Golf Tip: Improve Flexibility For Perfect Posture

It's common knowledge that flexibility enhances the efficiency and power of a golfer's swing. What's less understood is the role flexibility plays in posture.

Muscle and joint stiffness makes it difficult to get the body in proper position at setup, and even harder to maintain the spine angle, hip and knee bend throughout the swing. Fortunately, a handful of simple stretches can greatly improve flexibility in the hips, core and shoulders.

Develop a daily routine including these exercises:

  • Side stretch: Start with the feet directly beneath the shoulders, hips forward. Lift the right arm straight up, then stretch it over your head and hold for several seconds. Switch to the left arm, and repeat 3-4 times.
  • Triceps stretch: Standing tall, clasp hands together behind your head. Slowly pull the hands downward, feeling your shoulders and triceps stretching.
  • Spine stretch: Hold one arm straight in front of you; keep the feet firm and hips forward. Rotate your midsection to the right, turning the head to look over the right shoulder. Return to the center and rotate the left in a single motion. Next, do the same rotation with the left arm held up. Repeat 6-8 times, adding rotation as you go.
  • Hip stretch: Place hands on hips, feet shoulder-width apart, and rotate your pelvis in small circles to the right, then the left. Repeat 12-15 times in progressively larger circles.

Posture is extremely important in golf.

How to Improve Flexibility for Perfect Posture

If you haven't been paying attention to your posture up until this point, you have been missing out on a great opportunity to improve your game. When you stand in a solid position over the ball at address, you are putting yourself one step ahead before the club even starts in motion. Of course, if you use a poor posture, just the opposite is true. You will be making the game harder on yourself with a bad stance, and you'll never quite be able to live up to your potential.

In this article, we are going to cover a number of topics related to posture. We are going to talk about what a good posture looks like, how you can put yourself in that kind of position, and what you stand to gain when perfect posture is used. Also, we are going to talk about the role flexibility plays in posture, and in golf as a whole. Most people don't think of golf being a particularly physical game, but that is simply not the case. Sure, you may not have to run or jump like you do in other sports, but the physical demands of the golf swing are significant. When your body is up to the challenge that the swing presents, good outcomes should be just around the corner.

We understand that working on your posture is not exactly the most exciting thing you can do in golf. In fact, this kind of work can be downright tedious. However, if you are willing to put in the time necessary to build a great stance, your game can benefit for years to come. Many amateur golfers never bother to invest time in practicing their address position, and the results they see on the course speak for themselves. If you are looking for a great way to get a leg up on the competition, or if you would simply like to improve your own play, practicing your posture is a smart decision.

All of the content below has been written from the perspective of a right-handed golfer. If you happen to play left-handed, please take a moment to reverse the directions as necessary.

Three Elements of Great Posture

Three Elements of Great Posture

One of the tricky things about improving your golf posture is the fact that you can't really see yourself while standing over the ball. It's tough to tell if you are in a good position or not, unless you have a mirror available or a friend to provide feedback. For this reason, many golfers just decide to ignore posture altogether. After all, if they can't see their stance, why worry about it?

Well, you should worry about it, at least if you are interested in improving your game. Posture has a lot to do with playing good golf, a topic we will cover in the next section. For now, we are going to discuss three key elements to building perfect posture in your game. The nice thing about these three points is you don't necessarily have to see them to know that they are in place. You should be able to feel these points in your stance, and you should draw confidence from the feeling that everything is in the right spot and ready to go. Of course, if you do get a chance to practice in front of a mirror from time to time, visual confirmation is always nice.

Let's take a look at the three keys you can use to make sure your posture is on the right track.

