The purpose to our golf swings in its simplest explanation is the ability to create energy and pass it into the golf ball ideally using the design characteristics of our clubs. Contrary to what some non-golfers may think, some of our full swings can produce a lot of forces that our bodies have to create, control and use. The swing is very much an athletic motion.
A kinetic chain in our swing is the notion that body joints and segments have an effect on one another during movement. When one is in motion, it creates a chain of events that affects the movement of neighbouring joints and segments. Starting an effective chain in our technique maybe limited to your posture at address. A good spine position allows for an efficient and stable turn throughout the swing. Stabilized shoulder blades help you control your shoulder movement, and a good hip hinge help link the hips and trunk area of body with forces we generate from the ground upwards.
Let’s start with good standing posture
Even though we use the phrase “stand up straight” we can still see that spine has curves in it however this could be referred to as a “neutral spine”. If we don’t maintain this neutral spine in a golf set up it can severely limit the amount of rotation in your swing movements, not to mention the increase risk of injury.
To be able to retain standing neutral spine in our golf posture we need to hip hinge forward.
Perhaps a good way to feel this is – imagine parallel lines at your lower rib cage and your hip line. If you hip hinge the gap between these line should remain roughly the same however if you bend from your mid back (thoracic) this gap will reduce. You may also notice that when posture is slumped or hunched over the shoulder blades become protracted loosing vital stability in the shoulder control.
Once you have got into a good hip hinge posture then all we need to do is unlock the legs by flexing from your knees. One of the problem areas of posture is some people bend there legs too much at address. With the correct amount of knee flexion you will activate your hamstrings and especially glute muscles, this will give you the best chance for power and stability. When you over bend you will start to engage your quadriceps. The primary role for quads is to move your lower leg away from your body (eg kicking motion), they are not designed support your hips during the powerful rotation in a swing.
Don’t ignore what could be the most important component to reaching an athletic golf swing.