Golf’s little secret? It’s all in the hips

Amateurs, by contrast, tend to rely more on their shoulders and arms.

Researchers at Stanford University in California made their conclusions after analysing the swings of 10 professionals and five amateurs.

On average the pros rotated their hips by 56 degrees, relative to their shoulders, while amateurs managed about 10 degrees less than that.

And while the professionals hit the ball at an average of 79mph, the amateurs’ club head speed on impact was only about 65mph.

Better players also tended to tilt their shoulders down more steeply.

Conrad Ray, one of the authors of the study, published in the Journal of Applied Biomechanics, said: “All golfers want to know how to hit the ball longer, and this study supports that speed is really a factor of relative body rotation.”

Jessica Rose, senior author of the study, said golfers could learn to hit the ball further without risking injury.

She explained that twisting the upper back too much, while failing to turn the hips enough, was one of the leading causes of back injury among golfers.