To start, get in your normal stance as if you’re playing a golf shot and hold the hoop in your hands as I’m doing in the photo below. It should reside comfortably on your shoulder plane as you settle into your stance.
From this position, wind up your backswing by combining your rotation with side bend so the hoop stays, for the most part, on the same plane that it was on at address. The only way you can do this effectively is to incorporate side bend as you wind up. Where many recreational players fail is when they simply turn back with no regard for that needed side bend — which again, if you don’t execute properly, makes it exceedingly difficult to stay consistent and hit solid golf shots.
The goal with this drill is to become aware of that side bend so you can see and feel how it works. Make sure that your knees, hips and shoulders all point toward the ground as you make your backswing motion. Doing this is a surefire sign that you’re side-bending the way you should.
When this motion is done correctly, you’ll find the ball at impact with effortless power, and your shots will sound sweeter than ever.
Check out my example below.
1. Take your stance and hold the hula hoop around your shoulders so it’s angled toward the ground.
2. As you wind up, keep the hoop and your lower-body angles pointed toward the ground. You’ll feel the perfect blend of side bend and rotation in your backswing.
Bernie Najar is the director of instruction at Caves Valley GC in Owings Mills, Md.