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Don't overlook proper club position at address

Les MillerBy Les Miller,
Contributor
Ball Position at Proper Address
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Knowledge of where the club should be positioned is very rarely discussed, but proper club placement is equally as important as learning how to set up to the ball. (Tim McDonald/WorldGolf.com)

Proper placement of the golf club during the address position is an area that is overlooked by most golfers. This position can determine why you hit some clubs better than the others or why you slice long clubs and hit the short ones straight.

In the set-up position, knowledge of where the golf club should be positioned with the use of each club is very rarely discussed, but the fact is the club hits the ball; therefore, proper club placement is equally as important as learning how to set up to the ball.

Begin with the lie angle of the club. If the lie angle is too flat, golfers have a tendency to catch the heel upon impact, turning the blade over, causing hooks or shots to the left. If the lie angle is too upright, the toe of the clubhead will catch the turf upon impact causing the clubface to open creating shots to the right or a slice.

When purchasing clubs or taking lessons, "always" have a professional properly fit your clubs. Always place the club properly on the ground first, and then step into your stance. This way, your body will adjust properly to each club in the bag.

Next, find the proper place to set the clubhead behind the ball. If you tend to hit shots on the toe of the clubface, try addressing the ball in the heel area of the clubhead. Players who hit shots on the toe usually are pulling the club in toward their body upon impact.

Next time you see Senior PGA Tour player Fuzzy Zoeller on TV, watch how he has the ball placed next to the hosel at address position. He sets up like this because he straightens up slightly during his swing, which pulls the clubhead in during impact. Instead of trying to "fix" his swing, he simply addresses the ball in by the hosel. This goes to show that there are many ways to hit better golf shots.

Finally, if you have trouble making a full shoulder turn on your backswing try, placing the clubhead two to three inches back behind the ball at address. This will set your shoulders back to a closed position and allow you to make a full shoulder turn. When PGA Tour player Fred Couples feels he is not making a full shoulder turn on his backswing, he uses this tip.

Try these tips, and see your ball striking improve.

Les Miller was a longtime Golf Writers of America member who covered golf instruction for several newspapers and golf publications. His many years of experience as a golf professional, director of product development and tour relations for several major golf companies gave him a unique background and ability to help golfers increase their enjoyment of the game.

 
Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • Upright vs Flat

    Joe Tocho wrote on: Jan 11, 2013

    If the club is too flat, it means the heel is off the ground. You can't hit the ball with the heel if it's off the ground. You will hit it with the toe. Too upright clubs cause hooks. Too flat causes pushes and slices---hits off the toe(not the heel). I believe the esteemed golf writer has made a mistake.

    Reply

  • Incorrect?

    Martin wrote on: Oct 18, 2009

    Are you sure this information is correct? You state; 'Begin with the lie angle of the club. If the lie angle is too flat, golfers have a tendency to catch the heel upon impact, turning the blade over, causing hooks or shots to the left. If the lie angle is too upright, the toe of the clubhead will catch the turf upon impact causing the clubface to open creating shots to the right or a slice'.
    Surely it should be the opposite,- if the club is too upright will cause a hook and flat cause a slice.

    Reply

  • Proper Club Positioning

    Richie wrote on: Jul 11, 2009

    This is a great tip on proper club positioning. It explains was we get confuse with the golf swing. Thanks very good. I need to take a trip to the Golf academy for a lesson soon.
    Rich

    Reply

  • Target Alignment

    Brian Allman wrote on: Dec 11, 2008

    Mr. Miller,
    What a great teaching tool you've given to your readers and we at Sweet Spot Golf couldn't agree with you more. Your point of target alignment and club placement is the exact the philosophy behind our patented club design and the reason that we have named this the Precision Positioning System (tm). With Sweet Spot clubs and this includes all of the clubs that we make (Drivers, Hybrids and Putters) we have unified away for the player to always set up to the ball the exact same way with each of the clubs hence incorporating one of the most important parts of a golfers routine into the actual design element of the golf instrument itself. If you are interested in information on these clubs please visit www.sweetspotgolfclubs.com and see the Sweet Spot difference. These aren't your Daddy's clubs!

    Reply