posture 1

Establishing good posture in your setup positions you to make a fluid, powerful golf swing. Bad posture, on the other hand, can not only cause problems in your swing, it can cause long-term damage to your body.

To set up with proper posture, make sure you first bend in the hips, not in your waste or middle back. It is essential that you not let the back slouch. Although when viewed from the side, your spine is not perfectly straight, the spine should be as straight as it is when you are standing erect, from the top of your neck down to your backside. Maintain this posture from the takeaway all the way to the follow through. This makes the swing more mechanically correct and will make it much easier to hit the ball solidly.

You'll also want a slight flex in the knees that places them directly over the balls of your feet. Your weight should be distributed evenly on the arches of your feet, not the toes or heels and you should feel your backside sticking out some.

Bending too much at the waist causes slouching and balance problems. Conversely, standing up too straight makes it difficult to move the arms and torso together, which negatively affects the swing plane and ball contact. Check your posture in a mirror frequently to stay consistent.

Overall, posture is one of the most important aspects of the golf swing. Finding the correct posture and keeping it consistent will have you on the right track towards a better golf swing.

Beginner Golf Tip on Posture

Beginner Golf Tip on Posture

As a beginning golfer, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. There is a lot to learn in this game, and other golfers aren't always very helpful when it comes to reaching out a hand for a beginner. Without the proper direction and some solid instruction, it is easy to get off to a bad start – and you might not ever get on track moving forward. If there is one thing you can keep in mind to make yourself feel better about the challenge ahead, it is this – all golfers were beginners at one point in time. Even the best players in the world had to start somewhere, so embrace the difficulty of the game and have fun along the way.

In this article, we are going to look at one of the key fundamentals for any new golfer to learn – posture. While you might be tempted to rush through things like posture and grip in order to get to more exciting elements of the swing, the reality is that you need to build your game on a strong foundation. If you can form a great posture over the ball, for example, you will have a far easier time hitting solid shots. Take time now to learn these basics and you won't have to go backward later on in your golfing life.

One of the key points for new golfers to understand is the fact that this game is all about the details. It is the small things in golf that make the biggest difference, and successful golfers are those who are willing to pay attention to those little keys. The result of each swing you make is simply a reflection of how much attention you paid to every detail of your motion. Pro golfers make it look very simple when they launch the ball directly toward the target, but you can be sure the game is far more difficult than that appearance. Don't take even the smallest points for granted as you are learning this notoriously difficult game – the only path to success on the links is by taking things one swing at a time.

The nice thing about practicing your golf posture is that you don't actually have to be at the course to work on this part of your game. Even if you have just a few free minutes at home from time to time, you can use those minutes to refine your stance while standing in front of a mirror. Of course, you will want to get to the driving range as often as possible to actually hit some shots while using your solid stance, but it is nice to know that you can get in some quick practice even without a golf club or ball in sight.

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.

The Elements of Good Posture

The Elements of Good Posture

As you gain more and more experience in the game of golf, you are going to learn that patience is always a desirable trait in this game. Golf is a not a fast game, so you need to be patient if you want to see success over the long run. Patience not only comes in handy when you are on the course, but it also pays off during practice as well. Rather than running out to immediately work on your game, you should take some time to learn about the area of your game you are working on prior to trying it for yourself.

In the spirit of that notion, we are going to lay out the basics of good posture in this section. By taking some time to learn about what makes up a good posture, you will have a far better chance to succeed when you get to work on your own stance. Learn how to pose over the ball properly prior to each swing and the task of hitting the ball will suddenly become easier. The following points are the top keys to focus on while building your posture.

