The Golfer’s Address Position: Enabling or Disabling?

By Dr. Matthew M. Rosman, GSEE
Director of Biomechanics and Sports Science, The Golfing Machine, LLC

A recent study published in The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences (January 28, 2013- First Published Online**), provides some very important findings that we can utilize quite proficiently in our work with golfers in designing the most effective, as well as personalized, biomechanical alignment relationships, for the TGM 8-3 Adjusted Address Position (referred to in the BIA™ System as GBP™/Golf Baseline Position).

The results of the study (Spinal Posture in the Sagittal Plane Is Associated With Future Dependence in Activities of Daily Living: A Community-Based Cohort Study of Older Adults in Japan**) was reported in a press release by The Gerontological Society of America* on April 8, 2013.  In the announcement entitled: Posture Provides Clue for Future Disability, the results of the study were reported:

“A team of researchers based in Japan discovered that the trunk angle of inclination—the angle between the true vertical and a straight line from the first thoracic vertebra to the first sacral vertebra—is associated with becoming dependent on help for activities of daily living (ADL).”*

In essence, the angle of the spinal column in the Sagittal plane, when viewing it from a lateral point of view, was strongly correlated with the level of independence or dependence for assisted living support and disability as individuals age:

“Of the four spinal measurements taken by the device, only trunk angle of inclination was associated with future dependence in ADL—defined by the researchers as either admission to a nursing home or need of home assistance after a 4.5 year follow up period.”*

So, what is the connection to golfers?
Well, the orderly assembly of GBP™, attention to its stability, and careful focus on the preservation of the key biomechanical curvatures in the spinal column, also deters the adverse “slouching” presentation of the upper spine (rounded shoulders and forward head position) that contributes to a similar type of spinal angle of inclination reported by the researchers in the study that contributes to disability.
If GBP™ is assembled from the ground up, is designed to protect the biomechanical curvatures of the spine, firmly “docks” the feet with the base of support, and permits the liveliness needed for dynamic motion (all discussed in the BIA™: P.A.R.-Formance™ Manual), then the slouching posture and stress on the spine is reduced or deterred, enabling rather than disabling the biomechanical system for all G.O.L.F. based activities.  

Thus, a slouched position of address as seen in so many golfers when set up for putting, or for that matter in all stroke execution based set-ups, places the biomechanical system of the golfer in a more disabling state of operation which is dysfunctional as well as performance impairing!

Conducting this manner of address set up over time will in essence lure the body of the golfer into greater and greater dysfunction with-in their personal biomechanical system. Overtime, structural deformities and compensations develop leading to imbalanced and altered degrees of freedom to soft tissue and hard tissue structures with-in the entire biomechanical system.  

By forming GBP™ from the ground up, and engaging the lower extremities in a proper organized closed chain action of participation, rather than adopting a “waist first” or “bowing  first” approach, the golfer has a greater capacity for more successful performance engagement of the biomechanical system for golf.  

A drooping or slouching GBP™ over time deforms the biomechanical system with a greater forward angle of inclination to the spine similar to what was reported in the study referenced above. This deformity which may be most noticeable in the upper back region actually may also involve structures sourced all the way down to the lower back and pelvic region. The adverse compensations that are present in GBP™ may in fact remain when out of GBP™ and engaged in all other activities of daily living. Thus, the compensations create deformations that may alter (in some manner) sitting, quiet upright standing, and all other static and dynamic based activities that the individual golfer engages in outside of golf as well.

Therefore, this information may be of value to all golfers of all skill levels including those golfers at the most elite level such as Tour Players.  Hence, change alignments for the better and enable rather than disable the GBP™ for maximal performance potential.
And, as Mr. Kelley states in The Golfing Machine on page 234: “Garbage in—Garbage out.”  Or: “Precision in—Precision out.”  This certainly applies to the subject of enabling or disabling GBP™.

Please feel free to address any questions to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Thank you.  

*The Gerontological Society of America. News.  For Immediate Release: April 8, 2013.Posture Provides Clue for Future Disability.