To Tilt or Not to Tilt?
By Erika Larkin on 3/27/14
"Spine tilt" is the angle of our spine right and left; so, if you are standing straight and your spine is perpendicular to the ground you would have zero degrees of spine tilt — regardless of being bent over in a golf posture (called "spine angle").
In my experience, golfers have never thought about spine tilt, or don't know if (or how much) they have in their setup. And if they are aware of it, sometimes they are tilted when they shouldn't be, or more/less than they intend.
So, to tilt or not to tilt? That is the question!
The answer: It depends on which club you are hitting and what you are trying to do. It is important to understand the effects of different spine tilt — and then you can decide what will work for you.
The overall idea I want you to consider is that our setup greatly influences our impact positions. It is not foolproof, but it is a good start — and much better than fighting a poor setup or having to compensate for the wrong spine tilt before you even begin the swing!
Have a friend take a picture of you in your setup position and check your angles so you can start the season off with good intention.
Erika Larkin is the Director of Instruction at Larkin Golf Learning Community, at Stonewall Golf Club in Gainesville, Virginia. She was named the 2012 Middle Atlantic PGA "Teacher of the Year" and the 2011 "Top Golf Pro" by Washingtonian Magazine — and she is oobgolf's newest columnist! She writes on a variety of topics — including instruction — so if you have a question for her or an idea for a column, e-mail her at ErikaLarkin@pga.com. Enjoy!
[ comments ]
Can you also talk about spine angle in a future post?
That was very informative for something I really didn't understand before. Thanks.
Torleif Sorenson says:
GolfSmith7, you're going to get your wish. Erika will address spine angle in her next column.
Awesome. I've been experimenting with different angles. I'll be looking forward to what she has to say.
joe jones says:
Wonderful explanation. Perhaps she could expand the discussion to show what effect tilt has on high cut shots, knockdown shots and punch shots.
Now I'm confused. Isn't the correct spine angle crucial to getting the correct pivot and therefore avoiding nasty out-to-in swing planes? For example, doesn't angling the spine too far to the left result in the dreaded 'reverse pivot'?
The "no spine tilt" explanation will definitely help with my iron and hybrid/wood shots. Plus these tips could be useful in pinball too!
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