Importance of Posture for a Successful Golf game
Why is your posture such an important consideration when playing golf?
- A reduction in the risk of injury
- Greater stability in the body
- Greater potential in driving the ball further and more accurately
To start with, you should have your posture assessed. Knowing your ‘weak’ links in posture will point you towards the exercises that are ideal for you. Too many generic programmes are just not individualized enough to guarantee success. For example, the standing lunge is a commonly prescribed exercise to strengthen the legs. However, if a golfer has tight hip flexors (the muscles in front of the hip and above the thigh) then he or she should avoid the standing lunge exercise. This is because the low back is not supported and will arch excessively if one completes a lunge. Thus if the lunge exercise is prescribed for this golfer it will be counterproductive. The standing lunge is nevertheless an excellent strengthening exercise for the individual who does not have tight hip flexors.
Common ‘weak’ links in Posture:
- Poor upper back strength and overstretched muscles often displayed in slightly rounded shoulders and a forward neck or head.
- Excessively arched low back with protruding abdomen – placing stress on lower back
- Inactive gluteals – resulting in poor base stability when addressing the ball and little power transfer during sequential rotation through to the downswing, ball impact and follow through.
- Poor lower and deep lying abdominal and pelvic stabilising muscles resulting in limited ability to initiate correct sequential rotation and to maintain a firm pelvic position base during the whole golf swing.
- The insides of your feet should be as wide as your shoulders and your weight should be centered left and right (Half your weight should be on your left foot and half on your right) and also from heel to toe.
- Your knees should be flexed slightly allowing for balanced movement in any direction. With the proper flex, your knees should be directly over the arches of your feet and you should feel completely balanced and light on your feet.
- You should be bent slightly forward from the waist creating an axis on which your shoulders can turn. Once you bend forward from the waist, your shoulders should be positioned over the arches of your feet. This is a very balanced position. REMEMBER You must remain in a balanced posture position. If you feel unbalanced, keep working until you can duplicate this athletic and dynamic position time after time.
- Your arms should hang straight down naturally from your shoulder sockets. Your shoulders, arms, and hands should be completely tension free.
- Jack Nicklaus: "If you set up correctly, there's a good chance you'll hit a reasonable shot, even if you make a mediocre swing. If you set up to the ball poorly, you'll hit a lousy shot even if you make the greatest swing in the world."
- Tommy Armour: "Before they ever begin swinging, I can improve nine out of every ten typical amateur golfers."
- David Leadbetter: "What invariably distinguishes a good player from a poor one is their respective address positions or setups."