How you stand to the ball has a massive effect how you you then swing and hit it. PGA pro Jack Backhouse explains how to set up for success
Standing to the ball with good posture is not complicated but is often overlooked by golfers when it comes to trying to improve. It is easy to get lost in the complex components of the swing, like swing plane, club path, wrist angles and so on and miss something easy like posture. In this video, what the 3 easy steps to perfect golf posture are.
Why is posture important?
Getting into a good posture requires no skill and no athleticism and is the low-hanging fruit of golf technique. A golfer in a bad posture cannot make a big turn, create speed, or swing in balance, so starting in a good stance is important. Just like a goalkeeper waiting to save a penalty, standing too much on the heel or toes, too upright or bent over, it is very difficult to react and create speed and power when standing poorly.
What does poor posture look like?
There are generally two different ways golfers get their posture wrong. The first is standing too far away and reaching for the ball too much. When this happens, the golfer will generally be forced to move their weight too much to the balls of the feet and is off balance, or bend their knees a lot and sit down too much. In both of these instances, the golfer will stand up out of their bad posture, early extend and generally will have issues with fat and thin contact.
The second common mistake golfers make in their posture is arching their back too much, creating too much tension in the hamstring and lower to mid back. Although this might feel athletic, a flat or even arched back creates stiffness that stops a golfer from being able to turn and pivot correctly and, in the end, reduces club head speed and overall freedom throughout the golf swing.
Step one is standing in a good golf posture with a correct spine angle. The way to do this is:
- stand up straight with the club parallel to the ground
- softly bend the knees
- round the upper back down until the club gets to the ground
The key here is not to over-hinge from the hips; this creates tension in the muscles on the back of the body that we don’t need. We want muscles to be loose when the golfer begins the swing to hit the ball. This may feel too relaxed or unathletic, but that is the correct feeling.
Step two is standing the correct distance from the ball. Most amateur golfers stand too far from the ball. To know you are in the right position is:
- Stand in posture to the ball
- Let the trail hand relax off the club and let it hang freely
- Your hand should hang level with the part of the grip the trail hand holds
- If the hand swings inside the club you are too far away
Step three is setting up with the correct spine tilt. Depending on the club used, the spine should angle away from the target in various amounts. to know the correct spine tilt:
- Get into golf posture
- Hold the club down your sternum
- Tilt away from the target until the golf club touches the lead leg
- The wider the stance (longer the club), the more tilt is required at set up.
It is worth checking your posture every month to ensure you have all three of these points covered and give yourself the best chance of making good swings and hitting the ball well.
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