Rory McIlroy’s Hip Stall – He’s “Cracking The Whip”

rory 3w addrI may be close to the end of my golf swing blogging, but I do have a few more things floating around the old noggin that I might not have shared yet… like “cracking the whip…”

One of the cool things about having a mechanically-sound swing is that you can recognize the traits of power-generation in other moves and swingers.

Rory McIlroy, for example.  He continues to hit the ball longer and longer and while some of it may be the gym training and some of it is of course technology – Rory has figured out how to “crack the whip” with his golf swing, and that means one thing – SPEED.

Well, it really  means acceleration & speed, but those translate into POWER, and Rory is doing it with what everyone is calling a “hip stall” through impact.

Rory McIlroy’s Hip Stall


Potato, Potahto…

Hip stall, if you want to call it that – is a mechanically-sound action and not a flaw or something that is dangerous.

Rory’s got other dangerous things going on in his swing (like the hyper-extending left leg to generate extra “whip”), but he’s at least swinging with floating heel at times (always a good thing for the hips, knees and lower back), and he’s indeed “cracking that whip” to create the long, long drives he hits.

rory post impact


Let me ask you something – if you want to create the speed in a whip-crack, what does your hand do when you flick the whip?

Say you want to crack the whip and flick the ball from its perch, sitting on the tee in front of you?

Do you wave the whip over the ball and swing the butt-end past the ball in a continuous motion?

No, you do not – yo can only generate the “crack” of the whip when your hand slows down or stops completely, allowing the tip to pass and “crack.”

Sounds about right?

Good, because that’s how you do it.  Not my theory, that’s how you crack a whip.  You need to slow or stop the hand completely, and the quicker you reverse the swinging of the whip handle to stop the hand and bring it back, the more you’ll crack it.

So, think of the hips as the hand, and the arms and club as the whip.

Same concept.

Now, you can’t do this deliberately, as the swing occurs in too quick a time to do it consciously.  You have to build a swing model that will use your natural motion to create it.

DJ’s Hip Stall – Going For Gusto & “Cracking The Whip”

dj's hip stall


I have a hip stall in my swing as well – if you watch my right hip pocket as my right elbow drops and passes it – there’s the slowing of the hip rotation to “crack the whip” into the ball, and then my momentum pulls the hips around to the finish as my hands reach the left shoulder on the follow-through.

Pretty nifty, hunh?


Well, how on earth do you think a 45 year old couch potahto (yes, I’m very refined when I lounge, don’t you know?) who doesn’t work out and who doesn’t hit endless balls on the range can generate 180+ mph ball speed and over 350 yards on a good driver swing?

It’s cracking that whip, my friends.

What Rory has done is figured out a down swing angle that works with his particular pivot, and his swing action shows it.

DJ “Cracks The Whip”



I’ve done if for ages.  I just looked at my swing from April, and it’s there.  I just had to figure out if it was a normal move or something unique to my swing and Rory’s and some others’ swings, but I should have known it was kosher.

It’s a whip-crack, no more, no less.

If you want speed and power, learn how to generate it naturally.  By cracking that whip, not by snapping your leg in two!


14 thoughts on “Rory McIlroy’s Hip Stall – He’s “Cracking The Whip”

  1. Laser

    In honor of your 10-year quest, I am going to submit the Top Ten (public) quotations from DJ Watts. If you no longer believe any of them, feel free to delete, or substitute a list of your own.

    1. You can have a swing model and try to follow it to the best of your natural abilities (or you can try to swing without having any clue other than “hit the ball,” and good luck!), but the better the model, the better you’ll likely swing. ~ DJ Watts

    2. It is madness to try to perfect a golf swing model that the human body is not designed to copy. The modern golf swing with the separating upper and lower halves, and the planted leading foot backswing are not natural moves and no amount of biomechanical analysis and experimentation will change that fact. ~ D.J. Watts

    3. If you listen to anyone talk about the swing, even the best ball-strikers ever, you’ll do so at your own peril, as many of the greatest swingers had no clue exactly what they were doing. ~ DJ Watts

    4. No two people will ever look the same because of the differences in our physiques. ~ DJ Watts

    5. The thing that made them [the all-time greats] so accurate and repeatable was not apparent or readily visible – it was their internal machine, working along it’s intended design ~ DJ Watts

