When we look at golfers on the PGA Tour and see their ability to consistently hit the ball as far as they do, we are quick to ask how this is possible. For example, Cameron Champ has earned quite a reputation for his driving distance, known to average 322.4 yards off the tee.
He is able to generate 129mph club head speed on a regular basis; these numbers are only achieved by a rare few professionals and really speaks to the level of training and golf workouts involved in the game today.
So how do these players like Champ do it? Well for starters, they have ingrained very efficient mechanics allowing them to use energy from the ground, store it, retain it and release it all at the appropriate times during their swing. One common trait among big-hitters, however, is their ability to separate their upper body and lower body.
Having the ability to create this incredible range of motion in each area is step one, but controlling it through segmental stability – from the hip bump to your shoulder rotation – is what allows these athletes to use that stored energy so efficiently. They then use it to increase their clubhead speed, which in turn increases their distance.
Learning to isolate different parts of the body during golf workouts and fine-tuning your technique with golf instruction can help you go the distance in more ways than one.
Understanding Golf Swing Separation
Creating separation in a golf swing takes training, range of motion and control. However, those who are dedicated to mastering golf separation and improving their swing will be able to do it with the right amount of time and effort. Working with a golf coach is a core tenant of developing this skill because they can help you develop greater control and consistency in motion.
But first you need to understand what we mean by separation in a golf swing. Separation essentially means the ability to have your hips go one direction while your upper body goes in a different direction at the same time. At first, this might sound impossible, but if you slow down your golf swing, you might find you’re already doing something similar to this movement.
If that is the case, identifying this movement and learning to control it will get you one step closer to mastering golf separation and improving your swing. Another way is to learn from the greats who have mastered this movement and see how you can incorporate their movements into your training and golf lessons.
How to Train for Separation in a Golf Swing
Cameron Champ and Rickie Fowler are two professional golfers who have mastered separation in the golf swing.
To give you an idea of how much Rickie Fowler rotates throughout his swing, we first must look at the difference in separation between the upper and lower body at the top of the backswing for an average golfer.
Ideally, we would like to see 45 degrees of hip rotation paired with 90 degrees of torso rotation to create about 45 degrees of separation between the two. If the athlete is able to produce this position consistently, they will be set up to create power as they move toward impact.
For comparison, according to the GEARS system we use in our evaluation process here at The Golf Performance Center, Rickie Fowler rotates his upper body 117 degrees and his lower body 36 degrees at the top of his backswing, creating 81 degrees of separation. As he transitions down toward the golf ball, his separation increases to 84 degrees as his hips fire first and create another 3 to 5 degrees of stretch between his upper and lower body.
Contorting the body to achieve his numbers is going to be unrealistic for many at this time, but if you are curious as to how much range of motion you have the ability to create, don’t hesitate to set up some time with us to go through it!
Through golf instruction with an expert golf coach on staff at The Golf Performance Center as well as our certified trainers, we can give you your golf swing baseline and help you learn how to create separation in your golf swing and build more power. With custom golf workouts personalized for you, you’ll have golf swing separation down before you know it.