Improve Your Golf Posture


How we address the ball is critical to making a good swing because it sets the stage for everything that follows. Jimmy Ballard’s maxim is to set up and stay as tall as you can throughout the swing. Practically speaking, this means that you get your rear end underneath you in the setup, rather than sticking out. He always says to imagine holding something heavy like a sack of potatoes where you would naturally get your arms on top of your chest, and your butt underneath you to support the weight with your core and big leg muscles. From that position, you can turn and hand the potatoes to your right, or then toss them to your left—the main moves in the golf swing for a right-hander. You can try this with an empty bucket of balls to get this feeling of tossing. You will notice you never toss the basket by coming over the top.

Jimmy is fond of telling people to feel like you are sitting on a stool, rather than bending over. I try to picture a quarterback who has dropped back to spot an open receiver. They stand tall as they prepare to shift their weight and deliver a pass.


Stand tall like a quarterback

We can also use the analogy of a baseball hitter who typically stands tall at the plate. Good hitters do not need to bend over to hit a low outside pitch. Instead, they stay tall, let the bat move down to hit the ball and simply swing through normally. Since the golf ball starts on the ground, many of us want to set up bent over and stay that way throughout the swing. In my opinion, this creates a lot of strain in your lower back and makes it very hard to transition weight from the rear leg to the front leg which is critical in any athletic motion. It also tends to create a swing that is more around the golfer and over-the-top (the typical bad swing for most amateurs).

Manny Ramirez

See how tall Manny stands.

To practice this you can look in the mirror and get that rear end underneath you and get your head out of your chest. You can still see the ball by simply looking down rather than dropping your head. Then make your swing, trying to stay tall at impact and swing through to a tall, full-balanced finish with your weight on your front foot. Your back and your ball flight will be much improved.

Written by Wade Baynham
Single-digit handicap, who learned golf in his early 20′s from my former father-in-law, a long time PGA tour and Champions tour player. I enjoy studying the golf swing and occasionally give golf lessons.