Your posture is the key to setting yourself up for success in your golf game. So if you are an avid golfer who really wants to take your game to the next level, then focusing on your posture is the best way forward. In this article, I explain why good posture is perhaps one of the best, and perhaps also the trickiest parts of your game to improve.
Your posture has the most influence on how your body will move in your golf swing, and therefore can give you the most bang for your golfing buck. So what is good posture and how can it effect your golf swing? Well, first of all, I’d like to tell you what poor posture is. Poor posture is when you address the ball in a way that limits your body’s freedom to move efficiently. Typically, golfers with poor posture tend to stand with a rounded upper back or with an arched lower back.
The reasons for bad posture are sometimes as simple as having misconceptions of how you should stand over the ball, but all too often it’s caused by having muscle imbalances. Most times, they’re due to our lifestyles. We’re probably all too familiar with the comfort of sitting down for hours on end, no pun intended.
The human body is not designed to sit for long periods of time. And with a sedentary lifestyle, our muscles tend to tighten up on the one side of our body, forcing the muscles on the opposite side to shut off. Over time, our bodies adjust to overusing one side and underusing the opposite side, and they kind of get stuck like that.
A typical problem area is the upper spine, which gets pulled into a forward-rounded position and results in it getting locked up with no chance of rotating efficiently in the golf swing. Another typical problem area are the muscles in the pelvis, which tighten up and pull the lower back into an arched position. Having an arched lower back typically shuts off your core muscles, and in the golf swing you don’t want to do that.
Your core muscles play an incredibly important role in your golf swing, because they act as the joining point between your lower body and your upper body, plugging these two powerful segments together to transfer energy efficiently throughout your body. Your core muscles also act as stabilizers that support your body throughout your golf swing and will help protect you from getting injuries. Therefore, in the golf swing, the core is the king.
Having poor posture will also force you to compensate in your golf swing by making unstable movements that cause inconsistent shots and a loss of distance. These compensations are often better known in the golfing world as “swing faults.” So if you want to tidy up your swing faults, why not start by improving your posture? Here’s how to do it.
Assess, don’t guess
Why bother wasting time guessing about your posture when you can get a physical assessment that will tell you exactly what’s going on with your body? I strongly recommend you visit a TPI expert, who can help you with both your assessment, and also remove any muscles imbalances you have through a fitness program.
You can get started here with a couple tests taken from my book, The Golfers Handbook: Save Your Golf Game and Your LIFE, followed by some corrective exercises that will get you started on the right path.
OK, you’ve been tested and the cat is out of the bag, so to speak. You are either good to go, or you have some limitations and need to get them fixed… but that doesn’t mean you need to wait.
Watch the video at the top of the story and try using these tips when practicing. Perhaps every second or third shot, go through this practice routine that will guide you to learning good posture. Remember, good posture is a crucial key to allowing you to make a efficient and athletic golf swing, one that can transfer energy from your body out to your arms and eventually out to the golf ball consistently.
Stop wasting your time and get yourself set up for success!
WATCH: How slow-motion training can lead to more power and consistency
Eddie Fernandes has made big changes to his swing (and his power and consistency have gone up) by mastering the key moves in slow motion before he speeds them up. Everyone should use this kind of slow motion training to make real changes to their swing!
WATCH: What you really need to know to control the direction of your shots
In this video, Top-100 Teacher Tom Stickney shows you how to better control the direction of your shots by understanding how both the club face and swing path determine where your ball goes.
Stickney: There are many ways to pitch the ball that work
While surfing through some old swings, I found a great photo of two players hitting pitch shots at Augusta. Both are great pitchers of the ball but use differing techniques. It goes to show you that there is more than one way to get the job done and in fact it reiterates that there is really no “law” when it comes to what shot to play under certain circumstances.
Note: I did NOT say that one was better than the other; I said both work, but you must decide which style works better for you in the end.
In the photo on the left, the player in the white sets his wrists fully, but as we look at the player on the right (in the blue) you can see no wrist hinge at all. So, which is more correct? Both are!
The player on the left hits his pitch shots with more of a driving of the leading edge, which relies on a steeper angle of attack. The golfer on the right uses more of the bounce of the club and thus will come into the ball more shallowly. Not setting the wrists as much helps him to do so.
So, remember that you must experiment with both styles to find your best way…but don’t forget it’s nice to understand and learn how to use both!
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