If you’re anything like me, your mother couldn’t stop telling you to straighten your back and not hunch over when you were a kid. She would tell me it looks lazy and will hurt your back in the long run. The truth is, I probably was being a little lazy and now I’m paying the price.
As I’ve gotten older, my back pain has increased and I never broke the habit of hunching over. Even as I write this, I’m noticing that I’m hunched over my keyboard. My chiropractor regularly thanks me for keeping him in business.
The same is true in golf, good posture is important. Not only because it’ll ease the strain on your back and allow you to play pain-free longer, but it’ll also help you play better golf in the moment.
I think that’s what I missed when I was younger. There wasn’t any tangible difference I felt in the moment when my mom told me to straighten up. It was just some concept out in the future that I’d appreciate one day. If you incorporate a good golf posture into your swing today, you’ll almost immediately hit better, more consistent golf shots.
The thing about posture is that it’s super easy to do. It requires very little effort, but provides you a significant amount of stability. All you have to do is remember to do it, and you’ve got it.
Sometimes it feels a bit odd, but that can be overlooked the moment you see a shot soaring straight at the pin.
What Is Golf Posture? Why Is It Important?
Now, when we talk about golf posture, we’re mainly talking about the position of the spine. It also includes your shoulders, head, hips, and waist too.
As I said above, the golf posture is important for a couple reasons.
First of all, it’ll keep your back in a healthy condition, so that you can continue to play the game for many, many years. Golf is a unique sport because you can play it at any age; that is, if your back is up for it. So, start using good golf posture now, no matter how old you are, to extend your playing career.
Second, a good golf posture will allow you to hit better golf shots and play with more consistency. A good posture is going to help the rest of your body move in the correct way. Too often, amateur golfers start with a bad posture and it forces them to work against their body to swing correctly. A bad posture makes it more difficult than it already is to hit a ball well.
Think of your golf swing as a tether ball. If you’ve ever played tether ball, you know that it’s based around a pole that has a ball tied to it by a string. That ball flies around the center pole during a match. Think of your spine as the pole, your arms as the string, and the club as the tether ball. The more you keep your spine in good form, then better the ball and string will fly around it.
How To Do It Correctly? A Step-By-Step Guide to Proper Golf Posture
The correct golf posture is really fairly simple, it just requires you to remember what to do. Let’s go through a step-by-step of how you can get your posture correct before you hit each shot.
- Straighten your Back
- Push Back the Shoulders
- Lift Your Head
Straighten your Back
The first thing you want to do, after you’ve addressed the golf ball, is straighten your back as much as possible. To do this, you’re going to feel like you’re sticking your butt out in a strange way. Sometimes it helps to have someone take a video or photo of your set up, so you that you can see with your own eyes that it doesn’t look as crazy as it feels.
Imagine there is a string attached to your betty button and someone is pulling it. Your lower back will feel like it’s not straight, but bending in towards the ball. That’s actually the correct way to do it.
Push Back the Shoulders
Next, you want to take your shoulders and push them back. A lot of times, the tendency is to hunch over the golf ball. When you hunch over, your shoulders roll in towards the ball as well. Push your shoulders out and back, so that you feel like you’re pinching your shoulder blades on your back.
Lift Your Head
Finally, lift your head. Your head and neck are important parts of the spine. It’s important to remember that. You want to make sure your neck is straight along with your back. Lift your head, so that it runs in sync with your back. Keep in mind, you’ll still want your eyes to be focused on the ball. If it’s uncomfortable to move your eyes to see the ball, then you may have lifted your head too much.
Drills To Get Great Golf Posture
Alright, now that you know how to create a great golf posture, let’s talk about some drills that’ll help burn that into your muscle memory.
Club Down Spine Drill
The first drill is, in my opinion, one of the best for checking your posture. It’s really simple too.
- Address a golf ball and pause.
- Maintaining your back position, take the club and put the shaft of it down your spine.
The shaft of the club ought to touch you back in three places; the back of your head, between your shoulder blades, and tailbone. If you can keep that position, you’ll have a pretty good posture.
Club Across Waist Drill
The next drill helps you get set into the proper address position.
- Stand straight up, with your back in a good posture position.
- Then, take your club and hold it with two hands; one hand on the grip and the other near the head. Place the horizontal club across your waist.
- Then, keeping your back straight, bend with only your waist until you are in a comfortable angle to hit a golf ball.
That’ll teach you how to set up to a golf shot in the first place without having to correct. Most people set up to a golf ball with too many moving parts. All you need to know is that a good address position is done by just bending at the waist, not the back.
If you’ve ever experienced back pain, or want to play your best golf now and for many years to come, your golf posture is a great place to start.
Keeping the back straight, butt out, shoulders back, and head up will help you to play longer and better golf from the moment you start doing it. As you can see, it’s really simple to do, it just takes some getting used to and memory. Go out there and play better golf for longer!