Inconsistent ball striking can be caused by many variables, but in attempting to locate the primary or root cause we must first check our posture and set-up at address. After a long winter layoff and a lot of sitting in front of our computers, our spine can begin to round, and the muscles supporting the spine can weaken. This can lead to poor posture at address, which can lead to a poor shoulder turn and very often improper weight shift in the backswing and forward swing. This in turn can create spine movement during the swing, which is one of three main causes of poor contact with the ball. (The other two I will discuss in future Swing Tips articles.) So before you start practicing again this spring, please be sure that you are taking correct posture. Try this simple exercise without a club.
Tilt forward from the hips, keeping the back as flat as possible, neck up in line with the spine, "butt out", and then add some flex to your knees, bringing your weight to the centers and balls of the feet, not on your heels. (If you had a club in your hands, your spine would tilt until it created a 90 degree angle to the shaft of the golf club.) Then let your arms hang in front of you. Stand up straight, then repeat the exercise. If your muscles are a little weak , you may feel some fatigue in the lower back at first, so don't overdo! This will disappear in time.
In my instruction programs, I take care to make sure that your posture over the ball is as perfect as possible, as so many of the necessary moves of the swing are affected. However, I always take into account individual body type and history when building a posture. If you feel uncertain about your posture, and would like it checked out, contact John.
Stuart Naeny, student.