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Golf Posture—Are you setting up for success or physical limitation and injury? 

Typical golf set-up postures can be broken down to three types: Neutral posture (N), C-shaped posture and S-shaped posture. Neutral posture is desired, as the other two have greater potential to create swing flaws and physical stress to the body.

Are you setting up for success

Neutral (N) Posture

The Neutral Posture is the desired alignment as shown at left. The majority of the golfer’s back touches the red line. He avoids excessive rounding of his upper back and arching of his lower back. Neutral Posture prevents excessive stress on the structures of the lower back and allows for proper shoulder turn in the upper body.

C Posture

The C Posture occurs when the shoulders are slumped forward at address and there is a definitive roundness of the back from the tailbone to the back of the neck as shown at left. The majority of C Postures are caused by a series of muscle imbalances and joint restrictions that develop over many years. The most significant limitation is the lack of backward bend of the upper back. This leads to a severe loss of spinal rotation, which in turn limits the ability to create a good turn on the takeaway. Without this rotation, golfers will often compensate in other ways which may lead to injury. Thirty-three percent of amateurs set up with a C Posture.

Physical Causes of C Posture

  • Tight pectoralis major and minor (chest) muscles
  • Tight upper trapezius (neck) muscle
  • Tight lattisimus dorsi muscle
  • Weak scapular muscles
  • Weak deep neck flexor muscles

S Posture

The S Posture occurs when the player creates too much arch in his lower back by sticking out the tailbone too much as shown at left. This excessive curvature of the lower back puts abnormally high stress on the spine and deactivates the core muscles. This posture will ultimately lead to the lower body being out of position on the downswing and will affect the swing’s sequence of motion. It may also lead to lower back, hip or knee pain and injury. Twenty-five percent of amateurs set up with an S Posture.

Physical Causes of S Posture

  • Tight hip flexor muscles
  • Tight lower back
  • Weak gluteal (hip) muscles
  • Weak abdominal (core) muscles
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