If anyone said golf is an easy sport, they haven’t played more than nine holes. Beginners luck has us all thinking we’re pros. However, after a few rounds, the frustration starts kicking in. Ball after ball hooks right then left with no consistency in sight. Without knowing, bad golf posture could be the biggest nemesis to your perfect golf swing.
Why is good posture important when golfing?
Whether you’re a beginner or have been playing for years, perfecting your golf game is a never-ending task. As frustrations mount, many don’t realise that posture could play a large part in your overall performance.
It’s easy to overlook posture and instead focus on your stance, backswing and downswing. Don’t get us wrong; these are all extremely important.
However, they also have one thing in common – posture. Good posture helps the club swing properly around your body, helps your body turn smoothly and promotes good balance.
Good golf posture is also crucial for consistency and accurate and powerful swings. Bad golf posture will put extra strain on your back, force you to use muscles in unintended ways, and cause chronic pain over time.
How to know if your golf posture is bad?
Bad posture can happen in two ways. Firstly, you can have bad posture from the moment you step up to the tee box. Bad posture habits to look out for include if your back is bent, if your shoulders are hunched and if your head is out of line with the rest of your body.
The second way bad golf posture occurs is a loss of posture. When you’re getting ready to hit the ball, you may have the perfect posture. However, when swinging, if the angle of your body changes, it can have drastic consequences. Instead of using the natural momentum of your body, you’ll have to rely on the timing and placement of your hands.
If you notice an achy back or a stiff neck after a round of golf, these are tell-tale signs you have bad posture. You’ll also notice your ball starts losing distance compared to a normal swing, and your consistency declines.
As bad golf posture tends to happen after a few holes, rather than at the beginning, it’s always a good idea to pay attention to how you’re feeling and how you’re hitting towards the middle of your round. Remind yourself to check in with your posture to reduce the long term impacts of bad golf posture.
Common causes of bad golf posture
Fixing bad posture isn’t always as simple as being aware of your posture. Many different influences go into good golf posture as well as bad golf posture. If you suffer from bad golf posture, underlying issues may include:
Poor Flexibility – If you cannot rotate at the hip, spine and shoulders, having good golf posture will prove very challenging. Because much of your golf swing relies on smooth movement, increasing your flexibility will have an immediate positive impact on your swing.
Weak Core – It’s easy to think of golf as an unathletic game. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s essential golfers maintain a strong core to stabilise the angle of their spine during the swing. A weak core will cause an inconsistent swing, and you may also experience bad back pain after a round as your back will have to do the heavy lifting.
Muscle Stiffness – Similar to poor flexibility, muscle stiffness will make it extremely difficult to rotate your spine in one smooth motion. Instead, you’ll find yourself using your arms and shoulders to direct the club, reducing the chances your ball goes where you intended. On top of this, if you’re unable to move your upper body and lower body separately, you’ll find it very difficult to rotate your spine correctly.
Perfecting your golf swing plane
When talking about golf posture, you’ll often hear the term ‘golf swing plane’. To put simply, a swing plane is the line which the golf club head travels along throughout a golf swing.
If your golf club travels along the ideal plane, the ball will have a very high chance of going the direction and length the golfer intended.
Each player’s ideal golf swing plane will differ, depending on the club and the angle the golfer holds their arms – making it difficult to pinpoint a perfect golf swing plane. Even so, the ideal swing angle should be between 55 and 65 degrees, and if you find your shots slice or hooks away, this is a good sign your angle is off. Because too much of the club’s toe or heel will be in the air, you won’t be able to hit the ball with the sweet spot of your club.
To maximise your chance of a perfect swing, ensure you’re doing the following when preparing to hit the ball:
- Stand upright with your legs straight and a comfortable bend in your knees.
- Keep your arms relaxed with only a small bend in your elbows.
- While keeping your back straight, tilt forward at your hips until the club touches the ground. Your spine should angle approximately 40 degrees.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart for irons and slightly wider for woods.
Next, when hitting the ball, ensure the following:
- When you backswing, pivot your weight from your centre to the inside of your right foot and heel, using your core and shoulders.
- Transfer your weight back to your left side when you downswing, then allow your arms and club to follow.
Double-check your golf swing sequence with a golf posture self-assessment
Getting your perfect swing down takes time and patience, but by focusing on the aspects you can control, you’ll notice you’ll gain more and more consistency in your game. Ensure your posture is correct with a self-assessment at bestgolfposture.com. You’ll be golfing the best rounds of your life for years to come, pain-free.