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Today's Golfer Magaine Article - 'Retaining' Posure

This article was created by Steve Thomas and featured in Today's Golfer magazine for their May 2024 (March 14th – April 10th) edition - Issue number 450.

The article content:

TOP 50 TEACHER Steve Thomas, Head of Instruction & Fellow PGA Coach

at Three Hammers Golf Academy, Wolverhampton.



Of course, when we take our address position, we bend forward from the hips to create an angle between our upper and lower body. This angle forms the basis for our posture. Unfortunately, many club golfers believe that if they want to maintain posture during the swing, they need also to retain this forward tilt of the torso. This is a misconception that can lead to plenty of weak, offline shots. Let's discover why.

As this image shows, the intention to retain the forward bend in the torso as we swing can get us into

all sorts of bad habits:

  • We lose the ability to rotate through our chest and core.

  • With rotation stalled, the backswing becomes short and cramped.

  • Typically, we see a drastic head sway during the backswing, compromising strike and power.

If this sounds familiar to you, you need to understand that in the backswing, we actually replace this forward tilt of the upper body with a side tilt. Let's look at an exercise that will help you feel how this works... and show you the true way to rotate within posture.



Here I'm in address posture, the angle of my forward torso tilt indicated by the club in front of me. On tour, the average set-up sees the spine bend around 40 degrees from the vertical. This gives our arms room to hang and swing, and sets up the inclined plane of the golf swing. Start this exercise in this standard, golfing posture.


From here, simply straighten up until your spine is vertical; this will pull the club up in front of you, horizontal with the butt pointing at your belt buckle. It may be hard to get your head around, but this removal of forward tilt is exactly what happens in an elite golfer's backswing; at the top it is completely absent.


Top golfers replace forward bend with side bend during the backswing. In isolation, without the accompanying rotation, it looks like this. The torso tilts to the side to create an angle in the shoulders-lead down, trail up. Try it now from that upright position; you should feel your lead side 'crunch' and your trail side stretch. Work against your trail hip 'popping' out to the side.


From that tilted position, add the rotation. Simply turn your back to the target and allow your arms to lift the club to the top. You'll find that when you replace forward bend with side bend, your head returns to its address level and you have created the appropriate tilt or plane to your motion. Above all, the motion is freer and fuller. Work it through in these four stages, before blending it into one, fluid motion.

 Written by Fellow PGA Coach Steve Thomas

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