Golf tip: Better posture dictates a better turn

Ignore advice to 'keep your head down'!

John Hoskison
Tue, 8 Sep 2009
At address watch the ball with your eyes. It's vital to keep your head up (right) rather than down.

The most important fundamental of a golf swing is the shoulder turn - and to turn the shoulders you need to have a straight spine at address.

Watch any Tour pro at address and you can see how straight they keep their spine, whereas the typical stance of a club golfer is to almost crouch over the ball with the spine curved as they look intently down at the ball.

It's popular advice to golfers who top the ball or who don't make proper contact, to tell them: ' Oh, you've got to keep your head down!' Indeed legendary golf coach John Jacobs reveals that he earned most of his money from pupils who came to him for lessons having been told to keep their head down in order to hit the ball correctly.

Looking down at the ball with the head, rather than just with the eyes, is one of the most damaging faults a golfer can have at address and it's the most common cause of poor posture.

Follow this tip to stand to the ball correctly and you'll naturally develop a better turn and become a better ball striker

Take up your stance in front of a mirror and moving just your eyes (not your head), look at the mirror in front of you - you should be able to see your face. If your head is looking down too much you would not be able to see yourself at all. With the correct head angle, the only way for you to see the golf ball is by looking down with the eyes, not by inclining the head more.

This head angle will allow you to turn much easier on the backswing with enough space for the left shoulder to move under the chin. In turn, this will allow a wider swing arc for more power and control.

John Hoskison is attached to the Newbury Golf Centre and plays on the European Seniors Tour, having earned a conditional card after finishing 10th at Qualifying School at the Pestana. He returned to the UK to rebuild his career in tournament golf after spending time in China, where he was instrumental in the building a driving range for underprivileged children Fuzhou. He won the 2005 Jamega Tour Order of Merit with six victories from 12 starts. For further information visit John's website at