In all sports the position the athlete is in when he throws or receives a ball can dictate success or failure. Whether it is a shot on goal, a throw from the outfield, or a great golf shot - all depend on getting the most into the shot. Initially, this depends on some form of athletic conditioning to prepare for the demand at hand. Next is having the capability to put yourself in the proper position that is demanded in your sport. The third factor is having the ability to execute the shot, that is, your technique. However, the beginning of all this starts with your golf posture. If your posture is not correct for you or not held on a consistent basis, the ability to execute a reliable golf shot is nearly impossible.
Let’s take a look at what constitutes good golf posture.
Good posture allows for a balanced golf swing. It is important that postural considerations be a part of your pre-swing routine so as to carry over to your game time swing.
Five key points to consider are:
- That your weight is evenly distributed. This means that the weight of your body is focused at the balls of the feet/mid arch area. You do not want to place too much weight on your heels or toes. Too much on the heels and you will feel like you are falling back when you swing. Too much on the toes and you will feel like you are falling forward at some point in your swing. With weight focused on the balls of your feet or mid-arch areas, your will feel balanced and relaxed when you swing. “Under control” is often the feeling of the golfer with good weight distribution.
- Bend from waist, allowing for a straight spine. This means bend from the hips. Your hips should be your hinge from which to flex your torso over your legs. This will immediately engage your glutes and pelvic musculature. That equates with stability. The muscles that are to stabilize body movement are turned on right away before you even begin your swing. Your body is now ready for rotation because your base is stable.
- Do not let the chin rest on your chest which would allow the spine to curve too much during the swing. Many amateur golfers take the cue “keep your head down” too literally from their instructors. By over emphasizing keeping their head down, they are increasing the curve in the mid back (thoracic spine). This will lead to a flattening of the lumbar spine and deactivation of the hip and pelvic muscles that are your source of power. Also, by putting an increased curve (kyphosis) in the mid back area, the golfer will decrease their swing width. Changes and challenges in swing plane will now come into the picture.
- As with any sport you should have a slight flex in the knees. This is the essence of the “athletic posture”. A slight knee flex in both knees signals that the body is ready for action. Whether you are based on uneven ground or the conditions are slippery, maintaining a slight knee flex bilaterally is crucial to controlling your center off gravity. Not only does this aid your body in adapting to the terrain you are on, but by controlling your center of gravity two important considerations are addressed. One, your are putting yourself in a position to perform with the greatest efficiency. Second, you are minimizing the probability of injury by doing movements that your body is comfortable with and therefore under control. In golf address position a plumb line from the center of the knee would rest over the center of the foot.
- At address position the arms should hang straight down with the butt of the club a fist length away from the body. This will allow the arms, shoulders, and neck to be relaxed. When these areas are relaxed, the arms will be able to swing freely back and forth through the plane of your swing. Minimal tension in the arms, shoulders and neck will allow the torso to control rotation throughout your swing. This directly relates to consistency and accuracy. The major muscle groups that are designed for rotation are in control of rotation. This eases stress and tension from developing in the arms and shoulders and allows for a “whipping” action to occur with the golf swing. Tempo, rhythm, and swing speed are all benefits that will experienced. From a visual perspective, the lateral view of correct posture would have a plumb line beginning from the anterior shoulder that would run in front of the knee and center over the balls of the feet.