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Golf Biomechanics - Posture's Effect on the Takeaway and Club Length
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Published: February 16, 2014
Posture at address is something that Tiger Woods always does right and it's something that can be done right everytime by all golfers. However, once you setup to the golf ball correctly, you must ensure that your equipment works with you and not against you.
I regularly see that most students have clubs that are too long for them once they are in the correct posture and they are then forced to manipulate the club during the takeaway rather than just glide their shoulder blade as I demonstrated in the Takeaway Video.
Our average student gets fit with irons that are 1-1.5" short of standard at our golf academy in Orlando. Once you watch this video and the Takeaway Video, you will clearly see why, but only if you are setup to the ball correctly as we advocated in the Biomechanically Correct Setup Video.
Once you setup correctly and have clubs that are fit properly for you, the takeaway becomes a tiny, simple movement initiated from the back and core that will dramatically simplify your golf swing and keep your arms nice and quiet during the start of the backswing.
Chuck Quinton demonstrating the poor takeaway that happens with a posture that is too upright and the proper shoulder blade glide.
Checkpoints for Practice
- Many golfers use clubs that are too long for them
- Correct club length depends on individual proportions, not just height
- Get into your ideal setup position, then add the club in and see if it fits - don't adjust your posture to suit an ill-fitting club!
- If the club is too long you'll tend to stand up too straight, won't get the club up on plane, etc.
Video Transcription: Posture - Takeaway and Club Length
On the website we've talked a lot about the length of clubs and how it affects your posture and your swing and plane, and all those things. I'm going to talk a little bit more in depth about it, because a lot of people have asked me about my clubs.
I'm about 5' 9.5", and my clubs are an inch and a half short of standard. This is my 6 iron; it's about the length of your 9 iron, but I haven't lost any distance. In fact, I've increased my accuracy considerably because it's a lot easier to control the shorter club.
Let's talk about what happens for most people when they have clubs that are too long for them; how they tend to set up to the ball, and how that affects your posture, your plane, your movements, all those things.
I'm going to set up. Most people let the club length dictate their distance to the ball and their posture. Of course, that's the worst thing that we could do. We need our posture and our setup to dictate the length of the club.
If I have this club - I see this a lot - the club is too long for the golfer and they stand kind of like this. They're really upright. Because the length of the club is too long for them, they didn't really have a choice for this. What happens, when you stand a little too upright, you don't get the proper bend from the hips.
People tend to roll from the shoulders and now, to take the club back - if we look at that takeaway video where I'm moving my shoulder blade - if I just move my shoulder blade, look where the club is.
Now I'm standing too upright - pretending that this club is too long for me; this is a normal posture for a club that's too long - making the correct body movements, but the club never gets up on plane because that club would be too long for me.
Now, if I get into the correct posture, get the proper bend from the hip socket, keep my spine straight, let my arms hang...now if I move my shoulder blade, the club comes up on plane.
It's very, very common for the vast majority of golfers to have clubs that are too long for them. Because of that, the only way to get the club up on plane when you stand too upright is you either have to set your wrists early, move your arms up, or make some other manipulation.
If you don't want to make that manipulation and you want to just move from your shoulder blade, then you need clubs that are fit properly for you. I'd say probably about 80-85 percent have irons that are much too long for them.
Get into the correct posture, let your arms hang. Do this with your eyes closed so you find, using the setup videos, what your ideal posture is.
Once you know what your ideal posture is without a club - let your arms hang, eyes closed, and you feel, "This is where I feel balanced. I feel nice and anchored to the ground. I'm not reaching for the ball," because my eyes are closed and I'm not letting the ball position dictate where the club should be - now take a club, set up to it, and see if that looks right to your eye.
What you'll find is most people will be out like this and the toe of the club will be sitting half an inch off the ground because it's too long, and for you to play that length of a club you'd have to bend that club extremely flat. Why alter the lie angle that severely? Why not just get clubs that are fit to your build?
A lot of people are going to ask, "What's the proper length of club for my height," or what have you? It will be entirely different for everybody.
For instance, I have average length legs and a long torso, and long arms. Those two things dictate that I'm going to have shorter clubs than somebody with really long legs and a short torso and short arms, because when they bend over their hips aren't going to drop back as far behind them because they're going to be balanced without having as much mass out forward, whereas with me, my hips drop back quite a bit because I have a big, fat head and a long torso and I have long arms, so now when my arms hang, my arms are almost down to my knees.
Your club length is going to be dictated by your build, which is going to be different for everybody, and your posture. Your posture should be fairly similar in terms of bending from the hips, letting your arms hang, getting everything in neutral joint alignment.
The key is, you need to get fit properly by somebody who really knows what they're doing once you're in your proper setup.
Keep in mind, the big key here is if you feel that you have to do a lot of work to get the club up on plane with an early wrist set, or something like that, your clubs are probably too long for you.