You can consider the golf posture the linchpin between a good grip and good ball alignment. A proper golf posture reinforces the consistency between golf shots. The steps to good golf posture are positioning your feet, bending your knees, angling your back, and adjusting your arms. Develop a repeatable sequence to help set up the same stance for each shot.

For the amateur golfers, spending time to establish a proper golf posture creates a positive early habit. It is more difficult to correct these things later.

Proper Golf Posture: Feet

The position of the feet, termed as stance, will change depending on golf club selection. Your feet will be placed further apart for the driver and slowly come together as you move up the club range. We can break the stance down to four types; wide, normal, narrow, and very narrow.

Stance: Wide

In a wide stance, position the inside of your feet shoulder-width apart. Measure shoulder width from the outside of your shoulders. Use this type of position for longer clubs such as the driver and fairway woods.

Stance: Normal

You adopt a normal stance when your outside shoulders align with the centre of your feet. The position is the most common stance that you will use as you hit your irons. You use this stance for full swing shots and most commonly from the long irons to the nine iron.

Stance: Narrow

For the higher clubs, such as the pitching wedge, you adopt a more narrow stance. The outside of your feet is the same width as the outside of your shoulders. When your feet are this close together, you become less stable in your footing. It would be best if you only used a narrow stance for the short game, pitching and chipping around the green.

Stance: Very Narrow

When you have delicate shots just outside the green, you can adopt a very narrow stance. Your feet will be about 1 inch apart. The swing will be minimal in this scenario.

Foot Flare

There is also the concept of the foot flare, the angel that your toes move out. A left foot flare, where the toes are at a forward angle from the heel, is used to encourage a fade. Conversely, a right foot flare, where the toes of the right foot are angled backwards from the heel creates a draw.

My recommendation for a beginner golfer is to start with no flare with a neutral foot position. The benefit of this approach is consistency. Remember, we are trying to establish some solid fundamental skills, and we don’t want to overcomplicate our game at this stage.

Proper Golf Posture: Knees

The knees should be bent slightly to the point where you feel your centre of gravity in the middle of your feet. If you feel pressure on your heels, then you are most likely bending your knees too much. Likewise, if you feel pressure on your toes, you have not bent your knees quite enough.

Proper Golf Posture: Back

With your feet established, and your knees positioned, the back should be leaning forward with the spine straight. You want to avoid a position where your butt is sticking up or your shoulders hunched over. One tip to help get your back straight is to take a club and hold it back over your shoulder running down your back. You should feel your spine aligned to the club shaft.

Once you have your back straight, your chin should be pointing out. Your neck should form a straight line with your spin. Avoid tucking the chin in close to the chest. The chin-out position will help you swing the club as it gives way for your shoulders to rotate in your swing.

Proper Golf Posture: Arms

The arms should be in a position where they naturally dangle down. There should be no effort or strain on your arms when you hold the club. If your arms are reaching out, there is a strong chance that you will mishit the golf ball, and similarly, if your arms are too close to your body. When you are standing at address, position your club square to the ball with your glove hand. With your glove arm naturally falling down, grip with your apposite hand again with the arm in a naturally falling position. It will almost feel like you are reaching under the grip when you position your second hand.

Proper Golf Posture: Putting It All Together

Now that you understand the basics for each element of posture, you need to put it all together for a proper golf posture. Everyone will develop their own routine when it comes to posture. The following is a suggested step by step.

  • Step 1: Grip the club with your glove hand.
  • Step 2: Address the ball and square the club to the target line.
  • Step 3: Adjust your distance to the ball so that your arms are dangling down naturally.
  • Step 4: Adjust the width of your feet based on your club selection.
  • Step 5: Bend the knees until you feel the weight in the middle of your feet.
  • Step 6: Adjust your back, so the spine and neck are in a straight line.

You should now be ready to hit the ball. Do this at the driving range take a few practice swings to get used to your posture. Following the basics I’ve listed here should give you a natural feeling golf swing.