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The Importance of Good Posture When Playing Golf

By: Mike Kiely BA (hons) - Updated: 26 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Posture Upper Body Lower Body Knees

People of a certain age will be familiar with those Crazy Golf courses that seemed to be a feature of everyday English holiday resorts. Indeed, the whisper is that not only do some of these facilities still survive but the gentle crack of second-hand ball upon second-hand putter is making something of a comeback.

Of course, this fairground attraction bears little relation to the real thing, but venture out on any municipal or club course and there’s a good chance you will see an 18-hole equivalent that is just as crazy. There’ll be individuals casually addressing tee shots, others merrily ploughing out chunks of rough in a vain attempt to dig their ball back on to the fairway.

Not only is such behaviour damaging to the image of the game itself, not to mention the course, but it is likely that these individuals are putting themselves at risk, and not just of ridicule, or the anger of other players, but also of serious injury.

Serious Business

The game of golf is a serious business. Picture having to tune both body and mind to the task of propelling a small ball down a fairway, and then having the ability to control the back- and forward-swing of a club in order to make a sweet contact and produce a good shot. It all may look very easy with a beer in your hand in front of the BBC’s annual coverage of the Open Championship, but the reality is very different.

Getting your technique wrong can result in a range of upper- and lower-body injuries, and so many of them are the result of poor posture, whether that be poorly aligned hips, tight wrists, stooping shoulders, or knees that are being prevented from functioning properly because of a poor stance.

Get your posture right, and even the most rudimentary technique with a club is likely to pay dividends. Get it wrong, and you have no chance of making good contact with the ball. Not only will your technique suffer, but you will be vulnerable to injury in one of the aforementioned areas of the body.

Get Yourself Checked Out By a Physio

Injury means that you will not be able to play. Even if it is only a twinge that you are experiencing, it is better to leave the clubs at home and get yourself checked out by a physio. So often, turning your back on a twinge can lead to it developing into something far worse; it’s a warning sign, so listen to your body.

However, injury may have one positive effect: it may shake you out of your complacency and make you realise that you must address your posture both in order to avoid recurrence or even another injury, and to get your game back on track.

Where to start? Knock on the club professional’s door, or find a coach. In probably the time it takes for you to swing your club from back to front, they will be able to see how much of a problem they are facing. It may only be a small adjustment that is needed: perhaps your posture is too stiff, or your feet are slightly out of alignment with the rest of your body; on the other hand, it may be a case of starting from scratch.

Remember that it is not just your posture on the tee that is important; you must get your body right for every stroke on the course, whether it be a six-iron, sand wedge, or putter in your hand.Get your posture right and the rest of your game will develop accordingly. Otherwise, you may have to restrict your sporting activities to the Crazy Golf course this summer. You have been warned.

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