One of the biggest reasons for inconsistent ball striking is the golfer's posture moving up or down during the golf swing. Find out why and how to prevent it with this tip.
Good posture is incredibly important in the golf swing for two reasons:
1. The spine is the axis around which the swing rotates and so the straighter the back, the more consistent the rotation motion of the swing.
2. The golf swing is a powerful turning motion centered around the spine. Golf is very good for the back for flexibility and strengthening purposes as long as the golfer has good posture. However, the golf swing can get up to speeds of 120 miles per hour and so poor posture can either cause injury or aggravate a pre-existing injury due to the pressure involved.
Good golf posture can be described as follows:
A back that is as straight as possible (it can never be truly straight), bending from the hips rather than the shoulders with the chest out and hips tilted slightly backwards and upwards. The knees should be slightly bent which tips the body weight on to the balls of the feet and the arms should be hanging loosely under the chin or neck. Once you are set up to the golf ball in a good postural position, any movement upwards or downwards in the angle of the spine during the swing means that the club head will also be moving upwards or downwards. This makes it very difficult to consistently bring the club head back to the ball in the correct position at impact. For example, a rise in posture will usually produce a shot where the club hits the top of the ball as the club head is higher than when it began. A loss of posture downwards during the swing will usually produce a ‘fat’ shot where the club hits the ground before the ball due to it being lower than at set up. Maintaining posture means that the club has a much better chance of returning back to the point where it started - the ball.
Two points to maintaining posture in the golf swing and retaining the same forward bend through the swing as at set up are:
1. Keep the chin up. If the chin stays up it straightens the neck and the upper part of the spine. A rise of the chin is easy to feel and will help to keep the whole back straight and secure. It also allows the shoulders the room to swing in the space underneath the chin and attack the ball. Set up to the ball then look up and pick an object that is approximately 10 yards directly in front of you. Keeping the head in this position, look down with the eyes past the nose to the ball (note that if you wear glasses you may need to lower the chin a little to see the ball. This is fine). Hold this position through the swing.
2. Keep the front shoulder the same height through the backswing. Often the front shoulder (left for right handed players and right for left handed players) lowers in the backswing instead of turning across the body towards the chin. Take a golf club, lift it up and hold it on the chest so that it sits across the line of the shoulders at set up, making sure that the grip end of the club is next to the front shoulder. Make a backswing turn and keep the grip end of the golf club the same height through the turn. If the grip end drops in height, there is a loss of posture and a downwards movement occurring in the backswing. If the grip end gets higher during the backswing move, the posture must be rising upwards. Practice this movement before each shot and try to feel which direction the shoulder is moving during the swing with the ball.
These two exercises will maintain good forward bend and posture through the swing, giving you a more consistent ball strike.