Lord Stanley's players could teach golfers a thing or two.
As a rotary sport, albeit with a historic trophy and penalty boxes, hockey players translate into great golfers.
Although there are differences between hockey and golf, the main similarity is an important key to playing better golf – posture at impact.
The location of the puck and the golf ball, being on the ground, forces the athlete to maintain proper posture throughout the motion.
Golfers and hockey players need the same hip hinge or pelvic bend when they strike the ball or puck, yet so many golfers stand up or lift through impact, which leads to inconsistent ball-striking and a loss of power.
When we can improve/maintain our posture, contact, distance and consistency will improve exponentially.
Here are some simple ways to improve your posture throughout your swing:
• Begin with good posture. A simple way to practice getting into proper posture is to use a mirror. Face the mirror, place a hand on your lower abdomen and push yourself over from the hips/pelvis. After bending from the pelvis, slightly bend your knees. A common cause of poor posture begins with too much knee flex and not enough pelvic bend, so watch for this in the mirror.
• Make practice swings with a bench or bag stand behind you. Begin with your hamstrings or glutes against the object and maintain a connection to the object throughout the swing. For a right-handed golfer, your right glute/leg will touch in the backswing while your left glute/leg will touch in the downswing (vice versa for lefties). If you stand up or early extend at all, you will automatically notice.
• Stand with your heels on a rolled-up beach towel. This is an exercise to help you feel "in posture" throughout your swing. The towel should be under your heels while the balls of your feet are on the ground. Make partial and full swings while standing on the towel. This exercise helps with posture and balance.
While watching all of the talented players in this year's Stanley Cup playoffs, enjoy the beauty of balance, speed and proper posture.
Rather than putting your swing in the penalty box, think about posture the next time you hit golf balls to see your distance and ball-striking improve.
For more tips from Golf Channel to help you improve your long game, click here.