Some parts of golf are more exciting than others.

Why Build Great Posture: Answer to Help Hit Consistently Solid Shots?

For example, hitting a long three wood from the fairway in order to reach a par-five green in two shots is one of the most exciting shots in the game. Likewise, making a long putt for birdie from the other side of a tricky green is a feeling you won’t soon forget. It is these moments which keep golfers coming back round after round, looking forward to their next thrilling accomplishment.

On the other hand, some of what you do in the game of golf is rather pedestrian, and even a bit boring. For instance, working on your posture is something that you probably won’t look forward to as part of your practice routine.

This is work that needs to be done, as your posture is extremely important in terms of your performance on the course, but few players take pleasure in this aspect of the game. Instead of doing this work for enjoyment, you do it as the means to an end – you know the work needs to be done if you are going to enjoy thrills like those highlighted in the previous paragraph.

So, in this article, we are going to talk about constructing the perfect golf posture. While it might not be exciting, this is one of the key topics you need to cover as you work on improving your play. Golfers who stand properly over the ball at address have a far better chance to hit solid shots than those who are sloppy or disorganized. Take the time during practice to build a great posture and you just may be surprised at how quickly your swing can improve.

All of the content below is based on a right-handed golfer. If you happen to play left-handed, please take a moment to reverse the directions as necessary.

Five Key Points

Five Key Points

When working on something as important as posture, it can be hard to know where to start. After all, your entire body is involved in forming a good posture, but which parts are more important than the others?

In this section, we are going to bring some clarity to the process by highlighting five key points that you can use to focus your efforts. If you are able to check off all five of these points each time you stand over the ball, you can be sure that you are on the right track.

  • Knees flexed. This is the foundation of any quality golf stance. When you take your position over the ball at address, you want to make sure there is a comfortable amount of flex in your knees.
  • You don’t need to be down in a deep squat or anything like that, but you also don’t want to be straight-legged over the ball. Your legs have a lot of work to do once the swing gets started, so leaving them in a straight position would be a big mistake. Settle into a comfortable amount of knee flex and do your best to hold that flex not only while in your stance, but also through the backswing and into the downswing. Most amateur golfers fail to get the right kind of performance out of their lower body during the swing, and those players lack power as a result.
  • This is a great example of how your posture and address position can directly impact the shots you are able to produce. As a result of flexing your knees at address, you should be able to create a far more powerful swing than if you stood with your legs locked out straight.
  • Backside sticking out. Often, you will hear golfers and even golf teachers state that you should have your back straight at address. While that is true, it can be a hard point to execute on.
  • How do you make sure your back is straight? What action can you take toward that end? Instead of instructing you to simply straighten your back, we prefer to offer the tip of sticking your backside out behind you. This move goes right along with flexing your knees, and it is a great way to put your back in a straight position (along with one other tip, which will be coming up shortly).
  • When you stick your backside out behind you while flexing your knees, it is almost certain that the lower portion of your back will be in a flat position. This is the foundation of your posture, and it has the potential to take you a long way in this game.
  • Tilting forward from the hips. Many players go wrong when it comes to this point. Obviously, in order to make a golf swing and actually hit the ball, you need to have your upper body leaning out in front of you to some degree. Unfortunately, many players accomplish this point by just hunching over from the shoulders and rounding out the top of their back.
  • This is the wrong way to get yourself in a position to swing. Instead, you should be tilting forward from your hips. Once you are sitting down into your stance, tilt forward from the hips while keeping your back straight. This is a position that will let you reach the ball while also allowing you to make a full turn back and through.
  • If you opt to hunch over the ball instead, things are going to become difficult as soon as the club goes in motion. You’ll struggle to make a full turn going back, and you might have trouble keeping the club on plane, as well. Learn how to tilt forward from your hips and may of the problems you’ve been having related to your posture should quickly fade away.
  • Chin up away from your chest. This point is often overlooked by golfers working on their posture, but it is one of the best keys to keep in mind as you practice. Too many golfers fall into the trap of thinking that keeping their head down during the shot means they need to bury their chin down into their chest at address.
  • That’s simply not how it works. Yes, you want to keep your head down as you swing through impact, but you can do that without pushing your head down into an awkward position. At address, keep your chin up away from your chest in order to accomplish a couple goals. First, keeping your chin up will help flatten out the top of your spine, bringing you into a nice flat-back position (as long as you have hit on the other points successfully).
  • Also, with your chin up, your left shoulder is going to have plenty of room to swing freely back away from the target. Those players who keep their chins down at address usually have trouble making a big shoulder turn because the chin is simply in the way.
  • Relax. Hitting on the four points above is going to put you in a great position over the ball. Sure, there are other minor details you can work on as well, but those four points are going to get you most of the way to a solid stance.
  • Unfortunately, all of that work will be wasted if you are now too tense and stiff to make a free-flowing golf swing. The golf swing is supposed to be a smooth and rhythmic action, and the only way to make that happen is to keep yourself nicely relaxed and comfortable over the ball. This is where practice is going to be so important.
  • At first, forcing yourself into these various positions will be awkward, and you’ll naturally wind up tense as a result. To get over that issue, you’ll need to practice your posture on a regular basis. By working on your stance frequently – even if you are just standing in your living room without a golf club in your hands – you will gradually get more comfortable and it will be easier to relax in that position.

