Why Is the Perfect Shoulder Alignment Important When Putting?

Perfect Shoulder Alignment golf

There's a reason athletes like dancers, gymnasts, and fitness trainers opt to practice in front of mirrors; it's so that their form and posture can be corrected and monitored, for standardization, from the start. 

Practicing with a visual aid, like the Back2Basics Pro Path Putting Mirror, prevents the creation of bad and hard-to-kick postural habits and increases the rate of repeatedly successful putting strokes. 

Shoulder Alignment Is Crucial

The human body is connected by networks of bones, muscles, ligaments, etc. When one thing moves or twists, it's likely that at least a few nearby sections will also follow suit. 

Balance and alignment in putting strokes can make or break the putt. If one side or section of the body is slightly unsymmetrical to the other, the consecutive chain reaction can be dramatic, but even a slight unevenness can mean a miss. 

The Mistake You May Be Making

Because humans are what's called 'bilateral beings', meaning we have two polar sides (left and right) which are affected by each other and like to move in tandem, we tend to have natural instincts that may negatively affect our putts. 

One such instinct is to open our center up to face the things that we are focusing on, which in a putting stroke means to twist our bodies towards the hole, opening our shoulders and chest up to it, instead of facing directly adjacent to the target line and following our feet. The result of this is a curved follow-through that misses the hole to the side. This is because the swing flow moves from the outside to the inside as our body is rotated instead of fixed straight ahead. 

Therefore, to avoid this, feet should face perpendicular to the direction of the hole, knees following, followed by squared shoulders and eyes, with no twisting to the side. The swing should only have to move the lined up club face backward and forward to propel the ball straight into the hole, like a pendulum. The shoulders are one of the most productive areas to line up first, as most things above and below will want to naturally follow.

Postural Specifics

For an idea of how the body should best be positioned for an accurate swing, picture this: 

  1. Feet are symmetrically facing 90° away from the course of the hole, the side being faced depends on the dominant side (lefty or righty). 
  2. Knees are directly in line with feet and slightly bent (not quite above the feet).
  3. Bum is popped out slightly to create a mild hunch forward in the upper spine.
  4. Hands should be brought up in a prayer position, fingers aligned perfectly evenly, palm-to-palm, and then gently rotated from the elbow down to waist level (without opening the hands). This ensures the forearms are level/symmetrical with each other lengthwise and tilt-wise. 
  5. The shoulders should now naturally square up with knees and forearms with no twisting of the chest. They should also hover just above the toes.  
  6. Eyes look straight down to line up with the swing lane (head hovering right above it) and the club face. (The club handle obviously gets inserted in between the pressed palms which then clasp it), completing the linear form of the body in relation to its center. 

This outlines a general description of how to manually align your body so your swing has no curvature, angle or unpredictable follow-through. It's easier to get from point A to point B directly, than to have to account for and overcompensate for bad habits and extra angles. Your muscles and joints will also thank you. 

Training Tools for Reference

Shoulder alignment calibration doesn't have to be 6 detailed steps like the manual guide above, but instead can be mindlessly easy, and eventually habitual through cell memory, with a visual aid. 

The B2B ProPath Putting Mirror is such a useful training tool because it reflects your body back at you and it provides guidelines for you to align with. 

You can use the shoulder alignment line to correct your form until your shoulders match up along it in a parallel line (their reflection doesn't have to literally touch the line since people's height variances may make this feel unnatural, as long as the line helps level the shoulder positioning evenly). 

The target line can then be matched up with your reflection so that your eyes line up along it right overhead. This is the line your swing will follow. 

Using this visual guide to fix everything uniformly will save you a lot of time and self-doubt. Corrections can be made in real time to prevent harm and inconsistent putting swings. This tool is responsible for so much putting improvement, especially when paired with the Play-Off Putting Mat. You'll find your putts becoming much more repeatedly successful and predictable.

Not only does the ProPath Putting Mirror help with your form, but it helps with your arc stroke, follow-through, and backstroke. It comes with putting gates and additional drills to practice your accuracy and master proper posture. It's also reversible for all the lefty linksmen out there. 

Take control of your game - and the health and wellness of your body. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter if you putt open or squared at the address, as long as you're comfortable and the desired results are repeatable. 

Show off your putting skills and have everyone impressed with the help from our portable ProPath Putting Mirror.




 

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