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Proper Posture Produces Perfection

Peter Harris

Peter Harris

Staying in proper golf posture while swinging a club is difficult and unnatural.

We are asked to begin in an athletic position with our torso tilted forward, butt out and knees slightly flexed and in balance. Maintaining balance and posture throughout the swing is like a contortionist who is asked to perform a physical display that involves dramatic bending and flexing of the human body.

Loss of posture or spine angle during the backswing will cause you to dramatically lose power and consistency when hitting a golf ball. Players who lose posture on the backswing will typically lose their forward tilt by standing taller and lifting the club in the air in an effort to create a bigger turn and more power.

In order to deliver the club back to the ball at impact, this player will have to move his upper body down to the same tilt at address to hit the ball. This excessive movement up and down may cause fat shots and will limit the amount of body rotation required to square the club face at impact. Without body rotation, your hands will take over and flip the club at impact in order to square the club face.

Here’s a good drill to train your body to maintain posture or spine angle on the backswing. First, hold a club behind your shoulders and create a good athletic posture at address. Rotate your shoulders, simulating the backswing, and look for the grip end of the club to be pointing toward the ground just outside the ball.

If the club is pointing at the ground, you have maintained the forward tilt you started at address. If the club is pointing far outside the ball, you have stood taller than you should and lost your spine angle.

This drill will help and train your body to feel what it’s like to maintain your posture on the backswing and can also be a great warmup to loosen up your body before a round. As swing benefits go, it’s a double-dipper.

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.