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Good Golf Posture

post #1 of 201
Thread Starter 

When I first started playing I was taught what "athletic" posture was in the golf set-up.  Straight back, stick the butt out and have the chin up.  Similar to what this article and video recommend. 

 

Posture Article

Quote:
Good posture can be attained by bending your knees so they cover up your shoelaces. Then you must also bend from the hips at the same time. Sticking your butt out while keeping your back straight is the proper way to bend correctly from your hips. 

 

 

Adam Scott was said to have the most athletic posture and that having the chin up allowed the shoulders to turn.  I'm going to share why I feel that information is wrong and can be harmful to your body.  According to this Tilteist Performance Institute(TPI) Article

 

Quote:
Lower back pain is one of the most common complaints of all golfers. This is usually due to the high velocity rotary forces that are applied upon the lumbar spine during the golf swing.  Some golfers actually put themselves into this position on purpose because they heard it was good to stick their butt out at set up. Unfortunately, if you arch your back to stick your butt out at set up, you are also putting your lower back in jeopardy of being injured.
 
The Lower Crossed Syndrome / “S-Posture”:
One of the most clinically relevant patterns of muscle dysfunction is a lower crossed syndrome. Simply stated, the lower crossed syndrome is a grouping of weak muscles combined with overactive or tight muscles, that create a predictable movement pattern in the lower back that can lead to injury.

 

S- Posture would be the pic of me on the left.  “S” posture is caused by a player creating too much arch in their lower back.  We’ve all been told to stick our butt out at address, yet when over done, it impinges the spine and the body’s ability to rotate.

 

 

Feeling some posterior pelvic tilt and rounding my shoulders inward.  I can view the ball out of my central vision in the right pic.  Weight is also balanced, too much into my heels in the left pic.

 

248Bfig1.PNG

 

As I said I'm feeling posterior tilt, in reality I am closer to anterior but adding posterior.  By tucking my tailbone under me, posterior, I place the hips in the best position to release the flexion of my right hip during the backswing, not to mention how much easier this position is on the lower back. 

 

The shoulders feeling rounded, inward and down, allows the chin to be down, which allows for the ball to be seen with central vision.  The eyes which are located in the head are what need to be stable or centrally foviated on the object to maintain the balance centers located in the eyes, ears, and muscular system.  When we are looking at the golf ball, and our head is down, we are able to see the golf ball out of the middle of our eye sockets and in the center of our vision, called "foveal vision".  When an object is in foveal vision, we are able to make more detailed processing of the image (being golf ball and surroundings) during the golf swing.  If the eyes are being forced to strain within the eye socket and keep relocating the golf ball because vision is temporarily lost from one eye, this is called "saccadic eye movement" and is slower and less detailed processing of sensory input from the eyes to the brain.

 

If we lose the ability for depth perception, which can cause compensations and make it difficult for our brain to calculate where we are relative to the ball.  This could cause the golfer to have to adjust to see the golf ball out of both eyes and make the fastest adjustments during the course of the golf swing. 

 

Adam Scott has made some changes the past couple years.

 

Adam Scott Eye changes.jpg

So even though there may instruction that advocates what Adam was doing in 2002, it's hard to find examples of this kind of address position from the best players.  Especially players from Hogan, Palmer, Nicklaus years.  TPI would call a Hogan or a Palmer address a "C" posture.  I will say that today's players have the chest "taller" than players in the past but still do the neck tilt piece well.  More of a neutral posture between the C and S postures.  I like the way the classic guys did it, I think it just looks much better and sets them up to perform a very dynamic motion.  A lot of address postures to me look too static.  Check out these pics

 

A1 Hogan and Palmer.jpg

 

A1 Palmer and Dustin Johnson.jpg

 

 

A1 Byron Nelson Graeme McDowell.jpg

 

A1 Jack and Robert Rock.jpg

 

 

 

A1 Snead and Westwood.jpg

A1 Robert Allenby and Hunter Mahan.jpg

A1 Stadler and Duval.jpg

 

 And a few good videos to share 

 

 

From Martin Hall's show

 

 

 

 

Couple posture drills

 

- Place your heels 2-4 inches from a wall or stick

- Stand up straight, bend from the hips and add knee flex until.....

 

 

-  ....your butt touches the wall.

- Then soften the upper back and lower the arms

 

 

Here's a feel/visual/drill for those that struggle with an upper back that is too upright. Balance a cup of water on top of your neck/cervical spine. If you can't do it, then your eyes are looking up too much and/or you're not "slouched" enough.

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post #2 of 201

Nicklaus, Snead, and Palmer look like they're suffering from osteoporosis.

post #3 of 201

As always, Good information.  Thanks. 

post #4 of 201

Working on seeing the ball from the center of my eyes is something mvmac has had me work on.  In doing so, I hit the ball on better trajectory (especially with the driver) than when I lapse into the old way of "looking under my glasses".

post #5 of 201

Yes, there are two things here. First is the posture of the spine, the second is the gentle tucking of the chin to allow us to see the ball out of the center of our eyes. Both are important (and doing one makes the other easier).

post #6 of 201

I heard from a certain someone that keeping a depth perception constant is the most important thing in the golf swing.

post #7 of 201
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sk golf View Post

I heard from a certain someone that keeping a depth perception constant is the most important thing in the golf swing.


Hmm I wonder who? e2_whistling.gif

 

 

post #8 of 201
Great post
This information has helped a lot and about all my lower back is much better
One question , why the set up is not a fundamental or introduced in the five keys?
I have suffered the S posture what has made me impossible to have a good backswing
post #9 of 201

Great post Mike.  This is good for me because I had a spine injury in High School that curved my upper spine forward.  I can never have the old Adam Scott posture.

