In Golf, there is no such thing as a ‘Perfect Posture’. But yes, there is something called ‘Proper posture’ which helps you to take charge of your game.
There’s no denying of the fact that proper posture is absolutely necessary for flexibility and consistency. ‘Cause it may be that your posture is the reason for your high handicap. The more accurate the distance from the golf club, the greater is the chances that you will be able to hit a straight, clean shot from the centre of the club face.
The proper posture and the appropriate distance from the golf ball are so necessary that top players’ in Championships scrupulously and thoroughly try to adjust their posture and position before angling their club toward the ball and also make sure that they maintain that position for all the shots.
Understanding the Right Distance
The biggest challenge however, while maintaining the posture is that the golfer doesn’t encounter the same conditions for each successive shot. Every shot presents a different contest on a different ground surface. A successful golfer is the one who adapts to these challenges. Once he is able to adapt his distance from the ball in all situations to get the perfect shot, he can concentrate on other issues that face him.
How to start adjusting your position from the golf ball?
The best way to start adjusting your posture is to first stand closer to the golf ball and then come up with the best angle to align to it. Many golfers think that the distance between you and the golf ball is equally important as the distance between you and the golf club. This distance helps you with enough ‘swing space’ while maintaining the correct balance during the swing.
The length of the golf club is also an important factor to determine your distance from the golf ball. The longer the club, the further you will be away from the golf ball. Of all the clubs, the driver has the longest shaft which helps the golfer in his flexibility. However, longer the shaft, the greater is the distance between the ball and golfer. Inversely, a golfer would be nearer to the ball if he is using a wedge, which has a smaller shaft. In such cases, the golfer needs to concentrate on the distance between the butt of the club and his thigh rather than the distance between the ball and himself.
For e.g., If a golfer is using a 6 iron in hand, he has to first make sure that he can lift his heel and wiggle his toes in the shoes at the same time. If he cannot lift his heels, then he is probably too far away from the ball; and if he can’t wiggle his toes then is too close to the ball, which means his weight is over his toes.
How Our Body Complements Our Distance from the Ball
This brings us to the three most important parts of the body that are at work during the golfers swing. They are the back, the hips, and the knees. Apart from these, other parts of the body need the proper alignment too.
1. Back – Tilted Forward
While setting up the posture for the shot, the golfer’s back should be tilted straight forward from his hips. At the same time, he needs to ensure that he doesn’t arch his lower back. Golfers who are thin and tall stand a bit upright from the golf ball, whereas some who are broad-chested needs some more space to swing their club; hence they stand a bit away from the ball.
2. Knees – Slightly Bent
For great balance, the knees of the golfer should be flexed or slightly bent in a way that the golfer feels the weight shift from his heels to the balls of his feet. The back knee should be bent inwards to eliminate the chances of the body swaying during the swing.
3. Hips – Hinged Out
Since hips are the point of rotation during the swing, the golfer needs to bend his body at the hip and not at the waist. Many new golfers make the mistake of protruding their hips and backside outwards in a way that their body takes an S-shape. The best posture is to keep the spine at a neutral posture and hinge your hips out slightly.
4. Spine – Right Angle
Some golfers recommend that it is enough for a golfer to change the angle of his spine to the pelvis to accommodate the length of the golf club. However, while adjusting the distance, if a golfer ends up standing further away from the ball then he may end up hitting the ball with the toe of the club rather than the centre, leading to a messed up ball flight.
5. Hand – Right Span
A golfer needs to check if he can pass his hand between his body and the end of his club to ensure that he has got a good balance. The approximate distance between his golf club and his left thigh will be a hand-span. Many pro-golfers keep the club position in such a way that the butt-end of the club is at a hand span from their lower pelvis and in a straight line against the toes.
If the golfer hunches over it may give a very upright swing, whereas if he stands very closer to the golf ball, it will give a flat circular swing plane leading the ball off to the left or the right of your intended shot. Since the shoulders do the main task of supporting the hands, they should be straight and not rounded down or crouching. Many golfers find themselves hunching their shoulders while hinging for the shot.
Another important thing is the position of the golfer’s hand. Many golfers stretch their arms straight away from their body while holding the golf club. Such a posture can cause inconsistent shots. It almost looks as if the golfer is trying to reach the ball through his club, and he will have to literally throw his golf club towards the ball to reach it.
It is always a best practice to let both of your hands rest on your chest, or in other words, let your elbow be near to your body not away while standing and then bend down with the same posture towards the ball. Overall, the body of the golfer remains anchored to the ground while the hands and the shoulders are relaxed.
Step-by-Step Guide for Ball Positioning
The entire article can be summarized in the following five steps:
- Stand erect with the knees flexed
- With the spine at the right angle, relax your elbows keeping them close to your chest
- Ensure that the tail of the club points above the buckle of your belt
- Bend your body at the hips and ensure the club falls down towards the ball at the normal position
Your Correct Distance from the Golf Ball
Once the best posture is gained, it’s best to let the club do the rest. Many golfers call approach as the athletic posture. While imitating other professional PGS Tour champions has its worth, it needs to be stressed that each golfer is different. Rather than imitating someone else’s posture, a golfer needs to find the angle and the distance that suits him the best. While it’s a matter of trial and error, each golfer needs to take care of the most overlooked and the most important aspect of the game – How far are YOU standing from the Golf ball?