What you can learn from Charley Hoffman’s rock-solid setup

charley hoffman swings

You can learn a lot by studying Charley Hoffman's setup.

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Like many golfers, Charley Hoffman was battling lower back issues. I knew I could install one change that would help his game and his back at the same time: getting his setup back to a neutral position.

What Charley does

Charley was in “S-posture” at address, essentially arching his lower back into a stiff, straight line and getting into what’s called “excessive lumbar extension.” S-posture is the No. 1 cause of lower back pain in golfers — and also makes it more difficult to turn freely. I’d say everyone needs to avoid that. All we’ve tried to do is get Charley’s spine in a neutral position, which takes pressure off his back. That S-posture might be good for deadlifters, but not for rotational golfers. Avoid the stress of an overarched back to set yourself up for success.

What You Should do

So how do you find “neutral?” Here’s a helpful acronym: ARAN. It means “arch, round, arch, neutral” — a series of moves you can perform to nail your posture every time.

posture example
Audra Melton

Here’s how it works: Settle into posture with a club held across your chest. Arch your back, creating a curve in your lower back (1); then “round” it, curving in the inverse direction (2). Arch again (3) and then settle into a comfy position in between (4). For Charley, the final step was to bend slightly from the hips. “Point your belt buckle toward the ground,” I’d say to him. With the posture, he’s picked up speed — and comfort, too.

Need more help with your game? Get a club fitting from the experts at our sister company, True Spec Golf.

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