  • Back straight. This is where it all starts. When standing over the ball, you want to make sure your back is in a straight position, from your waist on up into your neck. It is common for amateur golfers to hunch over the ball, allowing their spine to curve while their shoulders slump down. This might not seem like a big deal, but it can actually be a significant problem in your swing. Without a flat back, it will be hard to rotate away from the ball properly, and your overall ability to create power will suffer. One of the easiest ways to correct this problem is to feel like you are sticking your backside out behind you when taking your stance. This is automatically going to straighten out the lower part of your back, leading to a better posture overall. Also, if you have trouble with slumping shoulders, try pulling them back, bringing your shoulder blades a little closer together. These positions may feel a little forced at first, but they will get more comfortable as you continue to practice.
  • Chin up. This is perhaps the most overlooked fundamental in the entire game of golf. Rather than pushing your chin down into your chest at address, you should do just the opposite – you should lift it up, allowing your spine angle to continue on up through your neck. In other words, by keeping your chin up, you will further improve your overall posture that you started working on in the point above. In addition to helping your posture, this tip has another benefit. It can allow you to make a better shoulder turn, since your chin will be up and out of the way of your shoulders during the swing. With your chin up, your left shoulder will be able to pass under the chin cleanly during the backswing. That will lead to a fuller turn, and hopefully more speed through the hitting area. The biggest trouble most golfers run into when it comes to keeping their chin up is the fact that they think it's necessary to keep their eyes down on the ball. That is an important point, but you can do both at the same time. With your chin up and your eyes down, you can see what you are trying to hit while still making a smooth and powerful swing from start to finish.
  • Knees flexed. To complete your posture, you are going to need to look to your lower body. While standing over the ball, you should have a comfortable amount of flex in your knees. Not so much that you feel like you are too deep in your stance to make a good swing, but enough to improve balance and activate your lower body. Think about it this way – the lower body provides the platform for your golf swing and keeping your legs straight would lead to an unstable platform. By flexing your knees a bit, the platform for your swing will be more reliable, and you will be able to swing at a higher rate of speed. It should be noted that the right amount of knee flex is going to vary from player to player, so feel free to experiment a bit before you settle on the stance that you will use on the course.

As you can see, perfect posture doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, it's usually best if you keep it as simple as possible. Before even heading to the driving range to practice, work on your posture in front of a mirror at home (without a club). You will get a great view of your posture, and you can check on the three points listed above. By taking care of some of this work at home, you will be better prepared when you visit the driving range to make some actual swings.

How Does Posture Help Your Game?

How Does Posture Help Your Game?

To a beginning golfer, posture can seem like one of those things that couldn't possibly make a difference. After all, the club isn't even in motion when you take your stance, and as long as you are standing close enough to the ball to make contact, it doesn't seem like it could be a big deal. But it is. Standing with solid posture is one of the most important things you can do as you work toward hitting solid shots.

If you are struggling to find the motivation to work on this part of your game, the list below may be helpful. These points are all ways in which you could stand to benefit if you are able to make positive changes to your stance.

  • Added distance. That's right – with so many golfers in search of extra yards, you would think more players would have figured out that improving their posture can help their swing speed. By standing properly over the ball, you will have an easier time making a big turn – and a big turn will often lead to a powerful downswing and long shots. Rather than spending time and money tracking down the latest and greatest new equipment, focus instead on learning how to stand over the ball properly. You might not become the longest hitter in your group just because you improve your posture, but it should help tack extra yards onto your average shot.
  • Improved consistency. When you don't have a fundamentally-sound stance to use for each swing, your posture winds up changing from shot to shot. This is a problem because it will make your ball striking less consistent. Rather than attacking the ball from the same position over and over again, you will never know quite what to expect when you approach impact. Of course, consistency is always hard to find in golf, so adding a bit of it to your game in the form of a reliable posture is a nice step.
  • Deal with a variety of conditions. On the course, you never quite have the same lie twice. Even when in the fairway, you might have to deal with an awkward slope or maybe a ball that is sitting down in an old divot. Whatever the case, golf is a game that presents you with countless different challenges within a single round. To rise to these occasions, it helps to have a reliable posture built in to your game. Even when other things are changing around you, that posture will be there as a constant from shot to shot. The best players are those who can adapt on the fly, and good posture will make it easier for you to make the necessary adaptations.

Your game is going to be better with improved posture. It's just that simple. Sure, you might not immediately drop 10 strokes from your average score, but you should move in the right direction. It is easy to underestimate the power of good posture until you try it for yourself. Put in a little bit of work to master a quality stance and your game will never be the same.