Golf Swing 101. Setup: Basic Posture


The Swing like a Champion System is all about moving as efficiently as possible.  Posture is vital with respect to the Swing like a Champion System because we use the strong core muscles of the trunk — the abdominals, back, and hips — to power the swing, rather than relying on the weaker and less stable musculature in the arms, hands and shoulders.

Learning to use the deep core muscles to drive your golf swing will give you more power, accuracy and consistency, while reducing stress on the body.

Using the core strength efficiently and safely requires good basic posture, with the joints aligned correctly and the core muscles engaged, giving you the feeling that your core is connected and alive.


What is Perfect Posture?

In perfect posture, you should stand with your feet and legs directly under your hips.  Your legs and feet should be parallel, and your knees are pointing forward, straight but not locked.

What we want is a good line from the hip, all the way through the knee, ankle, and foot.  We want the legs side by side with the knees and toes pointing forward.  Often, people will have their legs straight, but the feet off in different directions, so watch out for that.  The feet should be parallel.

People often interpret “hip distance apart” as the width of the flesh of their hips, which means they go too wide.  What we really want is a leg alignment that comes straight out of the middle of the hip joint, and the hip joint is much closer to the midline of the body than most of us realise – it is deep inside the body, inside the crest of the hip bone.

A fundamental part of perfect posture is pulling the abdominals in.  We are looking to create a strong, stable foundation for movement by employing the muscles of the pelvic floor and all of the abdominal muscles, enabling them to work in harmony with the muscles of the back.
This is different from the destabilising “suck in the middle” approach that shows up in many fitness scenarios.  Images like “pull your belly button to your spine”, or worse, “pretend you got punched in the stomach” are often used to encourage a deep pull-in of the abs.  These images, while they do convey the look of pulled in abs, can be misleading.  They put the emphasis of the pull-in at the waist and may encourage a destabilising forward slump of the upper torso along with a tuck of the pelvis.

The inner mechanics of creating a stable core begin not at the belly button, but with engaging the muscles of the pelvic floor.  The engagement of the muscles of the pelvic floor is crucial to providing a stable base of movement for anyone, not just women.

You should have a neutral spine position, where the natural curves of the spine are present without tucking or hyper-extending (swaying back) the pelvis.  A neutral spine is the strongest position and what we want for effective movement.

Your chest is not caved in and not thrust out, just resting easily.  There is a small point at the bottom of your sternum, and that, like the tail bone, should be pointing straight down.

Your chest should be open and your back broad, your shoulders depressed (dropped away from your ears) and your shoulder blades slightly retracted (adducted, moved backward toward the midline of the body; moving the scapulae back toward the spine), so that the fronts of your elbows (the antecubital region) face directly forward and the palms of your hands face inwards, towards your thighs.  When you protract your shoulder blades and get into poor posture, the fronts of your elbows will face inward (internally rotate) and the palms now move in front of, and face the front of, your thighs.  This position is extremely common and not only leads to common swing faults such as crossing the line at the top but can also lead to injuries of the elbow and shoulder.

Your head and neck are completely supported by your core and easily float above your shoulders.  Your gaze is straight ahead, with your throat open and chin resting naturally.

You should feel like your core is holding you up, not your shoulders.


Why Do We Need Perfect Posture?

Through correct posture, we create an integrated core of strength that supports the spine and facilitates stability and freedom of motion throughout the body.

For the golf swing, good posture is imperative for power transfer from the big muscles in your body, for stability and consistency, and to prevent injury.

Failure to stabilise your core, by properly engaging your abs, is the number one cause of golf-related back pain.

As you will see in the Downswing section, the Swing like a Champion System is powered first by the legs and hips.  These provide stability and an enormous amount of power, which is transferred and amplified through the big muscles in the core.

In order to transfer this power up the chain, through your shoulders to your arms and the club, then transform it into club head speed, the core needs to be engaged, the spine needs to be stabilised, and the shoulders need to be fully connected to the core.

We need to achieve this “connected” state throughout the golf swing, starting with setup — once we start the swing it is almost impossible to reconnect the various muscle groups in order to transfer power effectively.


Developing good posture is beneficial not only to your golf swing, but for your health and life in general:

  • it relieves pain throughout your body, including in the back and neck, hips, legs and feet;
  • it allows you to move efficiently, improving muscle function and increasing range of motion;
  • it takes pressure off of compressed organs and improves circulation;
  • it makes you look and feel better.


If you have any questions or comments about this or other articles on Golf Loopy, please send us an email.

You’ll learn how to achieve perfect posture next, in Golf Swing Drill 101 – Setup: Perfect Posture and Connecting to Your Core.


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