Most amateurs forget this key swing element. Here’s how to avoid that mistake

One key element to improve ball-striking is having good golf posture. Top teacher Shawn Callahan shares ways to accomplish this

Proper golf posture will improve your ball-striking ability, so here's how to make sure you're standing correctly.

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Welcome to Shaving Strokes, a series in which we’re sharing improvements, learnings and takeaways from amateur golfers just like you — including some of the speed bumps and challenges they faced along the way.

As a mid-handicapper, I think of a lot as I stand over my golf ball before a shot.

Did I go through my pre-shot routine? Check. Is my ball position in the right spot based on the shot I’m hitting? Check. Is my golf grip OK? Where the hell am I aiming? Check and triple-checked.

But while all of these things are good, there’s one swing element that often gets overlooked — the proper golf posture.

If you're struggling with your golf posture, GOLF Top 100 Teacher Jon Tattersall suggests using these checkpoints to clean it up
Use these 3 checkpoints to dial in your golf posture, says top teacher
By: Nick Dimengo

According to GOLF Top 100 Teacher Shawn Callahan, too many amateurs go through all the steps I listed above (and then some!), but don’t have the right posture to rotate properly and make ball-first contact.

“Posture is one of the biggest keys to good ball-striking,” Callahan tells me. “But it’s also one of the most overlooked.”

But with the help of Callahan’s tip below, you can improve your golf posture and start to experience better shots because of it. Take a look to see what he says.

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How to get the proper golf posture

“When I have a student come for a swing lesson, I always check their basic swing principles — like their grip, stance, setup and posture,” Callahan says.

One of the most important parts of the entire golf swing is your golf posture, which Callahan says helps separate consistent ball-strikers from the mid-to-high handicappers.

“Look at any of the pro players we watch on TV and you’ll notice how good they look at setup,” he adds. “Spine tilt, legs slightly flexed, body aligned parallel to the target line. They don’t get this way by accident, they’ve worked at it, honed it, and have made it part of their pre-shot routine.”

So what does the perfect golf posture look like? Callahan breaks it down below — which will lead to better shots as a result.

Use a mirror to dial in your golf posture

Callahan demonstrates what proper golf posture should look like. Image via Shawn Callahan

“Good posture means you’ll get the club on plane much easier, and it’ll also help engage your core muscles to work together, creating both power and speed in the golf swing,” Callahan says.

So the first thing he suggests doing is finding a mirror or sliding glass door to check your golf posture — which every person has in their house. Really, anything with a reflection should work.

Next, take your setup with the mirror facing down the line — looking as if a golf teacher were to stand behind you. Callahan then provides a checklist to go through to make sure you’re in the right posture.

“Are your knees bent too much, making it look like you’re squatting to get to the ball? Is your back too rounded? Are you bending at your stomach instead of hinging your hips? All of these characteristics will create compensations in your swing that will be inefficient,” he says. “But when your posture is good, your takeaway will be much better — without having to manipulate it to get it in the right place.”

Callahan then shares the best way to get into the proper golf posture.

“First off, start by standing tall. From there, bend over at the hips by pushing your butt back — which creates tilt at the hip, which is important, then let your arms hang straight down. This is a natural way to find your optimal posture at setup,” he says. “You don’t want to bend at the stomach or from the waist, which rounds your back and takes all the muscles in the lower back out of the swing.”

Your posture creates 2 angles

The two angles that Callahan says good golf posture creates. Image via Shawn Callahan

“Your posture creates two angles,” Callahan says. “One is created by your legs, which are roughly 90 degrees, and the other is created by your spine tilting towards the ball, which is generally 45 degrees.”

By creating these two angles in the golf swing, Callahan says you’ll have the ability to swing around your spine angle — which is easier and a more natural way to get the club on the right plane.

“Most inconsistent ball-strikers swing around their legs, which makes the swing plane too flat and forces the body to work too hard to get to the ball and hit it at your target,” he says. “But when your golf posture is correct, you can take the club back with your arms and body turn, allowing the club to be on a great plane.”

So remember to make sure you’re in good posture before taking your golf swing. It’s a huge key to hitting better shots, and it’s not another swing thought — it’s just one of the final steps before starting your takeaway.

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