This article will discuss how important spine angle is to the golf swing. Setting up to the ball with the correct posture is something that all golfers are capable of doing and is the first step in making a good golf swing. Ever wonder how the pros make what looks like an effortless turn leading to a swing that is both powerful and accurate? Having the correct golf posture and maintaining their spine angle is how!
- Correct Spine Tilt
- Incorrect Spine Tilt
- Correct Spine Angle
- Incorrect Spine Angle
- How to Maintain a Proper Spine Angle
Correct Spine Tilt
For a right handed golfer, when you grip the golf club at set-up your right hand goes below your left. This means your spine should be tilted slightly back to the right allowing you to easily reach your right hand onto the club without bending. The proper spine tilt angles your front shoulder slightly up, and your trailing shoulder slightly down. This slight spine tilt puts your body in the ideal position to turn away from the ball without collapsing forward or sliding away from the ball. If done correctly the proper spine tilt feels like your sternum is angled at your front knee.
An easy drill to do with Swing Align to check your spine tilt is to check the angle of the alignment rod across your chest. At address the alignment rod should be square to your target line and angled slightly up. This position is the beginning of a successful golf swing!
Incorrect Spine Tilt
If your shoulders are too level at address it means your front side is slightly collapsed and your weight is probably distributed too much on your front foot. When your front side is collapsed, or your weight is too far forward, it is easy to start the golf swing by taking the club away too far outside, or too steep, both of which cause multiple swing issues typically resulting is a slice, poor contact, and loss of power.
Correct Spine Angle
Your spine angle and your body’s forward bend towards the golf ball at set-up is critical to hitting solid golf shots. In order to achieve the correct spine angle, set your feet about shoulder-width apart for an iron shot, slightly wider for a driver. Bend your upper body forward from the hips and push your behind back. Your lower back should remain as flat as possible and your tailbone should feel like it is pushed back. Keep your weight centered in the middle of your feet, not back in your heels or out on your toes. You should feel like the back of your shoulders, knees and feet, and where your shoelaces end are lined up vertically. Your knees will be bent slightly forward.
Incorrect Spine Angle
Many golfers don’t bend forward at the hips but they round forward in the shoulders to reach the ball. This makes it very difficult to rotate your shoulders and hips. Many golfers don’t bend their upper body forward enough keeping their spine too vertical, having to bend their knees too much and reach their arms out to get to the ball. Either way this causes you to start the backswing with your arms lifting the club to the top instead of turning. When you start with the arms you typically swing down with the arms, often resulting in a pull, or a pull slice.
How To Maintain Your Spine Angle
A good drill for maintaining your spine angle is to practice your takeaway and concentrate on immediately moving your front shoulder down instead lifting your arms up or moving your shoulders out and around. After getting in the right set up position, with your spine angled forward by bending at the hips, turn the club back using both your shoulders and hips, not your arms. When your club reaches horizontal, the face of your club should be parallel to your spine angle. From here you are in a great position to maintain your spine angle to the top of your swing.
Benefits of the Correct Golf Posture
Having the proper spine tilt, spine angle and golf posture is essential for a good golf swing. There are so many benefits it is well worth it to work with a trained golf instructor, or with a golf plane trainer like Swing Align, to learn the proper set-up and golf posture and to continue practicing until it becomes ingrained in your muscle memory!
- Creates a solid and stable foundation for swing rotation
- Puts you the proper distance from the ball
- Allows you to turn efficiently and swing more powerfully
- Protects your back from injury
- Keeps you centered and balanced
- Keeps you from standing up during the swing
If you’d like to start perfecting your spine angle today, check out our shop! With Swing Align, understanding your body’s spine angle is as easy as looking down.