Category Archives: stance and posture

Your Stance

Have you ever stood over the ball just knowing that this shot is going to be one of your best? And when you make your swing that’s exactly what happens?

Now remember the times when you stood over the ball and you started worrying about where the ball was going to go because you KNEW there was something wrong. Or whether you would be able to make good contact and you didn’t.

Ken Venturi said many times that good players do not get out of swing. They get out of position. You put them back in position and their swing comes back.

That’s what your stance does for you. It gets you in position to make your best swing.

I would imagine you never practice your stance. If that’s true, then please start getting into the habit.

You can do this inside your house. Drop a ball on the carpet and address it with your 5-iron. How do you feel? Do you have that feeling of great confidence, or is it just you standing up to the ball?

Break your stance, take a few steps away, then approach the ball and set up again. How about now?

What you’re watching out for are minute changes in your grip, in your posture, in ball position, and anything else that makes one stance feel different from another.

What you’re practicing is perhaps the most important thing you can practice. Your swing emerges from your stance. Your stance leads into your swing. Good golf is played by making your best swing more often, and that means taking your best stance more often.

When you’re in position, you don’t need swing thoughts, and you don’t need to think about whether this will be a good shot or not. Your mind gets filled with the quiet confidence that all you have to do is get the club in motion and everything will be all right.

Believe me, when I’m at the range and I’m in position, I KNOW that my best shot is coming up next. My bad shots? They didn’t happen because my swing changed. They came because I took my stance for granted and couldn’t swing the way I wanted to.

Of course you want to practice your swing, but spend time practicing your stance, too. It will really pay off.

Two Pre-Swing Fundamentals

There are two pre-swing fundamentals I have been emphasizing lately to great effect. Let me share them with you.

One is to hold the club lightly at address. Hold the club with the same pressure as you would apply when shaking the hand of a young child. Keep that same pressure as you take the club away. This keeps your body relaxed so clubhead speed can build up freely.

The second one is more of a mental aspect of the setup than a physical one.

I get into a posture in which I feel relaxed and neutral, that is, not posed, or poised, in any way.

Nothing is out of balance. I’m not reaching for the ball. I’m in a relaxed yet athletic posture that can move without a hitch into the flow of the golf swing.

You will notice that both of theses points have to do with relaxation. The more relaxed you are at the start of the swing, and can maintain that relaxation throughout the swing, the better you will hit the ball. Promise.

Posture in Golf

When you bend over to address the ball, you must not lower your hips at the same time. Keep them where they are to create a level swing and maintain your balance.

Try this. Stand upright and put a 5-iron on the ground right against your leg. It doesn’t matter which one. Notice where the top of the grip hits your hip. Now lower yourself into your stance like you usually do. If that spot on your hip is now lower than the top of the grip, you’ve made the mistake I’m warning you against.

Try again, this time taking your stance while keeping your hip where it is. It might help to think that you raise your hip up and back as you bend over. Actually, it will stay in the same place. Don’t forget to bend your knees if you have to.

Do this over and over until you get used to it, then take that 5-iron into your hands and swing it. I believe you will find your swing to be a lot smoother than it was before, and you will finish with very good balance.

This is one of those little things that you don’t read about in the instruction books. All the good golfers do it, though, just watch on TV. You can do it, too.