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Harvey Penick tips: Practice Proper Posture
 

Harvey's Quick Tip: Foot position is just as important as posture, if not more. Your feet should be in a natural walking position, so you can make a full backswing and a balanced finish.

 

One of the most common problems facing beginning players or those who play sparingly is the dreaded mis-hit. There are a number of reasons why these players only occasionally make solid contact with the ball, but the lack of proper posture tops the list.

Ideally, players should make a good turn, which promotes a smooth swing and a balanced finish. Poor, unathletic posture forces golfers to slash at the ball with their arms, leading to a jerky swing and many bad golf shots.

Left to Right:
1.) Stand straight as if you were facing someone on the other side of the ball.
2.) Tilt slightly forward at the hips as if you were about to sit on a bar stool.
3.) Look down at the ball, allowing your hands to hang freely from your shoulders and flex your knees. This is good golf posture.

Posture is a difficult swing habit to correct because players simply can't see the problem. When most Harvey Penick Golf Academy students see a video of their golf swing, they notice the poor position right away. This visual reference is an important step, but many players still need help to correct the problem.

Harvey Penick developed a drill that has helped thousands of golfers improve their posture. Without a club in your hand, stand straight as if you were facing someone on the other side of the ball. Your feet should be about shoulder width apart, enough for you to shift your weight comfortably from one foot to the other. Next, tilt slightly forward from your hips as if you were about to sit on a bar stool. Now, look at the ball, allow your arms to hang freely from your shoulders and flex your knees. This is good golf posture. Remember to practice in front of a mirror to see the proper posture that you now feel.

It's important to note that players are instructed to look at the ball and flex the knees after tilting forward. This is a critical part of the drill, since many students fool themselves into thinking they have bent forward when all they have really done is drop their heads to look at the ball.

Despite what you might have heard, you don't have to keep your head down during the swing. This is bad advice because bending at your hips takes care of that. Flexing or bending at the knees before tilting from the hips forces your weight back to your heels, leading to an unathletic setup and swing.

Players can't swing their best unless they are in the correct position before the golf swing. Good posture means your body can move naturally with the swing and good, consistent shots are sure to follow. Like Harvey said, Be comfortable and at ease, not straining anything.

This tip can be found on Page 110 of Harvey Penick's Little Red Book.

Penick's Basics:
Posture

Despite what you might have heard, you don't have to keep your head down during the swing. This is bad advice because bending at your hips takes care of that. Flexing or bending at the knees before tilting from the hips forces your weight back to your heels, leading to an unathletic setup and swing.