Good Golf Posture Is Monkey Business

Peter Harris

Peter Harris

Good posture in golf feels like you’re imitating a monkey while facing a monkey and ready to run in case he starts chasing you.

Posture is one of golf’s fundamentals and positions you for a balanced, powerful and consistent golf swing. Good golf posture is an athletic stance, similar to waiting for a serve in tennis or a shortstop ready to attack a ground ball.

The two most common mistakes we make in golf posture are tilting the upper body forward with the shoulders or not tilting the upper body enough and bending the knees too much. If we slump the shoulders forward and extend the arms to the ball, the upper part of the back will be too rounded, making it very difficult to stay in posture as we turn the club back.

If we stand too tall and bend our knees too much, our weight typically falls to the heels, causing us to lose balance during the swing. This posture also makes it difficult to turn the upper body, so we just lift our arms, creating no power.

Good five-iron posture has enough upper body tilt and knee bend so our fingertips slightly touch the top of the knees. To establish this posture stand tall first, then tilt your torso forward from the hips. Tilt yourself more forward than you think. It should feel like you are about to bob for apples with your hands behind your back. Push your butt outside your feet and tilt your pelvis so your belt buckle points at the ball.

Flex your knees over the midpoint of your foot. Let your arms hang down softly and slightly away from your body. When you are holding a golf club, the shaft should be pointing at your belt and at 90 degrees to your spine. This will set you in a balanced position and ready to make a powerful and efficient golf swing.

Grab a mirror and monkey around with this yourself. Are you tilted forward from the hips? Is your butt behind your feet and knees flexed over mid-foot? Is your belt pointing at the ball? Is the shaft pointing at your belt and 90 degrees to your spine?

Peter Harris is director of golf at the Fore-U Golf Center in West Lebanon. His column will appear regularly on the VALLEY NEWS recreation page during the playing season.