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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.
December 8, 2008
Les Miller is longtime Golf Writers of America member who has written 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 gives him a unique background that helps golfers increase their enjoyment of the game.
While live lessons from a good golf professional are always better, if you're going to learn to play or improve your game on your own, the "Butch Harmon About Golf presented by Titleist" series is about as good as it gets. The two-DVD set, which costs $79.95, is broken down into six sections and is very well organized, Mike Bailey writes.
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