In a game where alignments are so important, it is vital to make sure your posture is correct at address before ever thinking about actually making a swing. Think of it this way, a shot performed perfectly in the wrong direction is still an incorrect shot and a waste of a perfect swing. In this post we will discuss lower body alignment and how it affects the golf swing.
For the lower body I want to focus on three different functions: hips, knees, and feet. These three parts help to stabilize the body throughout the swing for better balance and more consistency. Any beginner golfer should learn their importance in the golf swing before hitting balls.
The hips generate a lot of power in the golf swing and have a direct impact on both distance and direction. Although most of the time your hip alignment will comfortably fall parallel to your foot alignment, it is still possible for a golfer to setup with hips too open or closed to the target. Make sure to start with the hips aligned parallel to the target and set directly over the center of your stance to encourage balance throughout the swing.
The knees affect rotation and lateral movement in the swing and have a direct impact on distance and direction as well. Throughout the swing the knees will bend and rotate slightly in either direction making it important to set them in the proper position initially to allow full range of motion. At address the knees should be aligned parallel to the target and slightly bent to ensure an athletic stance and readiness to transfer energy to the golf ball.
The feet affect balance throughout the swing and have a direct impact on both distance and direction like the hips and knees. At address, start with your foot alignment parallel to the target line. Turn your lead foot towards the target approximately 30 degrees and your trail foot away from the target approximately 15 degrees. This, once again, allows for maximum rotation and better balance throughout the golf swing. The club head should be square to the target while the foot line is parallel to the target line, aimed slightly left (for a right handed golfer).
An easy way to test this is using training rods. At address set one down on your foot line and another parallel to the first on your target line. If you step away and look down the line, your first rod should point just left of the target while the second is directly at it. Don’t be shy to use these rods in every practice session to emphasis proper alignment while hitting balls. They will come in handy later when checking swing plane and club head positioning in the back swing as well.
This may seem like a lot of information for some, but if broken down properly, can be very simple and will become a natural part of your swing. Once you have mastered the lower body you are ready to move on to upper body posture, ball positioning, and the takeaway. Check back later in the week for more advice on upper body alignment and how it will affect your swing.