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Achieve a Proper Spine Angle for Greater Consistency

The ‘ideal’ golf swing, by definition, is the custom swing that produces optimal performance (according to the golfer’s goals) and is least stressful to the golfer’s body. One of the most important elements of achieving your ideal swing is having the physical ability to attain the proper spine angle at address and maintaining the proper spine angle throughout your full swing.

A basic law of biomechanics states, the ‘function’ of a physical object is governed by the ‘structure’ of that object. Therefore, a golfer’s physical ability to achieve proper address posture determines their full golf swing potential. Virtually every swing compensation and ball flight inconsistency is influenced by poor posture at address. Therefore, understanding what ideal address posture is and conditioning your body to achieve and maintain proper address posture and the associated spine angle is vital to total golf performance and consistency.

There are two main spine angles that have to be achieved for ideal golf address posture; the ‘primary’ tilt and the ‘secondary’ tilt. Both tilts are dependent upon a golfer’s physical ability to attain a straight spine including the “Capital Letter I’ standing posture (a strait spine with parallel shoulders and pelvis) in standing, and when moving from the standing posture into the golf address posture, to have sufficient ‘core’ muscle strength in the lower/transverse abdominal muscles and upper back muscles to ‘tilt’ forward from the hips while maintaining a stable, straight spine.

Once achieved, the ideal golf address posture with both the primary and secondary spine angle tilts (see address posture photo sequence below) must be maintained throughout the entire golf swing in order to create optimal rotational swing path and plane – thus solid ball striking and consistent performance.

The physical requirements for maintaining proper spine angles through the entire swing include:

• Rotational flexibility in the hips and spine
• Balanced core strength between the abdominal muscles and upper back and shoulder blade muscles
• Rotational strength in the hips, and spine
• Balance and stability of the hips and legs

After each golfer has been evaluated by a golf fitness expert to determine their current physical baselines, there are specific posture, balance, flexibility, strengthening and conditioning exercises that can be custom designed to meet the specific demands of the golf swing motion and to support the golfer’s physical ability to achieve and maintain the ideal golf swing including the proper spine angles at address and throughout the full swing.

Dr. Paul Callaway (Director of Golf Fitness at the Cantigny Golf Academy) and First Golf Fitness Expert to the Pros) demonstrates the "Healthy Straight Spine" Golf Address Posture Drill. A proper golf address posture is the foundation for an 'ideal' full golf swing - a swing that produces optimal performance and least stress to your body.

To find out more about your customized, ‘ideal’ swing and how to attain it, please contact Paul Callaway, PT, PhD, CSPC at 630-567-7572 or visit www.CallawayGolfFitness.com