Establishing a correct spine angle and posture at address is important to help achieve a consistent swing.
Golfers can think of their posture as the foundation of their swing; it must be built strong and to last. But maintaining the posture throughout the swing is also important as any changes can throw the swing off plane and cause inconsistent ball striking.
At address, the back should be straight and tilted over the ball and it is this angle players need to maintain and swing around. This spine angle tilt at address being maintained throughout the swing is something seen in almost every top player especially those with athletic modern swings such as Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler.
To practice maintaining posture and swinging around your spine angle, you can use the following drills and swing thoughts.
Standing bolt upright with a lofted iron, take some practice swings around the body at chest height, like swinging a baseball bat. Gradually, begin to tilt the spine towards the ball whilst swinging until the club brushes the ground. If the spine is tilted and the swing still follows the same path around the ball, you will be swinging around the spine angle. By practicing the baseball swings and transferring that feeling to the full swing, you can easily get the feeling of swinging a golf club around the spine angle.
If the spine angle is lost during the swing it is normally the cause of early extension in which the hips push towards the ball, tucking under the body, rather than rotating around the body. The wall drill is a great way to achieve the correct feelings.
Get into a solid posture position with the arms and hands placed across the chest. Back up against a wall until your backside touches the surface. Practice turning the shoulders away from an imaginary ball keeping your backside touching the wall before turning through the ball again keeping contact with the wall. This will ensure the spine angle is maintained back and through the ball. Although after impact the spine angle and hip tilt will align through impact, it’s important to feel the hips are back and the spine is tilted.
Hips Back Shoulder Down
One way of keeping the spine angle consistent during the down swing is to focus on using the right shoulder (for right handed golfers). After a full turn back maintaining the posture, focus on turning the right shoulder underneath the chin on the way down. This will help the spine angle remain the same during the down swing by keeping the hips pushed back.