  • Flex in the knees. One of the biggest keys to quality golf posture is flexing your knees at address. Many amateur golfers – even those who have been playing for a long time – fail to hit on this point correctly. By flexing your knees, you should be able to make a great turn without losing your balance at any point during the swing. Players with straight knees at address tend to make poor turns, and they also have trouble staying balanced over the ball. Ideally, you should feel like you are 'sitting' into your stance, with the big muscles in your legs activated and involved right from the start. Golf may not seem like an athletic sport, but your stance should still feel and look athletic.
  • Straight back. Hunching over the ball at address is another major mistake which is made by a large number of golfers. A good golf posture will feature a flat back, allowing the player to make a great turn both back and through in the swing. You may feel like you get a better look at the ball when you hunch over, but doing so is going to create a number of problems. Not only will it be difficult to make a full turn when you are hunched over the ball, but you will also struggle to get full extension at impact. Once you are sitting into your stance with your knees flexed, put your back in a straight position from your waist all the way up to the base of your neck. This is a position you will see used by nearly every professional golfer in the world, and you should strive to find the very same position for yourself.
  • Chin up away from the chest. Again here, we see another point which missed by many amateur players – and not just beginners. The average golfer thinks that they need to keep their eyes on the ball during the swing, so they push their chin down into their chest to get a good look. Unfortunately, putting your chin down means that your shoulders have no room to turn during the swing. Instead, your chin should be up, allowing your neck to remain straight as an extension of your back in the address position. You can still see the ball from this position, you will just need to look down slightly. Once your chin is up during the stance, it is important to keep it in that same position throughout the swing. Dropping your chin will interfere with your turn, and you don't want anything to stand between you and great rotation.
  • Feet flat on the ground. This might seem like an obvious point, but some amateur golfers get off track when it comes to the positioning of their feet. Don't let that be you – set up over the ball with both feet flat on the ground and then keep them there until you follow through at the end of the swing. You want to be firmly grounded during the swing to make sure you don't fall off balance at any point along the way. As an additional tip, make sure you are using golf shoes when you play, and not just regular tennis shoes. The grip and stability built into golf shoes are important as you make your swing. The investment required to purchase a pair of golf shoes will be more than worth it when you see what they can do for your game.

Golf can be a complicated game, but there is nothing complicated about building a good stance. When you start working on your posture, pay specific attention to each of the four points listed above. If you can place your feet flat on the ground, keep your chin up, maintain a straight back, and flex your knees, you will be many steps ahead of the typical golfer.

Relaxed and Comfortable

Relaxed and Comfortable

If you get too caught up in following all of the tips you will receive with regard to your stance, you might find that you end up in a rigid, uncomfortable position. That is not going to mean good things for your golf swing. While you do need to put yourself in the right positions to swing the club properly, you also need to make sure that your feeling relaxed over the ball. Maintaining a relaxed approach is one of the great difficulties in this game. Golf is a game that naturally applies pressure to the player – so starting with a relaxed stance will help you to swing the club as freely as possible.

One good way to remain relaxed in your stance is to practice it as often as possible. By repeating your stance over and over again, it will soon become second nature when you are on the course. By making that kind of progress, you won't have to stress yourself by thinking about the proper stance – you will take that stance automatically and you can focus your mind on other things. It is crucial to keep yourself comfortable as you play, and limiting the amount of thinking you need to do on the course will automatically improve your comfort.

Another way to make sure you remain relaxed over the ball is to keep yourself moving right up until the point when the swing starts. Sure, you need to be standing still when the swing starts, but that period of time only needs to last for just a second or so. Before that, you should be moving slightly to avoid getting too tight or tense. If you ever watch any golf on TV, or observe more experienced players at your local course, you will see this habit over and over again. Some players like to 'waggle' the club behind the ball, while others like to move up and down slightly by flexing their knees. It doesn't particularly matter what kind of movement you use to stay comfortable, but make sure to avoid standing like a statue prior to hitting your shots.

Even as a beginning golfer, you already know that this game is usually not played on flat ground. Most golf courses have some degree of elevation change – some more than others. That means you won't always be standing on a flat spot when hitting your shots. As such, you need to learn how to adjust to the lie of the ball in order to establish a comfortable and effective posture. The best way to approach this situation is to use your knees as the adjustable part of your stance. When the ball is below your feet, add flex to your knees to move the club down to the level of the ball. Or, when the ball is above your feet, straighten your knees and stand taller. The rest of your posture should remain exactly the same. Use your knees to your advantage and you can effectively 'flatten out' an uneven course.

