of coaches offered preferences for the degree of rotation they would like to see during the swing, whereas other coaches commented that the degree of rotation was golfer specific, depending on elements such as a golfer’s degree of flexibility.
[At] impact we’re looking for the hips to be more turned open than the shoulders, within about 10 degrees…40 degrees with the hips and 35 to 30 degrees with shoulders is fine, as long as we’ve got the right tilts and right shifts into the left side. [Q18]
It was also recognised that body rotations would be influenced by movements within other planes and should not be disregarded:
Pelvic rotation… [is] rotation around its mid axis…but it doesn’t just rotate…it shifts, it turns, it tilts as well so it’s not simple rotation. [Q19]
The coaches believed that the separation between the trunk and pelvis was more important than the independent rotations of the segments. Many of the coaches spoke about the ‘Disassociation’, ‘Resistance’, ‘Storing power’ or ‘Separation’ between the trunk and pelvis segments. Others used the coined term ‘X-factor’ to describe the relationship between the trunk and pelvis rotations.
…coil on the backswing, storing power onto the right side…the initial movement of the hips beginning the downswing…you can see as the left foot, pulls the rest of the body through so the hips pull through the abs, the abs pull the chest and it all comes through and the big disassociation you can get between the hips and the shoulders, the more power. [Q20]
You get a good golfer who is stable…there will be a big difference between the hips and shoulders at the top of the backswing…that is one of the key factors of powerful golf swings, but it’s not the key factor, the ability is to be able to separate the hips on the way down from the upper torso and then … close that gap down as quick as we possibly can. [Q21]