It’s impossible to swing the golf club consistently on-plane if your body moves up and down while swinging. This usually happens when you fail to maintain your posture or spine angle,.
If you raise up or back (from the hips/waist) on the backswing, your swing plane will become flatter. If you bend over, your plane will become steeper or more upright. In either case, you’ll be forced to adjust on the downswing just to make contact. It’s important to hold your posture moving down and through the ball, too.
Golfers with back problems often struggle to maintain spine angle, as do those with weak core muscles. For everyone else, good posture is easily attainable if you focus on turning around your spine.
A great mental key is to imagine a javelin running through the top of your head, down the spine, and nailing you into the ground in your setup posture. (OK, so it’s not the most pleasant picture.) Because you can’t move up or down while swinging, you must rotate around the javelin – in other words, around your spine.
Use a full-length mirror or other reflective surface to practice this motion and check your positioning. With the mirror to your right (or left, if you’re a lefty):
- Hold a club across the front of your shoulders with your arms crossed and assume your stance as though hitting a golf ball.
- Rotate back while watching yourself in the mirror. Your head should move very little up or down.
- After several repetitions, turn around so the mirror is on your left.
- Turn back and through, watching the mirror as you move past the impact area and into the finish.
Few amateur golfers exhibit consistent posture throughout the swing. Become one who does and you’ll move to the upper ranks of ballstrikers.