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Ball alignment is just as important as set-up!

Chuck EvansBy Chuck Evans,
Special Contributor
Straight left arm
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Ball position is just as important as set-up when making a good swing and striking the ball cleanly. (Courtesy Andi Brenner)

In a recent article I shared with you something that Jack Nicklaus had said about setting up properly.

Set-up is only part of the equation however. Most players think that set-up is how to position yourself to the ball - and it is - but we must also realize the importance of ball placement, weight and balance, and the right forearm alignment to the clubshaft.

Set-up alignments are really the most critical part since they determine what is going to happen during the stroke and ball positioning can effect those alignments.

I'll give you an example. A player is having trouble and is hitting the ball fat. So we need to look at some of the more common elements that can cause this "laying the sod over it" shot.

1. Ball position too far forward
2. Weight leaning backward at impact
3. Head over the right foot at impact
4. The right arm straightening too soon.
5. The swing plane is too far from the inside.

Numbers 2-5 all effect ball position. By leaning too far back you have effectively moved the ball position forward, same with keeping the head over the right foot and swinging too much from the inside. The straightening of the right arm is a conscious/sub-conscious effort to take the clubface to the ball and it changes the clubshaft/forearm alignment.

Anytime you lean back you move the low point of the golf stroke back which, in effect, moves the ball position forward.

Ultimately, however, fat or thin shots are a changing of the radius that was established at address. Fat shots mean the radius is getting longer and thin shots...it's getting shorter.

It takes no athletic ability at all to look as good as any PGA Tour player at address. It's what happens next that tells the tale!

Chuck Evans, G.S.E.D., a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, is one of only 31 golf instructors worldwide designated to hold a doctorate in golf stroke engineering. He is executive director of instruction for the Medicus Golf Institute and has served as director of schools for the PGA Tour Golf Academy, and as director of instruction for the United States Golf Institute. He is also the author of "How To Build Your Golf Swing."

 
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