Every golfer has been told to bend the knees when addressing the ball.

More specifically, instructors commonly advise students to stand similar to a baseball infielder, or basketball player in a defensive position.

To anyone who has played or watched those sports, that probably sounds a little excessive. Should you really bend your knees as much as a shortstop?

Well, no. The suggestion isn’t meant to be taken literally. It’s simply meant to get across the idea that the golf swing is a dynamic, athletic movement requiring a dynamic, athletic setup.

In other words, don’t worry about bending your knees at a specific angle, or a certain number of inches. Instead, try to set up with your knees over the balls of your feet and your backside just outside the heels. Your weight should be balanced in the center of your feet.

During the backswing, it’s important to maintain the flex in your right (back) knee to act as a brace for your hip turn. The only time it’s okay to straighten either knee is on the downswing and follow-through, when the left (lead) knee may “snap” to promote a powerful hip rotation.

There’s no definitive answer to the question, “How much should you bend at the knees?”

The goal is to find a position that’s comfortable, balances your weight properly and enables the hips to move freely back and through the swing.