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How to Maintain Your Posture for Better Ball Striking

Online Golf Instruction By: Chuck Quinton, Master Instructor • FULL BIO •

How to Maintain Your Posture for Better Ball Striking
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I Bet You've Heard This One Before...

maintain your golf swing spine angleLearn the "Merry Go Round" drill.

Have you ever been told that the reason you're topping the ball or hitting it thin is because you aren't keeping your head down?

If you're like most golfers, the answer is undoubtedly "YES!"

Advice Like This Is Why You ASK WHY

This bad advice will often result in a player focusing on the ball so much that the chin digs into the chest, completely locking up the cervical spine and killing the ability to effectively rotate.

There's a better way to fix this issue.

End the Frustration

What's most likely going on is that you are losing your posture, or spine angle, in the downswing.

Loss of posture and fixing loss of posture can be one of the most frustrating aspects of the game.  Yet, it is also one of the most important elements of the swing. 

One of the biggest differences between touring professionals or good amateurs and higher handicap players is posture in the downswing.

"Welcome, Chad! What a great video; so simple to work on for a part of my swing that is the most difficult to change..."
-Robert H. | Sept 16, 2012 | 16 HDCP

The Camera Doesn’t Lie!

In the pictures below, the red lines represent where the "tush line" was at address. Ideally, you want to stay on that line or even get slightly beyond it in the downswing.

The picture on the left shows Tiger working deep into the tush line.  It is a great example of maintaining posture in the downswing. 

maintain your posture in the downswingThe red lines are the "tush line" at address. Tiger does a great job of keeping and even increasing his spine angle. I used the drill in this video to get better at it.

The picture in the center is of me struggling to maintain posture.

You can clearly see that I am driving off the trail foot, causing my hips to thrust forward and my upper body to lift up and back.

"Great drill to help me recognize and address my tendency to lose posture mid swing...This helps me visualize where my swing is headed. This and Chuck's latest video...it's all coming together. Thanks guys."
-Piper S. | Oct 7, 2012 | 17 HDCP

To Fix Swing Faults: Repeat, Repeat, Repeat!

My "after" image is a great example of how the “Merry Go Round” drill described in this new video helped me change the faulty movement. 

The drill taught me the proper feeling of keeping the hips back and the chest down as I transitioned from the top of my swing into the downswing. 

Just days after I started using the “Merry Go Round” drill I was able to maintain my posture in the downswing! 

"Nice video..I have the same issue of maintaining the posture at impact..will try it out. Chad, keep more of such videos coming...!!"
-Ravi H. | Sept 16, 2012 | 25 HDCP

Don’t get me wrong – maintaining posture in the downswing is still a constant work in progress for me at this point because scientific research has shown us that we have to constantly reinforce the proper movement at slow speeds to get the brain to understand.

Long-time members know that it takes roughly 3,000-5,000 correct repetitions to master a new movement.

Why Should You Watch This Video?

"You guys are psychic! I have learned more from this site in a month then I have in 20 years of golfing! Thanks again for another great video and drill!!!!"
-James T. | Sept 16, 2012 | 10 HDCP

Maintaining posture in the downswing is crucial for consistent contact. Check out the video now!

And if you'd like even more help keeping your spine angle, check out Losing the Tush Line and The Tiger Squat.

Checkpoints for Practice

  • The lower body should work back away from the ball in the downswing, making room for hands & arms
  • Many golfers do the opposite, thrusting knees & hips forward and moving the chest up away from the ball
  • Drill: Hold a club against your chest and get into address posture
  • Rotate the club to the top, then down into impact position
  • If you lose posture, you won't be able to get the club down into impact position

Video Transcription: Maintain Your Golf Swing Posture

Chest comes up & outChest comes up & out

A common problem I see in players of all skill levels is the inability to maintain posture in the downswing.

This can occur for a number of different reasons - poor swing path, clubs that are too long, standing too far away from the ball at address, or having your weight too far back into your heels at address - but the most common cause that I see are players who tend to push or drive off of their trail foot in the downswing.

When they do this, it causes the knee and hips to thrust forward, towards the ball, and the chest to move up and away from the ball, in an effort to counterbalance.

Hips & lower body work backHips & lower body work back

In the downswing we always want to see the hips and lower body work back away from the golf ball, in order to create space for the hands and the arms. We never want to see the lower body or the hips move toward the golf ball.

If that happens, like I showed you before, you can see my chest comes up and out, I lose posture, and any number of things can happen from there. You can release the golf club early, you can hit blocks, hooks, fat shots, thin shots, you name it.

Here's a drill to help you change the movement and hit the ball with more power and consistency. This drill is called the Merry Go Round, and it's going to help you eliminate loss of posture in the downswing.

Lay a club across your chestLay a club across your chest (above), go to address, then to the top, then rotate to impact

The way we're going to perform this drill is we're going to take the golf club and lay it across the chest like so. From there, we're going to get into a good address posture and rotate the golf club to the top. This is where it all starts. From here I want you to focus on getting the golf club all the way back to impact.

Again, good address posture, rotate the club to the top, get the golf club all the way back to impact. Just to note, this is not where impact occurs in the real golf swing, because the golf club is not strapped to our chest. This is actually where the release would be occurring.

It's a great opportunity for you to work on maintaining posture and that perfect release.

From this view what you'll notice is, if you have loss of posture, you won't be able to get the golf club back to impact. There you have it - driving off the trail foot, knee comes forward, hips come forward, chest moves back.

You can't reach impact with bad postureYou can't reach impact with bad posture

The cool thing about this drill, when performed properly it teaches you what you need to do with your upper body in order to eliminate what you don't want to do with your lower body, which is get the hips thrusting forward.

As a side note, it also teaches you a little bit about the mechanics of the trail foot in the downswing, and how we want to get it to roll inward, versus thrusting up off the ground.

Do this drill and it will help you eliminate loss of posture in the downswing.

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