Tuesday, June 1, 2004
4 Critical Angles
Cure the majority of your flaws by adopting a rock-solid setup
2. Spine Tilt
The second critical angle is the one your spine makes from vertical as it leans slightly right at address (for right-handed players). A slight tilt of the spine to the right presets your upper body in the desired backswing position, eliminating the need to move off the ball as you bring the club to the top.
It’s important to grasp that a spine tilt to the right isn’t a spine bend to the right. Our spines are very flexible, and it’s common for golfers to bend the upper half to the right and leave the lower half behind. This is not spine tilt. If you incorporate improper spine tilt into your address position, you can expect the full gamut of poor swing errors, including standing up, stranding your weight on your right side on the downswing, losing left-arm extension through impact, hitting behind the ball and many more.
Plus, think of the injuries that one can create with a poor, unhealthy bend and, of course, all of the compensations that are required to make decent contact. This can cause a lot of spine shearing and dangerous results and undue strain on the lower back.
3. Hip Bend
The third critical angle, hip bend, is closely related to spine bend. In fact, hip bend establishes the relative amount of spine bend. The hip bend angle must be set correctly at address and maintained throughout the swing. The common error is to bend from the stomach and not from the pelvic area, a mistake that places too much pressure and strain on the lower body delivery system.
Improper bending from the pelvic region is a pet peeve of mine since it forces the hips to overreact on the downswing. When you bend from the stomach and not the hips, the hips won’t function in their usual role, which is to help stabilize the lower body during the swing. Instead, they’re given too much freedom to move and often will scoot toward the target on the forwardswing. This immediately causes a variety of swing problems, not the least of which is a loss of power angles and path on the downswing. It doesn’t matter who you are, with improper pelvic flex, you’ll have to compensate somewhere in the swing to create decent contact.
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