3 Points of the Golf Address Position
This is the my last post addressing your Address Position in the golf swing. I have not included the “fitness fixes,” “pro fixes,” and “training aid fixes” that I traditionally post because the Head, Arm, and Leg positions of the Address Position are simple checkpoints that you can fix with a mirror or friend looking at you in that position.
However, don’t underestimate the importance of these positions. After all, if you do not start in the correct position, how can you expect to hit the ball with your body in the correct positions?
Head Position in Golf
First, many amateur golfers make the mistake of keeping their head tilted too far down because they are trying to keep their “eye on the ball.” I can’t go a week without hearing someone on the golf course tell their partner to “keep your head down.” I imagine you have heard the same thing.
The problem here is that when the golfer takes her backswing, her shoulders run into her chin, which rotates the head. It is very difficult to hit a stationary ball when your head is moving all over because your shoulders are running into your chin.
Instead, with your head in a relaxed position, your shoulders should have enough room to rotate underneath the chin and not affect the head. This will help prevent neck and back pain with golf.
Arm Position in Golf Address
Second, once you have achieved your athletic position, the arms should hang down naturally. You should not feel that you are reaching for the ball.
In fact, your arms and the shaft of the club should NOT be aligned, but should be at different angles. This is absolutely true with irons.
You can move your hands a little further forward for your fairway woods and your driver to create more of a sweeping motion, however, the shaft and your arms should still be at different angles.
Trail Leg Position in Golf Address
Instead of getting too technical here and giving you the perfect degree of knee bend, the best answer is the “athletic position.” The athletic position is the bodies natural position of absolute power in which the muscles around the ankles, knees, hips, back and shoulders are at their optimum length and angle for optimum power.
Each muscle has a certain position in which it will produce the most power.
Take your biceps for example (the muscle kids flex to show you how strong they are). The biceps muscle is the most powerful and can lift the most weight when the elbow is around a 100deg (just past 90deg) angle. If your arm is fully straight or if your elbow is fully bent, your bicep cannot produce nearly as much power.
Luckily for us, the body instinctively knows these positions. If you are getting ready to lift a heavy object you don’t stand up straight with arms straight out in front of you. You get into the “athletic position.”
You can get into the athletic position for golf by first standing with your feet shoulder width apart. Now, keeping your back flat, bend or hinge forward at the waist to a comfortable and powerful feeling position. Lastly, bend your knees slightly. You should “feel” ready for action, ready to dodge a speeding car.
That is all there is to it
Rotational position of the legs.
For the average golfer, the back foot should be facing directly forward but the front foot should be turned outwards about 200 to 300.
This outward turns allows the hips to fully clear on the downswing and follow through. However, if you have tight hips or arthritis in the hips, it is ok if you also rotate your back foot outward to help achieve a full backswing. This reduces the strain on the hip and can also help you avoid some harmful compensatory moves that can ruin a good swing.
(I will address this in a later post that I will title “The Orthopedic Golf Swing.”)
The following posts will address correct check point positions at the top of the backswing…which will be much more interesting for me to write about and hopefully more enjoyable for you to read.
Thanks for reading!
Dr. Ryan York, DPT CGS