 

I think the variation in the spine posture for the pros may have a lot to do with their natural neutral posture.  Some people just naturally have a straighter back posture.  If you watch the players above walk or stand prior to hitting, you will see the neutral position.  Being in your neutral relaxed position at set up will be easier on your body.

 

That being said, how do you explain why Sam Snead's pants are up so high?  If I pull them up, will I swing like Sam?

post #10 of 201

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by carrero77 View Post

One question , why the set up is not a fundamental or introduced in the five keys?

 

Because there's no "one" correct posture. It's not a commonality among great players. Nor is the grip, alignment, and several other things (swing plane, for example).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boogielicious View Post

That being said, how do you explain why Sam Snead's pants are up so high?  If I pull them up, will I swing like Sam?


Do we really want to get into the testicular pressure points? Most people have enough trouble with the two pressure points beneath their armpits. a1_smile.gif

post #11 of 201

Should the knees be bent sufficiently to obscure view of your shoe laces?  I'm asking because in my lesson yesterday I was told I'd gain higher swing speeds from a more athletic stance where my knees were bent more and the weight was on the balls of my feet.  He used the reference quoted here about bending the knees so I couldn't see my shoe laces as a guide. 

post #12 of 201

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post

Should the knees be bent sufficiently to obscure view of your shoe laces?  I'm asking because in my lesson yesterday I was told I'd gain higher swing speeds from a more athletic stance where my knees were bent more and the weight was on the balls of my feet.  He used the reference quoted here about bending the knees so I couldn't see my shoe laces as a guide. 


Aaron was hitting the ball pretty far in these swings:

 

Analyzr Image Export.jpg

 

I think that answers the question, right? Imagine how far he'd have to stick his knees out (and pull his head back) to not see his shoelaces.

post #13 of 201
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by carrero77 View Post

One question , why the set up is not a fundamental or introduced in the five keys?
I have suffered the S posture what has made me impossible to have a good backswing

Like Erik said it isn't a commonality of all great players.  Having said that it would definitely be an address position we recommend if the player is having a difficult time releasing flexion is his rear hip, keep his head steady and wants to prevent injury.  A player can do all 5 Keys and have an old Adam Scott set-up, but imo makes it MUCH harder to do
 

Quote:

Originally Posted by boogielicious View Post

 

That being said, how do you explain why Sam Snead's pants are up so high?  If I pull them up, will I swing like Sam?

 

Tried that and it didn't work, people just laughed b4_blushing.gif
 

 



 
post #14 of 201

Thanks Mike, he did suggest it to assist me in releasing flexion on my rear hip.  So if I understand correctly setting up with my knees bent to the level they obscured my shoe laces would be appropriate to assist my rear hip in releasing flexion? 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post

Like Erik said it isn't a commonality of all great players.  Having said that it would definitely be an address position we recommend if the player is having a difficult time releasing flexion is his rear hip, keep his head steady and wants to prevent injury.  A player can do all 5 Keys and have an old Adam Scott set-up, but imo makes it MUCH harder to do
 


 

 



 

post #15 of 201
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post

Thanks Mike, he did suggest it to assist me in releasing flexion on my rear hip.  So if I understand correctly setting up with my knees bent to the level they obscured my shoe laces would be appropriate to assist my rear hip in releasing flexion? 
 


I think that would be too much flex in the knees, I can see my shoe laces and like that pic Erik shared of Badds, he can see his shoe laces.  The tilt of the pelvis and the direction the knees/feet are pointed (below) assist the rear hip in releasing flexion.  

 

A1 caddy view comparison.jpg

 

 

post #16 of 201

Great information!  IMO, most amateur golfers suffer from slouching at address, causing their back to be rounded instead of straight.  Its something that I constantly have to pay attention too and find that when Im suddenly hitting bad shots that its a result of poor posture.

post #17 of 201

Rounded is better did you read the thread and look at the pictures?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TitleistWI View Post

Great information!  IMO, most amateur golfers suffer from slouching at address, causing their back to be rounded instead of straight.  Its something that I constantly have to pay attention too and find that when Im suddenly hitting bad shots that its a result of poor posture.



 

post #18 of 201

I teach a vast variety of skill levels as well as body types. When it is suggested that you should see the shoe laces or other tricks of the trade, one must keep in mind that these are generalized statements. Without instruction or pictures of one's self, a typical new player will arch their back significantly and be completely unaware of it. Looking back at the views of the different hitters, you can't help but notice the different body builds as well as other things. Even describing an athletic position is not an exact description. You will also notice that the more experienced players will be in a more upright position which makes it easier to turn and transfer weight. Most tour players are between 58 and 65 degrees upright depending on the club they're hitting, with a straight back. They don't stick their rear ends out excessively, they just have a straight back. They've memorized a correct position and they adhere to it. The more upright a person is, the less they have to contend with balance and the easier it is to perform the body movements. It's so easy to take a club, lay it against the back touching everything from the buttocks to the back of the head, then bend at the hips staying connected to the club, then while staying in that position, bring the club over in front of them. That is the position they should assume at address. The biggest problem that leads to the sore back as well as injuries is not warming up correctly or at all for that matter. I hit balls for 15 hours sometimes aggressively and at 52 years old, do just fine. It all comes down to being patient, stretching, and starting out slow. Preparing the muscles to perform certain actions makes all of the difference.

Christopher Warner

Master Teaching Professional

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