August 31, 2009

You Won't Get a Good Swing From A Poor Posture

80% of what goes wrong with a bad golf swing happens before the club even moves.

That may sound counter-intuitive, because all too often we get caught up in swing mechanics -- swing plane, release, follow-through and the like. These are important, but as it with all things, you really need to start with a sound base in order to make all of the swing elements come together and get a good result.

This I know in spades, as I have recently entered into a small mini-slump from a ball-striking standpoint, one in which I find I am pushing the ball to the weakly to the right and either not getting long draws off of the tee box or hitting targets on my approaches. That in turn has led to too much defensive golf, which makes a day out with the regular foursome a little less fun (and profitable) that it normally is.

Like most amateurs, I have tried this drill and that adjustment, hoping to get the club back into "the groove" -- that seemingly effortless swing where the golf club almost finds its own way back and through, sending the ball on the right way towards the target at impact. None of it worked. These adjustments weren't going to ever work either, because I have discovered that the problem lay in the foundation. I took a lesson last week and the second I saw the first video of my swing, I knew exactly where the problem lay: I was slumping over the ball with a poor stance, and that gave the club little chance to rotate through correctly. So now I have something to work on -- redeveloping the habit of a proper stance.

Here's a video from professional Bryan Pemberton, the Director of Instruction at the Reserve at Spanos Park in Stockton, California. Pemberton is a former NCAA All-American, and in this video, he describes in precision a problem many golfers have but never realize:


  1. My stance is the only part of my swing that looks great on camera. Somehow I still manage to screw it up, but it's getting better.

    I love your comment on "defensive" golf. It's hard to play aggressive when shots are not landing on your intended targets.

  2. Very interesting/informative.


    And your tagline above is so clever. Is that your own creation? If not, whose?

  3. TXQ, I wish I could take credit for it, but it is an old Scottish lament that I heard while I was in St. Andrews once upon a time.

    It's one of those simple truths of life though...

  4. Thanks, Charles. And kudos if you broke 80 at St Andrews.

    Heather, re your comment: "It's hard to play aggressive when shots are not landing on your intended targets."

    You're truly playing aggressive when your shots are landing on your intended opponents, no? Works for me.


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