Those who are serious about playing great golf will be willing to do the work necessary to build a great stance. While it might not be the most fun you have related to golf, practicing your posture can set the stage for some great experiences later down the road. Nothing comes easy in golf, so you should always plan on doing some hard work in practice before having a breakthrough on the course.

From Here to There

From Here to There

Building a solid golf posture from scratch is actually quite easy. If you had never played the game of golf before, it wouldn’t take long for a golf teacher to put you into the right position.

Unfortunately, this is not how most people get started. More likely, you have already played quite a bit of golf, and your technique is a bit of a mess. So, rather than starting from scratch and building a perfect posture, you need to figure out how to get from where you are now to where you would like to be.

The best way to approach this challenge is to resist the temptation to do everything at once. If you try to fix all of the parts of your posture all at the same time, you are going to quickly become overwhelmed, and likely frustrated. Even if you do manage to put your body into the correct positions, your stance will feel so foreign that you’ll likely struggle to even make a decent swing. By working your way toward a better stance one piece at a time, it is far more likely that you’ll wind up arriving at a satisfactory conclusion.

To get started, identify the part of your stance that you feel currently needs the most work. For many players, this will be knee flex. It is common for amateurs to lack sufficient knee flex at address, which is a mistake that will then make the rest of the swing far more difficult to execute.

If you have noticed that you don’t really have enough knee flex at address to support an athletic, powerful golf swing, start by working on this key first. Of course, it’s easy enough to just flex your knees a little more when building your stance, but it isn’t that easy to get used to swinging this way after years of swinging with little to no flex in your knees. Give yourself plenty of practice time – several practice sessions, ideally – to get used to this new lower body position before you move on to another point.

It is going to require patience to work your way toward a better stance one piece at a time. The temptation will be strong to tackle everything all at once, but try to resist that temptation and stick with a long-term plan. You never want to overwhelm yourself with changes in golf, as this game is hard enough even when you aren’t trying to change anything. Work your way gradually toward a better posture and you will be happy with the results when all is said and done.

Getting Some Help

Getting Some Help

Sometimes, it is necessary to reach out for assistance with your golf game. Even if you take pride in improving your play all on your own, asking for help can be a great way to get you over a specific problem that seems to be dragging you down. In this case, getting help with your posture can be a good idea because it’s so hard to observe your own posture while you practice.

Sure, you can record your swing on video in order to check your posture, but that is not the same as having a teaching professional monitor your technique in real time. If you feel like your posture is still holding you back and you’d like to get on the right track as soon as possible, consider booking a lesson at your local golf facility.

If you do decide to take a lesson, consider asking your pro the following questions while working on your posture.

  • Am I standing the right distance from the golf ball? If you aren’t standing an appropriate distance from the ball, it will be difficult (or even impossible) to settle into a good stance. Distance from the ball is one of those fundamentals that teaching pros frequently deal with, so your pro should have no trouble helping you find the right place to stand.
  • Players who stand too close to the ball may wind up in a hunched over position, while those who stand too close might be upright without much flex in the knees. Whatever the case, ask your pro to get you on the right track with regard to this fundamental.
  • Am I staying in my posture throughout the swing? This is a big one, and one which is tough to monitor on your own. It’s one thing to find a good posture when you set up over the ball, but it another thing entirely to actually keep that posture throughout the swing.
  • Many golfers come up out of their posture in the backswing, wasting the good work that was done before the swing began. Any good teaching professional will be able to watch this point and let you know whether or not you are staying in your posture properly as you swing the club.
  • How’s my swing plane? Swinging on a repeatable plane is a big part of hitting consistent golf shots, and the swing plane you use is closely tied to the posture you use in your swing. By asking your pro to watch your swing plane, you can actually learn quite a bit about your posture in the process. If you are swinging too upright, it’s likely that you are hunched over the ball, at least to some degree. On the other hand, those who are standing too upright at address are likely to produce a rather flat swing.

If you have never before taken a golf lesson from a professional, don’t be intimidated. Most teaching pros are friendly, knowledgeable, and happy to help. This is their business, after all, and they will work hard to help you play better golf.

Of course, you can learn about far more than just your posture during a golf lesson, so go in with an open mind and soak up as much information as possible. Don’t be surprised if you decide to take at least a couple more lessons in the future as a result of the success you have with the first session.

Short Game Posture

Short Game Posture

This article would not be complete if we failed to talk about the posture that you are going to use when playing short game shots. Since the swing technique you use for short game shots is quite different than the technique needed for long shots, it only stands to reason that your posture would be different as well.

There are certainly elements of your posture that are going to carry over from shot to shot, but you’ll want to make sure to customize your stance based on the shot at hand.

