Golf Posture & Swing Plane

By David Green
Maintaining proper posture will help you perform the rest of the swing correctly.
Maintaining proper posture will help you perform the rest of the swing correctly.

For golfers, among the most important aspects of a good golf shot is beginning the swing with the proper posture and making a swing on the proper plane. Posture is how a golfer angles his or her body in relation to the golf ball, and is important because it affects the golfer’s power and balance during the swing. The swing plane is the arc taken by the club around the golfer, and influences where the shot is hit.

Pre-Shot Routine

A pre-shot routine is the series of actions a golfer takes before hitting each shot. Establishing a pre-shot routine helps golfers envision the shot they want to hit. Though pre-shot routines vary for each person, a common pre-shot routine is to line up behind the ball, walk up to the ball, take a practice swing, then hit the shot. Pre-shot routines help golfers line up in the proper position and find the proper posture for the swing.


Finding the proper posture is important for a good golf swing. In general, having the proper posture means standing upright with a relatively straight back and slightly bent knees. This will automatically push the golfer’s weight toward the ball of his or her feet. When a golfer takes the stance, he should have the feeling of a straight back, the buttocks sticking out slightly and the arms hanging free.

Swing Plane

Understanding the results of different swing planes will help golfers see what changes need to be made in their swing. An outside-to-inside swing plane will generally result in a slice. An inside-to-square swing path generally results in straight shots and an inside-to-outside swing path will generally result in a hook. Watch the shape of your shots to gain a better understanding of your swing plane.

Swing Plane Drill

Swinging from the knees can help golfers gain a greater understanding of the swing plane. Grip the club low on the grip and hold the clubhead off the ground. Make a backswing and then a follow-through without hitting a ball. This will allow the golfer to feel the club not being swung with the arms, and the body rotating with the club in the proper arc.


If golfers have trouble identifying the aspects of their swing plane, they can look at the divot they produce during a shot. If the divot flies forward, the club is likely square at impact. If the divot happens to fly to the right or the left, the swing plane could be an issue for sliced or hooked shots.

About the Author

A former sports and lifestyle reporter at the "Daily Nebraskan," David Green is a writer who has covered a variety of topics for daily newspapers. He was selected by the "Los Angeles Times" to participate in the Jim Murray Sports Writing Workshop. Green holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska.

Photo Credits

  • Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
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