(Photo by Mustufa Abidi)
By Ben Cannon
Delivering 40 lessons a week at a facility as busy as The Track, Meydan Golf, you see people from all walks of life. With our location being so close to the heart of Dubai’s Downtown district, it’s not uncommon for clients to arrive straight from a busy day chained to their office desks. Few amateur golfers realise the extent of the damage our normal day to day lives can have on our posture. It’s vital we have both a sound understanding and physical ability to create the ideal golf posture to first prevent injury and ultimately encourage accurate and solid ball striking.
The golf swing is essentially a rotational motion around a central column – that central column being your spine. The better the position and the angle of your spine at address, the better it will be throughout the swing, especially at impact as the torsional forces being applied to your body throughout the swing can put pressure on the back if an unsuitable posture is used.
Statically the two most common injuries picked up by golfers are in the lower back and wrist. Here, I want to talk specifically about how your pelvis plays a vital role in producing an athletic posture and preventing lower back issues.
Typically, club golfers present with one of two posture types. These are:
C-Posture occurs when a lack of pelvic tilt causes the upper body to bend to address the ball. Your shoulders are slumped forward at address and you have a definitive roundedness to your thoracic spine (mid-back). This results in a loss of posture and a flat shoulder plane which makes it difficult to rotate fully in the backswing and often leads to an early extension.
S-Posture is caused by creating too much arch in the lower back/pelvis at setup. This puts abnormally high stress on the muscles in the lower back and leads to a loss of posture and reverse spine angle. This, in turn, puts the lower body out of position on the downswing and will affect the sequence of motion in the swing.
So, what can you do if you struggle with the either the C or S postures? To find a neutral posture give this a go:
Pelvic Tilts In Golf Stance – Find Neutral
1. Get into 5 iron Posture
2. Cross your arms
3. Arch your back (S-Posture)
4. Flatten you back (C-Posture)
5. Arch your back again
6. And then find neutral
Hip Bar Hinges
This is a great drill to help improve your pelvic position and feel the proper set-up posture, with a good hinge from your hips and not from your spine or knees.
• Position a club across your hips with your thumbs on your hip joints.
• Get into a neutral posture and bend forward from the hips, not the lower or upper back.
• You will feel as if you are pushing the golf club back and tilting from your hips.
This drill is perfect for golfers that have a C-Posture and tend to lose their posture during their backswing.
• From starting posture, place a club behind your back so that your arms form the letter W. Make some smooth slow swings focusing on keeping your shoulders back as you rotate. This is a great drill for those golfers in C-posture and gives them the correct sensation for a good setup position and keeping a good spine angle as they rotate.
Posture is very important in our day to day lives. In golf, a few tweaks to your posture could go a long way to not only improving your game but also reducing the risk of injury. – With Kent Gray.
Ben Cannon is PGA Golf Professional at the Meydan Academy By Troon.