Now that we’ve developed a solid grip in Part One it is time to address the ball with the correct posture.
People are made in different shapes and sizes. There is no one perfect posture in golf. Depending on height, arm length, leg length and torso length an athletic golf posture will look different. However, there are fundamentals of setting up to a golf ball that are absolute.
The picture provided shows three different address position. N stands for neutral spine, which is desirable. C stands for a C curve in the back/spine at address, and S stands for an S curve in the back/spine at address. Both C and S curves are not desirable.
A neutral spin is accomplished by taking a standing position, tilting forward from the hips, and then slightly bending the knees. The spine should not change from the standing position while getting into the correct golf posture. The weight should be somewhere between the insteps and balls of the feet. This position should feel like the feet are very connected to the ground. In any sport this position is desirable because we want to push off the ground for speed and control. If there is no connection to the ground, no force and stability can be obtained through impact. If I gave you a shove in your address position, would you lose your balance?
The C curve is common in a golfer who works at a desk for many hours and does not stretch. To fix the C curve, raise the chin at address, pinch the shoulder blades together at address, and do exercises in the gym that give more mobility in the upper back, shoulders and hamstrings. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to make a solid turn back and through the ball with a C curve.
The S curve is a product of 1980s and 1990s teaching methods. Many teachers in this era suggested golfers should push their hips back as far as they could. People who are very flexible get into this position very easily. The S curve puts a lot of pressure on the back at address and during the swing It hurts me just looking at the picture displayed.
After we get into a neutral spine, relax the arms straight down. Swing the arms left and right until they slam together. This is where the hands should be during every golf shot, even if the ball position changes. This a stable, athletic, natural, no-tension set up; no manipulation of the hands and body. It is a sport. If you do not treat it as such, forward progression in your game will be difficult. We need to be in an athletic set-up to be successful.
See your local PGA professional to see if you have a neutral spine in your address position.
Todd Elliott is the PGA Head Golf Professional for Hideaway Beach. Todd is TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) Certified as a golf professional. This gives him the ability to give golf specific physical screening to detect any physical limitation that might affect the golf swing. Todd is an active Student Mentor at FGCU; a volunteer with the First Tee program and was presented the 2010 and 2011 PGA’s President Council Awards on “Growing the Game.”