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Amen Corner: Good Posture More Than Standing Straight Up

  • Maintaining good posture through the swing, despite the contortions involved, is essential to good ball striking.

Special to the Valley News
Published: 8/9/2018 1:00:12 AM
Modified: 8/9/2018 1:00:34 AM

Staying in your posture during the golf swing is one of the most difficult circus acts to perform in the game. You begin in a good athletic posture at the start of the swing, with the torso tilted forward, the knees slightly bent and pressure on our feet balanced.

Maintaining these positions while shifting pressure throughout the golf swing is a performance in itself.

The goal of maintaining your posture during the golf swing is to sustain the forward bend with which you start at address while you rotate your body around your spine and change pressure between your feet during both the backswing and the downswing.

Losing the forward bend of your torso, or the spine angle, in your backswing will immediately be a root cause for poor ball striking.

The most common loss of posture fault on the backswing is when you begin your shoulder turn and stand straight up, with your left shoulder is now turning level with your right shoulder. This type of level turn forces your arms and club too far to the inside, making it difficult to swing on the correct plane back to the ball. A level shoulder turn will also cause you to stand up and become taller.

Also, when you lose your posture on the backswing, you will have to try to find your original posture on the downswing, which will lead to both fat and thin shots and shots off the center of the club face.

To get the feel of staying in your posture on the backswing, your left knee, hip and shoulder should move out and away from their starting location and down toward the ground. Conversely, the right side of your body should get taller and turn away from the ball.

When you maintain your posture during the backswing, you will have a more centered turn, having stored good energy and angles. With that, you’ve set yourself up for a downswing that will help you deliver the golf club on plane and more consistently to the ball.

To maintain posture on the downswing, you want to reverse the feel of the backswing. On the downswing, the right side of your body should feel as though it is moving down toward the ground.

When the golf club reaches impact, the left side of your body will then get taller, creating room for the golf club to hit the ball with power.

Maintaining your posture during the golf swing can make you feel like a contortionist. The good news for us golfers is our feet are not on stilts, slack wire or tightrope.

Peter Harris is the director of Golf at the Fore-U Golf Center in West Lebanon. His column appears weekly on the Recreation page during the golf season.

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