Use a Pre-Shot Routine

Use a Pre-Shot Routine

Building a pre-shot routine is something that should be near the top of your golf to-do list as a beginning player. What is a pre-shot routine? Well, it is pretty much exactly as it sounds. This is a routine you will complete prior to making a swing out on the course. When done properly, a good pre-shot routine will serve two purposes. First, it will help you find your way into a good stance. By repeating the same movements over and over again on each shot, you will get into a pattern and your body will wind up in the right place as a result. Also, a pre-shot routine is helpful for kicking your mind into 'golf mode'. If you have been chatting with a playing partner, for example, prior to hitting the shot, going through your routine will remind you that it is time to hit a shot. You will have a moment to regain your focus, and you will be ready to go by the time you step over the ball.

There is plenty of room for individual style within the pre-shot routine, but you should think about the following points as you craft your own process.

  • Keep it simple. Your pre-shot routine should not include anything which is not needed to prepare yourself to hit a good shot. That might be an obvious point, but some golfers make their routines far too complicated. There are a couple of problems with a complicated routine. For one thing, a complicated routine is hard to remember – and you don't want to be stuck thinking hard to remember every piece of your routine. Also, a complicated routine is going to be time consuming, and golf is not a game which can afford to take any longer. In the interest of pace of play, keep your routine trimmed down and efficient.
  • Address a swing concern. Most golfers have at least one specific point in their swing which they need to monitor on an ongoing basis. Perhaps you have a tendency to let your right arm get too far away from your body during the backswing, or maybe you let your left heel come off the ground. Whatever the case, add something to your pre-shot routine which is going to help you remember to focus on that key point. Remember, this routine should be customized to your needs, and the best way to do just that is to make sure the routine addresses your biggest weakness.
  • Center on the target. The target you are using for your shot should be another point of focus during the pre-shot routine. Too many golfers forget about the importance of the target, as they instead think only about their swing mechanics. You do need to have your mechanics under control, of course, but you also need to do a good job of pay attention to the target you have selected. After all, even if you make a great swing, your shot will be a failure if you don't line up successfully with the right target.
  • Clear your head. Use the duration of your pre-shot routine to clear your mind of any distracting thoughts while you focus on the job at hand. This point was mentioned above but it needs to be emphasized again here. It is hard to play good golf when you are focused on what you are trying to do – it is nearly impossible when your focus is somewhere else. Set aside any other concerns you may have at the moment and simply focus your mind on making an excellent swing. If you are able to do this prior to every shot you hit, you might be surprised to find how powerful the effect can be.

As is the case with anything else in golf, you should be building your pre-shot routine on the driving range before you try it on the course. Go through the entire routine prior to hitting any shots on the range – this will slow you down as you practice, which is a good thing. Even if you only hit 30 shots instead of 50 during an upcoming session, those 30 shots will be valuable as they will have included your entire routine from start to finish.

Other Tips for Beginners

Other Tips for Beginners

Stepping away from the topic of posture, we wanted to offer a few other random tips for those just getting started in this game. Golf can be intimidating to say the least, but these simple tips should help to peel back the layer of mystery that can cover some of the things you need to learn on your way to becoming a golfer.

  • Get on the course. Sure, you do need to hit plenty of balls on the range as a new golfer, but the absolute best thing you can do for your game is to gain experience on the course. There is nothing like going through the ups and downs of real rounds of golf to teach you about this game. You are always going to learn far more on the course than you will ever learn in the practice setting. It is still important to practice, of course, but play whenever you can if you want to improve.
  • Make friends. You can learn a lot about golf simply by spending time with other golfers. If you are totally new to the game and you don't know other golfers, ask to be paired up with others individuals at your local club. This is a fast way to make friends, and you are likely to wind up with plenty of new buddies to play with as a result. Not only will this help you learn the game, but it will simply make your time at the course more fun.
  • Don't spend too much money on equipment. Yes, there is a lot of shiny new equipment in the pro shop at your local golf course. No, that equipment is not going to make you a better player. As a beginner, you need to worry about your own swing and how you can move the ball down the fairway and toward your target. Forget about equipment concerns for now. You can get into that later if you wish, but it simply isn't important at the moment. Save your money so you can afford to play more rounds of golf instead.

Beginning golfers have a lot to learn before they are going to be comfortable on the course. If you are currently in the category of a beginning golfer, working on your posture is a smart place to start. No, posture alone is not going to allow you to play great golf, but it will make it a little bit easier to produce a quality swing. Once you have your posture established and comfortable, you can then move on to other, more advanced parts of this difficult game. Good luck and have fun!