Your posture or the angle of your body at the address position will probably determine at what position the club face will be in when it contacts the ball. When you watch a player address the ball, you already have an idea that they are in either a good or bad position to make a good swing. Proper posture can be achieved if you stand up straight without a golf club. Bend from the waist and let your arms hang down freely. When you do not bend enough, your arms will hang too close to your body. When you bend too much, your arms will be too far from your body.
The next step is to bend your knees slightly. Bending your knees too much will bring your body to a severe upright position and take away the ability to turn your trunk on the backswing. The weight of your body should be on your heels and toes evenly. Some players lean forward on the balls of their feet while others tend to keep their weight on their heels. I like to use the three most important words in real estate: location, location, location, and then substitute them for what I think are the three most important words in golf: position, position, position. When any part of your body gets out of position, the golf club cannot return to exactly where it began, resulting in off center hits on the club face.
A right handed player has their right hand lower on the grip than the left hand and just the opposite for a left handed player. This automatically lowers the rightshoulder for right handed layers, which at times can tilt the upper body backward and further behind the ball than required. Some players tend to aim their shoulders a little to the left of their target due to the right hand lower on the club. When you put your left hand lower on the club, you will see that the position of your shoulders will change and face to the target or the right of the target.
There are some comfort items to consider. A person who is short of stature and possesses a big belly will have to either bend more from the waist or stretch his arms a little father from his body to rotate or turn his trunk during the swing. A tall person can usually stand a little closer to the ball which in turn creates a more upright swing or straighter backswing instead of a rounder or more inside back swing. You hear the expression spine angle and that refers to bending from the waist at the address position and maintaining that position until the club head
returns to the ball. Trying to lift the ball will usually cause players to swing up and change their spine angle before ball contact.
Golfers can learn swing keys that help them play better but once you realize that good posture or correct spine angle throughout the swing equals consistency then you are on the way to a higher skill level. As I have said before, just hang in there. Try new things and find out what helps you improve.
Lou Thibeault is a teaching golf professional at The Links of Naples, 16161 Tamiami Trail E., Naples. You may reach him at 394-8102, or at 417-1313.