Golf tip: Use your feet to get the right posture to avoid the sway

Golfers know how frustrating the sport can be, and not enough golfers understand that the correct posture is determined much of the time by how our feet interact with the ground.

Correct posture can allow for success, and an incorrect posture can make this challenging game even more challenging.

Many golfers are told to start by setting up in an athletic position. However, this advice commonly causes confusion, as it can result in golfers putting too much weight on their heels.

My advice is for golfers to shift more weight toward their toes, so they are centered on the balls of their feet. This starting position makes it easier for golfers of all abilities to turn during their backswing and downswing instead of flexing their knees and sliding, which can lead to other problems.

To help you find the correct starting position, try this drill:

• When you setup to the golf ball, lift your heels off the ground so you are standing on the tips of your toes (Figure A, image 1991).

Figure B Submitted photo

• Then, slowly lower your heels (Figure B, image 1990).

Figure C Submitted photo

• When your heels gently touch the ground, your weight should be squarely on the balls of your feet. This is your starting position (Figure C, image 1985)!

From this position, it is much easier to start your swing by moving your weight correctly to the inside of your back leg, and preventing the dreaded "sway." This will also make it much easier to shift your weight to the front foot during your downswing, which will result in a well-balanced finish.

The game of golf is difficult enough so be sure to learn the proper fundamentals so you can start off on the right foot! Try this new athletic posture and your game and your back will thank you.

•John Platt is the Director of Instruction at Mistwood Golf Club in Romeoville, Ill. He has won numerous golf teaching awards including Illinois PGA Junior Teacher of the Year and Illinois PGA Teacher of the Year. You can reach him at the Pro Shop at (815) 254-3333.

For more information, visit

• With assistance from the Illinois PGA, the Daily Herald provides golf tips each Wednesday from a PGA Professional.

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