Why golf posture and stance are not important

I can’t help but think that golfers become unstuck when they try and stand correctly to the ball.

They are determined to get every part of the stance correct. They make sure their posture is right, their stance is square and the ball is located in the perfect postition. For the most part these golfers fail…

They try too hard. They fidget and never get comfortable. They look awkward and become so preoccupied with what they are doing that they forget the main aim – to hit the ball.

I think there is a better way.

Forget everything that you’ve ever read about standing to the ball. This includes alignment and ball position.

I have found that comfort is more important. When you stand comfortably, you give yourself a better chance of making a better swing. This is more valuable than any spine angle tip you’ll read in a golf magazine.

Your subconscious will take care of any minor errors with your aim and ball position. You can keep swinging. Over time you will naturally (without thinking) learn the best positions for you and your swing.

Get comfortable from the start and hit the ball. This is all you have to do. It’s more fun and definitely more interesting than concerning yourself with too much detail.

Good golfing,

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  • Andrew

    Reply Reply February 25, 2008

    I have found you definitely create tension in your body when you try to stand correctly. The following is an excerpt from Tai Chi which applies equally to golf

    Trying is a kind of forcing; it is the act of seeking to adhere to an idea or pattern that exists in your mind.

    When you try, exertion is required.
    Effort creates anxiety and tension.
    Tension impedes you.

    Rather than try… allow.
    Allowing is a passive, relaxed approach that involves stepping out of the way.
    Some things happen by themselves.

    To be spontaneous, conscious thought must cease and you must simply do.
    Both the mind and the body must be loose and flexible.

    When a person prepares for an activity they encounter a minute tensing of the muscles and a tightening of the joints.
    The subtle act of preparation actually reduces your ability to move and slows the body considerably.

    In golf we seek to remove this moment of getting-ready and simply move.
    By slowing-down the body and calming the mind you become capable of instant action. In golf, this is essential.

    Feel how the body wants to move and let it move that way.
    A stiffness corrupts the golf swing when people refuse to let go.
    They become locked in the act of trying…
    It is the product of thinking rather than feeling, forcing rather than allowing.
    In your effort to achieve, you actually hamper your own progress.

  • David Pryde

    Reply Reply August 14, 2008

    I applied your automatic swing for the first time today and some of the shot contact was certainly as good as I have felt. But later in the round I stood to the ball thinking about a straighter back and bum sticking out as I have been doing previously. As a result the swing became a little tighter and less natural. I went loss, loss, half, to finish square on par. Poor finish but satisfactory result for my first game with NO swing thoughts for 15 holes. This is the way to play. How do you suggest we should practise?
    Cheers, David Pryde

  • Dr Ryan York, DPT CGS

    Reply Reply April 7, 2013

    I definitely agree that you need to be comfortable and relaxed in the golf swing. However, as a physical therapist and biomechanist I tend to disagree that poster is not important. Depending on comfort is dangerous. First, because whenever you make a swing change, it will be uncomfortable until you practice it enough to make it natural. Especially in regards to posture. People have poor posture (c-posture, hump back) because their muscles have adaptively shortened. As a result, when they stand up straight, they are stretching those muscles. This will feel uncomfortable until the muscles stretch to the correct position. If one stays in a “comfortable” position, posture will just get worse and worse.
    A C-posture golfer, bends at the thoracic spine (mid to upper back). when these spinal segments are flexed forward, they can not physically rotate. As a result, if your posture is poor, you will lose your ability to rotate the spine in the backswing and follow through.

    Having said that, I love that you are thinking out of the box. This is one of the few articles I have read that challenged my thought and got me thinking “Is posture really that important and why”

    Keep it up,

    Dr. Ryan York, DPT CGS
    Age Defying Golf

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply April 7, 2013

      Doc Ryan: Thanks for sharing. Your attitude sets you apart. Even if some disagree, it’s good to be challenged and have your mind pushed and prodded. Too many just dismiss and move on – opportunity lost.

      My thinking with this article is for the golfer who is going out to play. I tend to favour a less is more approach and when it comes to “swinging the sticks” I hate to see golfers fidget and fumble when they get over the ball. It hardly works and it looks awful.

      I’m all for golfers doing everything they can to fix their aging bodies – just don’t do it when you get to the course to go play.

      I spent 18 months working with a coach who tried everything to get me to change my posture – I didn’t quite fit the model at the time. So each lesson was a real pain as he kept prodding me to get into his perceived setup position. Not much fun…

      Thanks again for sharing,


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