    6. The biggest flaw I can think of, more than anything else in the golf swing, is the tendency to think of and therefore perform the golf swing with the arms. ~ DJ Watts

    7. The legs and hips are the engine that drive and power the golf swing. Mobile legs and hips (“loose”) give you speed and power. ~ DJ Watts

    8. The target has nothing to do with your swing once you align yourself in the address position. I am swinging at a target, the actual target of my strike – the ball. ~ DJ Watts

    9. Your swing direction should be coming from behind you and out in front of you. The turn will occur naturally with the momentum of your swing, but you shouldn’t ever be thinking about a “turn” on the down swing. ~ DJ Watts

    10. Full body swing, not disconnected segments, and you swing on the correct angle into the ball— not at the target. A smooth, continuous action from top to finish. ~ DJ Watts

    1. D Watts Post author

      Actually, Laser, I’d say all of that still rings true – in the 8th quote, I could quibble with myself and say “swing bottom,” but that’s where the ball is, from driver and near there with the other clubs… so that would be nit-picking of a higher order than suits me.

      My favorite is and always will be the 2nd one… modern swing garbage… *sniff*

      I remember writing most of what you’ve put down here, L – I can’t believe you have as well! 😉

  2. Donalm

    I think Laser’s comments are a term of endearment and a vote of high regard we all hold for you
    Just that you sound a bit lost this week and it’s understandable that’s golf I am most weeks but a little drop of Dr DJ’s and I am off again
    OK now where am I oh yea Crack the Whip LOL Wait till I try that on the 1st TEE mercy

    1. D Watts Post author

      Cant wait to see you try it, Donal! 😉

      As for sounding a bit lost…just trying to find my bearings now that I have nothing left to look at…for now. 😀

    1. D Watts Post author

      Now that you mention it… I think my next direction will be musical… my father played in a steel band before I was born, so I imagine there might be some latent aptitude for it… but there’s only one way to find that out.

      I’ve always wanted to learn how to play an instrument and read and write sheet music.


        1. D Watts Post author

          No steel pans for me. Piano or guitar…leaning towards the keyboard as you can play piano or synthesize other instruments…plenty of versatility there, so I’m probably making up my own mind as I respond 😉

  3. bigtoilet

    LASER!!! That’s AWESOME DUDE! May I interject what I think is DJ’s #1 quote of all time?? In regards to the “modern” swing……..”Where’s my doctor!!??” LOL!!!!

  4. bigtoilet

    Love BLACK BETTY…BAM A LAM!!! By the way DJ, I see a lot of early extension in ALOT of athletic movements. It can’t be THAT bad in golf either! Overplayed as we see it, ‘eh?

    1. D Watts Post author

      Early extension – another BS term that could mean virtually anything the person criticizing a swing wants it to mean.

      At the end of the day, there are only two things that really matter with a golf swing – the ball flight or results, and whether or not you’re going to be able to sustain the swing over time (mechanical correctness and soundness).

      I don’t give two shakes for anything in a swing other than that. If others want to obsess about things like EE, they’re just looking for something to criticize.

      Ball flight and mechanical-correctness.

      Anything else is just noise, and is usually coming from an armchair guru who won’t show his own swing because he knows it’s not as good as the one he’s critiquing.

      At least, that’s my opinion.

      Ten years of swing research on my part, and I’ve never mentioned nor commented on anything like EE other than to dismiss the idea… likely never will, either. It is a result and not a cause…

  5. Elfego Slaughter

    Don’t swing the club…throw the club is essentially what’s happening.Catapult physics;the whip-like physics of fly fishing are similar activities. Suggest one examines: Exactly what are effective throwing mechanics(the hardball times). Roberto Clemente(best hitter ever vs. hall of famers/strongest most accurate throwing arm) said I don’t swing the bat I THROW it…50 yrs. ago! Google: Roberto Clemente br bullpen. In the ‘toolbox’ area select the ‘bat’ topic where he speaks to Joe Christopher.

    1. D Watts Post author

      I’ve been using the “throw release” analogy for years, so I obviously agree with you, Elfego. If you can’t picture the throwing action, the swing is that much more difficult to visualize.

      When you can visualize the throw and perform the same action – easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy… 😉

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