Man hitting a gold ball

Most golfers struggle with the perfect set-up, alignment, and posture every time they address the golf ball. What you may not realize is how imperative it is to maintain the correct alignment during your golf swing. There are two reasons for this. One, the golf ball loves to fly straight, and two, your body, with a particular emphasis on your spine, requires it. Even the slightest change in your alignment can go easily undetected, and one simple postural fault can easily lead to another.

The proper alignment is extremely difficult to maintain, for the simple reason that you stand to the side of the golf ball. This distorts your perception down the target line. Combine this with the fact that one of your eyes is usually dominant over the other, and you can easily be aiming 20, 40 or 60 feet off line without knowing it. As a local chiropractor and avid golfer, I start with the fundamentals of alignment with every patient to build a solid foundation.

You should start your golf swing routine with the club head dead on the target, and using the clubface as a guide, align your body on a track parallel to the ball-target line. Then move in, carefully position your shoulders, hips and foot parallel to the clubface, creating the perfect parallel body position. You have heard that every pro golfer describes a square set-up for maximum efficacy. Now listen to your local chiropractor.

From a biomechanical point of view, with reference to your spine, picture your shoulders pointed to New Jersey, your hips and pelvis to California, and your feet to Las Vegas. HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY HIT THE GOLF BALL STRAIGHT? Your spine is literally tied up in knots. Your spine will be able to optimize the power it can translate to the golf ball from this parallel position and alignment delivering the maximum impact to the ball. This is the proper athletic posture and natural position for your thoracic and lumbar spine.

Any deviation from this can put a tremendous amount of stress on the lower back, particularly the lumbar discs. The discs of your lower back are the supportive cartilage that cushions each of the vertebrae (spinal bones). The forces stressed upon the spine during a 100mph driver swing cause a sheering effect on the discs and can accelerate injury to the supportive tissues (muscle/ligaments) throughout the swing. With the proper alignment at address, you truly are on your way to a healthy golf swing.