As a kid, I heard it all the time. “Straighten up”…I was told when they caught me slouching. Well, “straightening up” is not quite the tight thing in your golf but I’m sure you’re not surprised to discover that your posture is crucial in ensuring consistency and power in your strokes. What’s more when you embody, my “3 Tenets of Great Golf Posture” you’ll enjoy a more relaxed, easy comfort through 18 holes of play…
P for Posture – Your swing is a whole body phenomenon involving your feet, your legs, your hips, your trunk, your arms, your shoulders etc. You need good flexion, stability, strength, rotation in the hip, knees and torso in order to effectively result in perfect contact between the club and the ball. Proper posture is the framework that brings it all together and it’s crucial to executing a killer swing. Here are some pointers that will help you guarantee that posture is not the weak link in your game.
Start from a relaxed upright posture, with your ears over your shoulders and knees slightly bent. It is very important during your golf posture to maintain the space between your head and your chest so that you allow easy rotation of your shoulders. Now let’s talk a little “spine angle”.
Spine Angle is the angle that your torso makes with the ground. Bend at the waist while keeping your torso and spine straight. You’ll need an angle of about 30-45 degrees depending on your height and the length of your club. The taller you are and the shorter your club, the more spine angle you’ll need. To complete your posture, simply flex your knees so that your head comes over your feet. You will engage the most powerful muscles of your body – your leg muscles. You are now perfectly set to take a power shot with optimal comfort. And what’s more, because this posture is congruent with the natural bio-mechanics of your body, you can do it over and over through the course of 18 holes without the fatigue, the aches and the pains that come from improper use of your body.
Maintain a Consistent Spine Angle through the full range of your stroke and you will be delighted to produce a great shot. Keep your eye on the ball as you swing and notice how your posture changes. Be sure to keep your head up and maintain your viewing position by appropriate flexion of the hip and knee joints. Keep your spine straight at all costs. Bending the spine causes the chest to collapse and the neck and shoulders to rotate forwards and inwards. This not only distorts the natural arc of your swing but it makes it difficult to turn your head through the range of motion required to keep your eye on the ball. The accuracy of your shot goes to hell in a hand basket. So keep your back straight and you’ll maintain a solid base from which you can accurately aim those long drives.
Core Stability and Flexibility is the key, and a little practice on the core stability ball with some simple yoga or Pilates exercises can help you develop these much needed attributes for a great golf swing. Abdominal crunches are an excellent exercise for developing core strength and endurance. But that’s a subject for another article.
The 3 Tenets – So the next time you’re enjoying a gorgeous, sunny round on the fairway, be sure to practice the “3 Tenets of Great Golf Posture”, keep your back straight, adjust your spine angle by hinging at the hip and most important, keep it constant through the execution of your swing. You can look forward to hitting, longer, further and with more accuracy. What’s more you’ll feel great at the end of the day with far fewer aches and pains from improper posture.