Golf Swing Setup: Correct Method
The golf swing setup is one of the fundamental parts of a player’s routine. Yet, we know many who completely ignores the proper setup before they start hitting the ball.
A proper golf setup is key to consistency and power. If you don’t lock your swing setup immediately at the beginning of your career, you’ll suffer from inconsistent shots and won’t be able to find the problem for eternity.
To help the golf players like you in need, we’ve created this guide. In this guide, we’ll go through the step by step process of getting your golf setup ready. We’re going to look at the different functions of your body parts and how to get them into the right position.
What is Golf Setup?
In golf, setup means the preparations before hitting a shot. It starts with positioning the ball, getting into stance, getting your mind ready to take the shot. The importance of both mental and physical synchronization is very important for success.
There is no need for any extra equipment to get set up. There is a misconception that you need to take extra steps for any kind of setup. But that’s not true when it comes to golf.
So, let jump right into what you should be doing before you take each of your shots.
Part 1: The Mental Phase
What? Does it sound ridiculous? It won’t once you read what we have to say. These points are very true for golf. But the best thing about getting in the right headspace is that you can utilize the potential in any situation in life.
You need to be relaxed. That’s the main takeaway of this section. When you’re truly at peace with your mind, your body responds the most to your needs. When your muscles are tensed, they won’t perform as well.
Before you head down to the course, you need to set up your mind that no matter what happens, you won’t get stressed or frustrated. Rather, you’ll handle all the situations gracefully and with passion.
When you’re at the course and at your address position, take a few deep breaths before you start with the golf setup. The breathing exercise will bring down your heart rate and ensure proper blood circulation to the brain.
As a result, you’ll be able to control your muscles better. Your body will respond to how you envision the shot to play out.
Part 2: The Physical Phase
Once your mind is at peace, it’s time to focus on the actual golf swing setup. This is going to be a long setup guide because we’re going to cover everything from your club head position to your feet position for maximum efficiency on your swing.
Step 1: Get your Alignment Correct
We cannot stress the importance of alignment enough. You may be a master hitter when it comes to drivers or long irons, but if your alignment is wrong, the ball won’t go anywhere near the target.
If you’re just starting out, we highly recommend using alignment sticks. These are simple tools that help you to get a visual on your target line and also help you to stand correctly.
You simply need to place the alignment stick on the ground, pointing toward the target. The entire line starting from the alignment stick to the hole is your target line. You need to stand against the target line while placing your ball in front of it.
Step 2: Club Selection
For any swing to work, you must use the right tools. You cannot hole the ball with a driver. Similarly, you cannot expect to hit 200 yards with a pitching wedge. Every club in a golfer’s bag has different purposes.
You need to learn when to use which one. We have various guides on the use of different golf clubs. We recommend reading those if you’re still not sure about the use of various clubs.
In a nutshell, the higher the loft on a club face, the less distance it will cover. Usually, a driver, a long iron, or a fairway wood is used from the tee. A mid iron is often used from the fairway. And when it comes to the green, you’re better off with a wedge or a putter.
Step 3: Foot Position
So, you’ve placed the ball where it needs to be and got the right club on your hands. It’s time to stand against the target line. The foot position plays a major role when it comes to your overall flexibility and mobility.
If your feet are too close to each other, your core muscle will not be balanced. As a result, your golf swing will not be as stable.
The opposite is true when your feet are too far apart. Then, your core muscle gets too stable and cuts down on your mobility. You can experiment with both of the stance types we’ve talked about to see whether what we’ve said is true or not.
Ideally, your feet should be at shoulder width. That’s the point where your core muscles will be the most stable and your flexibility will be maximized. You’ll be able to freely move your upper body to almost 90-degree without moving your legs at all.
Step 4: The Ball Position
After the feet width is properly dialed in, you need to shift your focus to set up your ball position. Now, ball position is a detailed topic and we cannot include all the information in this post. Lucky for you, we have another guide just like this one that focuses strictly on various ball positions and their impacts.
In short, the longer the club you use, the closer the ball should in reference to the target.
For example, when you’re using a driver, the ball should be just on the inside of your front foot. As you switch to a shorter club, for example, a mid-iron, the ball position will be shifted slightly backward.
Similarly, for pitching wedges, the ball should be right in the middle of your feet. You can also measure these distances using your chest as a reference point.
Step 5: Weight Distribution
As you’re standing in your stance, you need to distribute your weight evenly on both feet. We’ve seen many players get too heavy on either foot. But that’s going to throw your balance off. So, stand firmly on the ground while keeping your center of gravity in the middle.
