Creating the correct spine angle is essential for the rotational movements during the golf swing. Achieve the proper golf spine angle at address by bending forward at the hips while sticking out your rear end. Keep your lower back as straight as possible without curving your spine. In addition to your spine angle, create a spine tilt slightly toward the back leg. When you grip the club your left hand is positioned above the right hand. This helps create a shoulder tilt with the left shoulder higher than the right shoulder. Position your head slightly behind the golf ball. A good golf swing creates the proper spine angle at address and maintains the spine angle throughout the swing.
There are several incorrect set ups with the golf spine angle at address. “S” Posture and “C” Posture are two common mistakes that occur in the set up and negatively affect the spine angle and swing.
S Posture occurs when a player creates too much arch in the lower back by sticking their tail bone out to much in the set up. The excessive curvature in the lower back places additional stress on the lower back and causes the abdominal muscles to relax. Relaxing the abdominal muscles result in a loss of posture or reverse spine angle during the backswing. Therefore, the body is out of position during the downswing. Strengthening the core muscles will help off set an incorrect S Posture at address.
C Posture describes when the shoulders are slumped forward and create a rounded spine at address. Therefore, the C Posture gives a hunched appearance when standing at address. Several factors lead to an unwanted C Posture at address. Muscle imbalances in the upper body, lower body and weak abdominal muscles contribute to C Posture. Generally players with C Posture stand upright during the downswing due to poor muscle function and attempting to create room for the club to hit the ball. Short clubs and lack of proper instruction also lead to the rounded C Posture at address.
Hinge at the Hips
The correct set up creates a straight back at address. Practice the following drill to feel the correct spine angle and proper lean at the hips. Stand with your feet shoulder width and place one hand on the grip while the other hand is placed near the club head. Next, place the club across your hips, parallel to the ground and push back on the club so you feel your butt stick. There should be a stretch in your hamstrings while you lean forward at the hips. Allow a slight knee bend and allow the arms to fall directly below the shoulders. This simple motion creates an ideal golf spine angle at address.