This week’s lesson from the practice tee focusses on the importance of posture and the effect your starting position has on your impact position. We will be looking at Ryan, a great amateur golfer. Regardless of your skill level, you can benefit from similar adjustments we made with Ryan.
Here we have Ryan at address before he hits his driver. The image on the left is before any adjustment and the image on the right are after making posture changes. As an instructor, I like to encourage my students to embrace changes that deal with pre-swing and setup. These are factors that players of any skill level can control and have almost immediate results.
Here we found Ryan was creating too much spine angle at address. As you can see, he appears to be bent over too much, shaft angle is too low and he has more knee flex than desirable when hitting a driver or longer club. By having him address the ball in a taller manner, we immediately changed his spine angle and shaft angle.
Simple enough, right? Let’s take a look at what happened.
Again, the image on the left is before the posture change and on the right, we see what the small change can do.
With Ryan’s first setup positions, he struggled to maintain his spine angle and because he was so bent over, the only thing he could do was stand up. We see that he is completely out of his posture and the flat or low shaft angle at address is almost impossible to replicate when swinging at 100+mph.
However, the taller and more upright shaft angle at address are easy to hold throughout as we see on the right. Ryan can fully transfer his pressure and energy through impact while maintaining his angles (note that he mirrors his shaft angle at address).
In summary, have a friend take a quick snapshot of you at address or utilize a mirror at home. After getting comfortable, check to see your position at impact. Are you too bent over with the driver? Or, perhaps, are you are standing too tall?
In either case with the driver, a proper setup will have slight knee bend — keeping your knees flexed more over the ankles, not the toes — and the butt-end of your club shaft should point at your beltline or slightly above it, not below the belt.
To learn more about proper address positions and ways to master your driver, check out Swing-U!
Aaron Ungvarsky, PGA