Also, another important point is keeping your weight in the middle of the feet. Transferring too much weight on the heels or the toes will also disrupt your balance.
Step 6: Correct Grip
You’ll be amazed to know how many players go wrong with something as simple as the grip of the club. The lead hand the trail hand should be in sync for your entire swing and it’s only possible to achieve when you have the correct grip.
If your club grip has a center line marked on it, you’re in luck. Using the line, you need to place both of your hands. The thumb of your both hands should be crossing the line from opposite sides.
What we mean by this is that the thumb of your left hand or the lead hand should be on the right side of the center line and vice versa.
Step 7 Body Position
How to position your body is probably the most important part of your stance. There is not correct angle your body should bend in or whatever. The key here is to tweak the bend according to your height, the length of your hands, and the length of your club shaft.
To get into the ideal position according to your body, you need to place the club head on the ground while gripping it properly. Every club has an angled sole so it will naturally create an inward angle on the shaft.
While gripping the club in that position, you need to bend your body from the waist so that your hands are naturally under your shoulders. By natural, we mean that your hands should be directly under your shoulders creating a 90-degree angle with the ground.
If it feels like the hands to stretched or too tucked inside, you need to either go a little bit forward to back up a little, without changing the position of the club head on the ground.
During this whole process, your legs should be straight with a slight flex on your knees. Your back should be straight from the waist up as well. The only point of the major bend in this case is your waist. Your buttocks should be pushed out to compensate for the bend.
As for your upper body, there will be a natural tilt to the right side because your trail arm is lower than your lead arm on the grip. It naturally creates the right tilt. An important thing to notice here is that you may feel the urge to shift a little of your weight to the left foot in this position. It’s completely normal. You do need to shift the weight just a little to your lead foot to compensate for the tilt.
You’ll notice that the distance between your body and the ball will change with clubs. The same is true for the angle of bend. Both of these measures can change with every club in your bag. The only thing constant in all positions is your hands.
When you first start out, this position will feel very weird. You may think that you’re looking like a fool on the course. It’s true for almost all golf players we know. But as time goes by, you’ll realize that this is the best stance for this sport.
To perfect this posture, you may take help from a mirror at home or your smartphone at the course. Using a cheap mobile holder will come in handy if you want to record yourself. One thing to keep in mind, in this case, is to record yourself from the waist height.
Golf Setup Killers
No, we’re not exaggerating right now. There are things that can kill your entire setup instantly without you even realizing it. In this section, we’re going to look at them and find a way to eliminate them from your shots.
We’ve already covered this as part of our main guide. But we’re again including it here because it is one of the most important and most impactful things of your golf setup.
When you put too much weight on your toes, you tend to stand up at the top of your backswing. You certainly don’t do it voluntarily. Rather, it’s an instinctive move. It causes you to come down too steep with your club and changes the flight path dramatically.
On the other hand, when you push too much on your heels, you’ll notice that the club will come across your body instead of from top to bottom. And at the end of the swing, your body will automatically transfer the weight to the toes to keep you from falling.
As a result, the sweet spot on your driver or your iron changes throughout the swing. It’s one of the worst things you can do on the course. Your shots will be all over the place if you don’t fix it immediately!
It’s caused by the different ball positions with different clubs. For example, when you’re using the driver, the ball is set up quite forward in comparison to your body. As a result, many players tilt their bodies toward the target. It causes the trail shoulder to rise above the lead shoulder. The same is true for your hips.
This is one of the gravest mistakes you can make in the course. It will disrupt the quality of your swing dramatically. You won’t get the rotation you need to hit the ball as hard as you can. You’ll also face issues with your club face angle because you didn’t set it up correctly.
Do you have a C posture? You may even not know it! By C posture, we mean when your back is arched in a way that you almost look like a C. It’s a very posture to set up your swing because chances are high that you’ll stand up to stop your club from hitting the ground.
The improper arch on the back is a common issue among rookie golfers. Luckily, fixing it is quite easy as well. You need to practice a drill at your home or at the driving range to naturally fix your arch.
To start with, cross your arms across your shoulder and get into your golf stance. Now, think of your waist as the opening of a bucket and it’s filled with water. Without moving your head or shoulders, you need to empty the bucket little by little.
During this drill, you’ll notice that you’re engaging your core like never before. That’s exactly what you want to find the neutral arch on your golf setup!
This guide has a special place in our hearts because we’ve covered a lot of the pain points faced by thousands of players. We’ve put our heart and soul into creating this guide so that you can learn exactly how to get your golf setup going.