Golfers are renowned for their posture! But there is a good reason why we stand the way we do. A correct golf posture requires players to bend from the hips at the address position. The reason that we do this — rather than bending from the knees — is so that when the shoulders turn around the spine on the backswing, the club will swing at the correct angle down to the golf ball. Therefore, if you are having any type of ball-striking issues, the first thing you should check is your posture.
To do that, try this exercise. Stand straight upright. Hold your arms up at shoulder height and turn your shoulders at 90 degrees around your spine. You’ll notice that the arms are swinging horizontally around your body. This is great if you are playing baseball or softball and hitting a ball at chest height, but not if you are playing golf with the ball on the ground!
Now stand upright, but tilt forward from the hips (this may feel like you are pushing your hips back). Then flex slightly from the knees and rock your weight so it is balanced on the balls of your feet. Now hold your arms out and again turn your shoulders at 90 degrees around your spine. You’ll notice that the arms swing around but also up and down. This is what you need to make good contact in the golf swing when the ball is on the ground.
Changing your golf posture may feel uncomfortable, but if you are topping the ball it may be a worthwhile correction.
Cathy Harbin, PGA, LPGA
Pine Ridge Golf Course, Paris, Texas
Information about lessons and classes at Pine Ridge can be found here.