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Why standing tall over the ball is so important

January 31, 2008

We were told as kids to stand up straight. It's good advice for our golf posture, too. I see many average golfers whose chances of making a sound swing are poor because they don't set up to the ball properly. Correct posture is paramount to keeping your balance.

Step one: Stand tall, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Your weight should be balanced on the balls of your feet, your toes turned out slightly.

Step two: Bend forward from the hips, keeping your back straight. No slumping!

Step three: Flex your knees a bit, and stick out your rear end for stability. You should almost feel as if you're sitting down. Try to keep your back straight throughout your swing, the way Tiger and Adam Scott do.

I'd rather see you stand too tall than bend over too much because you still can go down and get to the ball. When you're bent over too much, you're prone to lift up.


Your quadriceps (the muscles on the front and outside portions of your thighs) support your swing. Here's how to strengthen them: Put your back against a wall and slowly lower yourself into a sitting position. Hold this position for several seconds or until your quads start to burn. Do this exercise a few times a day, and you will build a stronger foundation for your swing.

Tom Watson is the golf professional emeritus at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. Click here for more tips from Tom.