When we first start playing golf, there are so many things we can do. What clubs to use. What clothes to wear to the course. How to get the club. Now it’s time for another one – a golfer needs good posture. Why? What does it matter how we stand? The answer is that it matters a lot because if we don’t get it right, we have no chance of shipping golf ball in the direction we choose.
Better golfing posture = better performance
Think of standing over the ball as the golfer’s area of operation and it’s easier to understand. Look at the actor who enters the stage. Watch the dancer as he steps onto the dance floor. What is the first thing we pay attention to before starting a performance? Their attitude. One of the first things an actor learns about their profession is how to stand. Back straight, arms out, head up. This gives them the opportunity to express their voice strongly and clearly to the audience. They are not stooped or sunken. And why do they learn it so early? So, by the time they become seasoned professionals, it will become second nature, and it’s exactly the same with golf.
Every professional golfer has their own unique swing, but what do they all have in common? When they are standing over the ball, they all have the correct golf stance.
Keys to good posture:
Tired of hitting bad shots? As we all know, there are so many ways to hit a bad golf shot! We can hit the ball at close range, we can hit it low and fast, or high and not very far. The common denominator of these three basic mistakes is poor contact. The likelihood is that we’ll make a mistake before we even start the backswing, which means we didn’t give ourselves a chance to hit a good shot. Why? Because we don’t have the right posture.
It only takes a few seconds, but it’s important to make sure you’re in the correct golf stance. If he’s good enough for a multi-million dollar professional, he’s good enough – and necessary – for us.
Three steps to good posture:
1) Take ours Club and keep it in front of us. Make sure our hands are just above the waist and keep the elbows bent. We don’t want our shoulders to be stiff and stiff. Stand straight with your chest stretched out and your arms outstretched. Check if our club’s face is square. If we hold it too open or too closed at this point, we’re setting ourselves up for a slice or a hook – exactly what we don’t want.
2) Now we need to tilt the body forward, but only at the hips. Our lower back and spine must remain straight, not rounded. We also need to feel like we’re pushing our bottom. This allows us to maintain our weight and not think that we will lose our balance when we swing the stick.
3) The last step is to lower the stick so that it touches the ground behind the ball. At this stage, we need to bend our knees slightly. Correct posture requires our knees to be slightly bent as this gives us the right mix of flexibility and balance. The danger is not to bend your knees too much. We’re getting ready to hit a golf ball, not a limbo dance!
Ball stance and position:
Another key element of achieving good posture is making sure the ball is in the correct position in our posture when we address the ball.
For the iron, we generally want the ball to be in the center of our stance. Let’s start with joint feet. Put the ball in line with the point where our feet touch. Now we need to take an even step with the left and right foot to roughly level with our shoulders – our stance in golf jargon should be shoulder-width apart. If we are in the right position, we should be able to draw an imaginary T on the ground, with the ball and our feet covering the three endpoints.
For the driver, the stance needs to be a bit different as we want the ball to face our front foot in the address position. This is because the ball is level and the driver has a narrow loft angle, and we want to catch the ball at the point of impact (and send it high and far) as our swing approaches the ball.
To achieve this, start with your feet together again and align the ball with the point where our feet touch. But this time we have to take a small step with the front foot (the one closest to the hole) and a larger one with the back foot. Again, we want to create a position where our stance is about shoulder-width apart.
Items to avoid:
Too stiff: swinging a golf club requires movement and fluidity in our bodies. Therefore, we must avoid standing too straight and stiff, because that is not the correct posture. This creates tension and prevents us from swinging the stick properly. Remember, Frankenstein doesn’t play golf!
Too leaned: We are now learning quickly that we must keep our head above the ball at the point of impact. But the danger is that we go too far the other way and throw our head so far over the ball that we hunch over. This will not allow us to fully unwind the room and everything will become too tight.
Practice our posture:
We tell every new golfer a little secret? Things don’t happen by magic. If we’ve seen Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy do something seemingly “magic” on the golf course, it’s not magic per se, but pure hard work and practice.
Golf is a game of three Rs – repetition, repetition, repetition. It’s about doing something so often that it becomes second nature. Once we find the right posture for our body and swing, muscle memory kicks in and anything that deviates slightly from this “norm” will seem strange. We want our attitude and address to be grounded, balanced and flexible.
The best thing about our attitude and posture is that we can practice them away from the golf course. If we have a quiet five or ten minutes at home, grab the baton and find enough space to hold it before we set it in place. If necessary, place lines on the floor to indicate where to place our feet and club, then go through exercises to improve our golf posture. Getting this into our minds at home will ensure we’re more successful at making great shots when we get to the course.
about the author
Adam Lanigan – golf writer
Adam is a freelance news and sports journalist who has written for the BBC, The Sunday Post, The I, The Times, The Telegraph and others. He has been writing about golf for nearly two decades and has covered 13 Open Championships and two Ryder Cups. Adam not only golfs, but has been playing golf for as long as he can remember. He was a member of Northenden Golf Club for around 25 years until the arrival of his children and his last official handicap was 11, although his form varies from eight to 18 each day.