Golfers of all levels can benefit from the proper impact position in their golf swing.  One major component of this is the spine angle. Kip Puterbaugh, the owner and director of instruction at the Aviara Golf Academy at the Park Hyatt in Carlsbad, California, shares a drill to help golfers maintain their spine angle through the golf swing.

What to Look For

Puterbaugh points to the still photos of Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel as examples of the proper impact position. He notes that the right arm should be below the left at impact and the hips should be roughly 35 to 40 degrees turned out of the way.


The Drill

Puterbaugh recommends the following drill to help golfers achieve the proper impact position:

  1. Put the club over your back, so it’s just resting on top of your shoulder.
  2. Imagine a line running 90 degrees from your spine angle.
  3. On your back swing, try to get the end of the shaft to get behind the ball.
  4. As you get to the impact position, turn your hips out of the way and maintain a proper spine angle.
  5. Hold the position with your body and put your club down.

Puterbaugh cautions against going too fast with the arms, as this can prevent the body from turning and cause the right arm to be on top of the left arm.



By practicing this drill, golfers can help ensure they maintain their spine angle and achieve the proper impact position. Puterbaugh wishes you luck in your game and hopes that this drill helps you with your golf swng.

About Kip Puterbaugh

Kip began teaching in 1972 and joined by Wayne Searle they opened the Academy in 1991. Master Instructors Ken Green joined in 1994, Bruce Nakamura and Bob Knee in 1995 and Grant Halverson in 1999. Jason Puterbaugh joined in 2010 and Jamie Puterbaugh in 2014. Working together through the years they’ve developed a curriculum that gives the golfer of any skill level the best chance to improve their game.

Golf Digest has honored all our staff with their survey of the Top Teachers in California by placing all 7 of our teachers in the top 59 of the state. We are one of only three schools worldwide graded by Golf Magazine at a Gold Medallion resort that has a Top 100 Teacher and a Top 25 Golf School.

Learn more about Kip Puterbaugh at Welcome to Kip Puterbaugh’s Aviara Golf Academy • Kip Puterbaugh’s Aviara Golf Academy

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