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Question on Diagnosing Problems:

Hi Maria, I'm having some problems maintaining my spine angle/posture into my downswing. My backswing is fine, but once I start my transition, I have a tendency to lose my shoulder tilt and often don't get clean contact. What swing thought can I use to help me with this? Thank you.
--Ken I. from Huntington Beach, CA

Hi Ken. Thanks for writing MyGolfInstructor.com. I'm looking forward to helping you with your game.

What you are describing is called "early extension" of the spine. It is an extremely common swing fault and I wouldn't be surprised if I see it in 90% of students that come across my lesson tee. Because the player stands up out of their posture, straightens their spine angle and their pelvis pushes in towards the ball it is also commonly called "pelvic push".

This problem can often be due to physical limitations. Tightness in the hamstrings or back muscles and weakness in the glutes and abdominals are common culprits.

A fantastic test to see if you are likely to come out of your posture during the swing is a deep overhead squat. To test this stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hold a golf club from hand to hand with your arms extended straight overhead. Try to do a deep squat lowering your rear end past your knees while keeping the golf club over your head. If you can't get down below your knees with your rear end or your heels come off the ground, then there are some lower body issues at play here. If you are unable to keep the club behind your head, then you have some tightness, weakness most likely in the shoulders and back. Maintaining your posture throughout the swing then is going to be next to impossible for you.

If you fail this test I would want to prescribe some fitness drills from our fitness section for you to start working on. As far as your swing goes I have a couple great drills that will help you feel what it's like to stay down in your posture throughout your golf swing. I am going to grant you this drill for free to try as drills are reserved for our Pro subscribers:
Cheek Down Drill:
Cheek Down Drill

Give it a try and let me know how you do. Thanks.

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