This week we are going to focus on one of the most important basic fundamentals in golf, maintaining your spine angle. This is so important that I am going to dedicate two weeks addressing this topic. So let’s get started!
When we start out learning to play golf you will here “you lifted your head!” This may be the number one comment/advice you will probably hear but what does it really mean. In reality, it’s not your head that’s lifting up but your upper torso. If you are “lifting your head” what is likely happening is you are straightening your back on the back swing. This is actually a normal response to taking the club back and why so many people to it. What you should be doing is maintaining your starting posture, which is bending from the waist in an athletic position and as you take the club back to the top of your swing you simply turn. This isn’t that difficult once it is pointed out to you that that is how you should take the club back rather than lifting up.
The trickiest part of maintaining your spine angle is on the downswing to impact. This is what the pros and low handicappers do so well and separates them from higher handicappers. We call this having right side bend at impact. The images below of Rory Mcllroy, show him keeping his spine angle at impact. The reason it’s tricky to do is because it is totally unnatural to keep this right side bend into impact. It requires some athleticism and does put stress on your lower back. However, this position at impact is a must if you want your swing to stay on plane and provide consistency to your shotmaking.
The next time you go to the range to practice be aware of whether or not you are lifting up on the backswing or straightening up into impact. I like to use the analogy that when you are addressing the ball just imagine a steel rod is going through your neck and out your tail bone into the ground. With this steel rod in place you just turn back around it and turn back through impact. You haven’t lifted up nor have you dipped or come up on the downs swing. Master maintaining your spine angle and you will play Your best golf!