In the Game of Golf, Balance and Posture Are the Basis of Winning Swings
In the game of golf, everything counts. To be a good golfer, you need good equipment, fitness, grip, stance,
posture, balance, swing. All of these are important, of course. But
grip is pretty straight forward. With the proper
guidance, a good swing is can be achieved with moderate practice. There
are thousands of programs, such as the Golf Beginner Guide, that teach golf fitness and mastery of technique.
But the proper stance, posture, and balance seem to elude many. So here's some advice about how to get set on those all important "middle-grounds" and "sweet spots".
Unlike other, more physical sports, golf demands a certain amount of finesse, and grace in addition to strength and coordination.
In golf, almost nothing can kill a good swing, and lead to poor golf scores, like improper tension.
Of course, you have to have a firm grip and you need to coil and spring
on the swing. But when your body, as a whole, is tense your mind is
tense as well. Take time to take a couple of deep breaths. There are
many ways to shed the tension which is inherent in today's life which often is so full of stress. Despite the mystic aura with which many like to surround disciplines such as yoga, this, and many of the martial arts practices, can not only improve health and fitness in
general, and improve your physical ablity to play golf in particular,
but can also help with relaxing both the body and the mind.
In the meantime, just work on loosening up those neck and shoulder muscles.
Despite the hammering and yammering of many books on golf, it really is
ok if your head moves slightly. Most good players will move the head
4-6 inches during an elegant and powerful swing.
Now take a good grip and address
the ball with your heels at about shoulder width. Slightly
further apart for wood and low numbered iron shots, a little less for
chips. Bend slightly, at the hips not the waist, but keep the back
straight. Don't fear jutting your butt, but don't exaggerate.
Let the arms swing freely with your weight slightly forward toward the
balls of your feet. Your chin should not be tucked into your chest,
which you can prevent by keeping your eyes pointed away, at the ball.
At this point, you should be both balanced and relaxed.
If you can lift one foot without falling over, you don't have your weight balanced. If you can be pushed left or right by a slight nudge, you don't have a firm stance and you're out of balance. If you could be pushed over backwards with a slight shove, your weight is too far back on your heels.
If your weight is too far back toward your heels, you'll tend to swing
too much from the inside to outside. That's a recipe for a hook. Check it by
ensuring that your kneecaps are almost directly above the balls of your
Take a look at your stance.
Your left foot should be slightly open, your
shoulders level and aligned along the target line. Swiveling your head
to the left (for right handed players), an imaginary line running
across your eyes should run parallel to the target line. In the proper
position, your spine will angle slightly away from the target, even
though your weight remains equally balanced.
You should remain balanced from the start of the swing to the finish. Practice complete backswing to downswing actions. You should be moving through a single swing plane throughout. If you're not in balance, that will be difficult to maintain.
As you move into the back swing, your weight will move to approximately 75% on the (inside of the) back foot, 25% on the forward. Through the downswing to impact, the percentages will reverse.
Your swing evolves from your setup.
Once you master stance, balance, and posture, a good golf swing is pretty much in the bag. Or, maybe I should say, "in the hole"?
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