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Golf Article - Set Up For Solid Ballstriking


Many weekend players don't take setting up for a shot seriously. They take their stance and swing away. That's asking for trouble. As we often tell students in golf instruction sessions, everything starts with your setup. If you set up properly, your swing will be free and easy and you'll strike the ball solidly. If you don't set up properly, you must make adjustments to hit the ball solidly. That can be deadly.

It would be great if we could use the same address position for every club. But we can't. Clubs are built with different lengths and lie angles, so you need to set up differently for each club—woods, irons, and wedges. The key is knowing the elements of your setup to change and the elements to keep constant. That might sound confusing. But it's not. The golf tips below provide a breakdown on the elements to change and the elements to keep constant.

Elements To Change
Your swing reaches its low point right under your left armpit (right armpit, if you're left-handed, as you may been told in golf lessons. That's the baseline for all ball positions. When hitting driver, tee up the ball in front of your left armpit, so that you ascend into the ball. For irons, position the ball just behind your left armpit, so you can hit down on the ball. And for wedges, position the ball two ball-widths behind your left armpit, so you can swing steeply into impact, generating ball-stopping spin from short range.

Stance width is another element that changes depending on the club. You need to narrow your stance, as the clubs get shorter. A narrow stance makes your hips more flexible. Many weekend golfers have too wide a stance. They need to narrower their stances more than what they're used to. For a driver, your stance is just outside your shoulders. For a mid-iron, your feet are under your shoulders. For a wedge, they're inside your shoulders.


Elements That Remain Constant
Stance and ball position change depending on the club. Weight distribution, on the other hand, usually remains constant. Some players prefer an even weight distribution. They don't favor weight over one leg or the other or move the weight toward their toes or their heels. These players want to feel balanced. For golfers with high golf handicaps and novice players this is probably the way to go.

Hand position remains constant. Golfers with high golf handicaps often press their hands forward so that the shaft leans toward the target. This position spells trouble. Instead, keep your hands at your zipper and let the shaft lean in response to where the ball is in your stance. Thus, you'll have a neutral shaft lean with your irons and wedges, and a slightly reversed lean with your driver.

Shoulder tilt remains constant as well. Since you're not leaning your shoulders forward at address, they will tilt slightly for each club. One school of thought says that your back shoulder should be a lot lower than your front shoulder. That can cause you to hang back on your right side too much during your downswing. Try hitting shots both ways. Use whichever way feels most comfortable.

Forward bend, arm hang, and posture remain constant. You should be able to draw a straight line from the grip end through your waist for each club. To keep your forward bend constant, flex your knees more depending on the club. Because your forward bend is constant, your arm hang will remain constant for all clubs: straight down. Your posture also remains constant. You want a flat back with slightly rounded shoulders.

These golf tips tell you which elements to change in your setup and which to keep constant. A drill used in golf lessons to perfect setup is to have students stand in front of full-length mirrors and practice getting into their address positions using different clubs. That's something you can do at home. Achieving the right setup for each club can improve your ball striking. Better ballstriking is a great place to start if want to shave strokes off your golf handicap.


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