Let’s take a quick look at some posture keys for the three different categories of short game shots – putts, chip and pitch shots, and bunker shots.

  • Putting posture. The first thing to think about here is comfort. When putting, you aren’t going to be making a big, dynamic swing, as you would be when hitting a long shot from the tee or fairway.
  • As a result, you don’t really need to worry about building a stance and posture which allows you to rotate aggressively while staying balanced. Therefore, you can focus mostly on comfort when getting ready to hit a putt. There are a couple of things you will want to pay attention to from a technical aspect, just to give yourself the best possible chance at success.
  • You’ll want to make sure your knees are flexed at least a bit for stability purposes, and you’ll also want to keep your chin up away from your chest to promote a smooth rocking of the shoulders.
  • Chipping/pitching posture. When playing shots from the grass around the green, you can largely continue the idea of comfort that we discussed when talking about putting.
  • You still aren’t making a particularly big swing, so it’s okay if you focus more on comfort than the technical aspects of your stance. However, it should be said that for most chip and pitch shots you will be well-served to stand with your body slightly open to the target line. That is going to help you swing slightly across the ball from outside-in at impact, which will help get the shot off the ground and also produce backspin.
  • It is also worth mentioning that you will need to learn how to adjust your stance based on the type of lie you are dealing with, and the kind of shot you are trying to produce. For example, if you are on standing on a rather steep slope, you’ll probably want to set your feet wider than normal in order to keep your balance successfully.
  • Bunker play posture. Believe it or not, this is where posture becomes the most important as far as short game shots are concerned. The thing is this – even though greenside bunker shots are played from close to the green (by definition), they still require a big swing. And, if you are going to make a big swing, you are going to want to use a solid posture.
  • For the most part, you are going to use the same posture here that you use for full wedge shots back in the fairway. Two changes to consider are you may need to stand with your feet a bit wider apart for stability, and you may need to tilt farther from the hips in order to get all the way down under the ball.

Posture is extremely important in golf. We hope you have picked up some valuable tips from this article on perfect golf posture, and we wish you good luck as you get down to work on this crucial fundamental.

Here's a Q&A on why building great golf posture is important:

Q: Why is posture considered crucial in golf? A: Posture is a fundamental aspect of the golf swing as it directly influences balance, alignment, and the ability to make a consistent and effective swing.

Q: How does posture impact a golfer's balance during the swing? A: Proper posture provides a stable foundation, enhancing a golfer's balance throughout the swing. This stability is essential for generating power and maintaining control.

Q: What are the key components of a great golf posture? A:

  • Athletic Stance: Feet shoulder-width apart with slight knee flexion.
  • Straight Back: Maintain a straight and neutral spine, avoiding excessive arching or rounding.
  • Hinging at Hips: Bend at the hips, not the waist, to create a proper hip hinge.
  • Relaxed Shoulders: Keep the shoulders relaxed and avoid tension, allowing for a more fluid swing.

Q: How does a proper golf posture contribute to better ball-striking? A:

  • Improved Clubhead Path: Proper posture helps establish a more consistent and efficient clubhead path through impact.
  • Optimal Impact Position: Good posture allows golfers to achieve a solid impact position, resulting in cleaner and more accurate ball-striking.
  • Enhanced Power Transfer: A well-balanced posture facilitates proper weight transfer, contributing to increased power in the swing.

Q: Can poor posture lead to common swing faults? A: Yes, poor posture can contribute to various swing faults, including loss of balance, inconsistent ball-striking, and a lack of power and control.

Q: How can golfers assess and improve their posture? A:

  • Mirror Check: Use a mirror to assess your posture. Ensure a straight back, proper hip hinge, and balanced stance.
  • Video Analysis: Record your swing and review it to identify any deviations from ideal posture.
  • Professional Instruction: Seek guidance from a golf professional who can provide personalized feedback and corrections.

Q: Can golfers maintain consistent posture throughout the entire round? A:

  • Fatigue Management: Fatigue can affect posture, especially in later stages of a round. Regular physical conditioning and maintaining overall fitness can help mitigate fatigue.
  • Posture Checks: Periodically check your posture during the round, especially after longer walks between holes.

Q: Does posture differ for different clubs (driver vs. iron)? A: While the basic principles of posture remain consistent, minor adjustments may be made for different clubs. For instance, the stance may be slightly wider with a driver.

Q: How does mental focus contribute to maintaining good posture? A:

  • Concentration on Setup: Stay mentally focused on achieving the correct posture during the setup.
  • Mindful Swings: Maintain mental awareness of your posture throughout the swing to prevent deviations.

Q: Can a proper golf posture help prevent injuries? A: Yes, a proper golf posture can contribute to injury prevention by reducing stress on the spine, joints, and muscles. It promotes a more biomechanically sound swing.

In summary, building great golf posture is essential for a stable and effective golf swing. It contributes to improved balance, power transfer, and ball-striking consistency, ultimately enhancing overall performance on the golf course.