Addressing The Ball
If you find your game starting to fall to pieces, check your setup
and address. This includes your grip, stance, posture, and alignment
Tips from top golf instructors on setting up and addressing the
Setting Your Aim & Alignment With The Target
It is surprising how many golfers do not align their feet with
the target line, then wonder why their ball ends up off line.
On a full swing the feet should be on a line parallel to the target
line; unless you are trying to shape the shot with curve. A good
address tip is to:
- Stand behind the ball, put your club on the ground in line with
the target and ball.
- Leaving the club head on the ground, walk around the club to
your address position
- Align your feet parallel to the line between the ball and the
- Remove the club from the ground and prepare to address the ball.
Have a consistent routine when addressing the ball. The only two
things you should ever set on the target line are the ball and clubface.
Everything else is parallel to it at your body line.
- Determine your target line from behind the ball, never in front
of it. See tip above
- Start with the leading edge of your club at a right angle to
your target line.
- When the clubface is aimed, settle your body around the clubface;
never vice versa.
- The position of the ball should always be constant. Only the
width of your stance should vary.
The key is consistency. Keep your routine the same every time.
For more tips on using
club markings to help align your clubface to the target line.
Distance From The Ball
A biomechanical study [by Dr. Ralph Mann and Golf Instructor Fred
Griffin] of 54 PGA Tour pros came up with the following results.
The distance between the left toe and the ball was:
- Average height - approximately 32 inches.
- Shorter golfers need to add one inch - 33 inches
- Taller players close in one inch - 31inches
5-iron distance was 23 to 25 inches
9-iron distance was 19 to 21 inches.
Try checking these distances at home.
Body Posture & Balance
- Width of Stance - should never be wider than
your normal walking stride. A wide stance reduces power by restricting
body turn. A narrower stance does not provide sufficient balance.
- To establish your ideal stance width, take a normal step
forward with your left foot and stop.
- Turn 90 degrees to your right, keeping your toes in place.
- This is your driver stance.
- Reduce the width half an inch for each successive club.
Your feet will be 5-6 inches closer together for short irons.
A slightly wider stance promotes a shallower backswing path and
an elongated flat spot in the hitting area. This keeps the clubface
traveling along the target line longer, leading to stronger, straighter
Keep the knees flexed throughout the swing - Address
the ball with, the knees in a "flexed" position. During
the backswing and forward swing check that the right knee stays
in this flexed position.
Balance Brings Control
Golfers who are off-balance spend most of their swing trying to
recover in time for impact. Try this test to see how well your balance
is at address.
- Lay a club along your toe line.
- Position another one, parallel to the first, 12 inches in front.
- Adopt your normal address position.
- If you're in perfect balance, you can jump over the second club
without repositioning any weight.
Hovering & Waggling
You will note most tour pros waggle or hover the clubhead at address.
Some repeatedly lift and ground their club, others practice their
takeaways with long, sweeping motions, whist others hover the clubhead
before starting his swing. Whatever format you find most appealing,
the airm is to get your muscles engaged before you start your back
This address drill helps to lighten grip pressure and get the arms,
shoulders, and neck muscles in a state of readiness, ensuring a
smooth first move.
Next: Tips for Golf
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