If you top golf shots, most likely you are standing up as you strike the ball. Ideally, you want to maintain the same angle your torso and legs formed at the address position throughout your swing.
Many high-handicappers stand up (straighten their legs or lift their torsos) as they strike the ball resulting in an array of bad shots including thin and topped shots, pulls, and slices. If you take a look at professional golfers, you will see that they keep their spine angle throughout their swing and many even squat down as they strike the ball.
If you tend to stand up during your swing, you will want to test your squat. This test will help you measure the overall mobility in your legs, ankles, shoulders, and spine. If you are unable to perform this test, it is likely that you will not able to maintain your spine angle throughout your downswing.
The natural tendency is to thrust your hips toward the ball at the start of the downswing, thus pulling yourself up and out of the shot causing an array of errant shots and loss of power.
Here is an excellent exercise to help you improve your squat so that you can maintain your spine angle throughout your swing, staying down and through:
1. Elevate your heels by standing on a box or board. Hold a light weight in your hands, with your arms extended about shoulder height
2. Squat down placing the weight on a box or elevated surface
3. Stand back up and then squat down and pick up weight
4. Repeat this exercise for 8 to 10 repetitions
Tip shared by Karen Palacios-Jansen:
Karen Palacios-Jansen, an LPGA National Teacher of the Year, has been voted as one of America’s “Top 50 Best Women Teachers” by Golf Digest. She is a Nike Golf Performance Specialist, Pilates instructor and has developed a golf-specific fitness system called Cardiogolf.