Let’s talk pelvis. One of the great advantages of using the K-Vest is that allows me to examine the swing in 3D rather than just the 2D images of video. It tracks three planes of movements rotation, forward flexion and extension and side flexion.
What we do during a lesson is to get the golf to make some swings and then from this I get a ton of information on what’s happening with the body during the swing. I use this data alongside the club and ball data I receive from my launch monitor and the two video angles. This allows me to get right into what’s actually happening during the swing.
One of the first areas I like to look at is the pelvis in the golf and the first metric to view is pelvic bend. Pelvis bend is how much the pelvis tilts forwards and backwards during the swing. The reason we start with the pelvis as it’s really the hub of the body and therefore the hub of our golf swing. If we’re building the swing it makes sense to work from the ground up.
The first thing to look for in the swing is the pelvic bend at address. What I like to see is around 20’ of forward bend at address. If we see less than this it is usually showing what we call C-posture which is where the pelvis is too tucked and results in a rounded back position in the swing. As a lot of my clients are experienced players this is actually a position I rarely see. More common and definitely more dangerous is when I see a larger amount of pelvic bend. When the pelvis is tilted too far forward (and the golfer has the correct length of club!) usually indicates S-posture. This is a position a lot of players start in, often as a result of either poor understanding or poor coaching. The thought of stick your bum out, or straight back can result in people over exaggerating their posture position. This creates a situation where the spine gets in too much lumber (lower back) extension. It disengages our abdominal muscles and puts more pressure on the lumber spine. This leads to a number of problems Firstly it can cause big problems with your spinal health. Secondly it prepares you to create a swing in which you’ll most likely over extend your back going back. Plus it can lead to flat shoulder plane and many other possible complications.
To correct this we need to work on find the correct pelvic angle. Depending on your body awareness and control you can find this either in a kneeling position or in your golf posture. If you struggle to find this in golf posture start in a kneeling position. What we need to is to tilt the pelvis forwards and backwards. Start by tilting the pelvis forwards as far as it will go. Then tuck it under as far as possible. Repeat the forward flexion and then tuck under until your pelvis is in the middle of both positions. Finding the process in this order allows you to recruit your core muscles so that they are engaged at the start of your swing.
Most people underestimate the effect that the posture can have on the swing. It is essential to start from the correct dynamic posture, if you’re posture is incorrect then you are starting at a disadvantage.