Before doing anything, be
sure to have the proper set-up
By Allen Kelly,
WorldGolf.com Golf Instructor
What is the most important part of a golf swing? Is it the takeaway, the
first 18 inches of the backswing?
Is it the backswing itself?
The club position at the top of swing?
Is it the start of the downswing? Or the follow through?
All of these are important parts of a successful swing, but the most
important part has to be what you do BEFORE you start the swing. I'm
talking about the set-up.
If you are not set up correctly, then what possible chance do you have of
hitting the ball correctly? Virtually none, yet time and time again,
students just walk up and swing, aligned too far right or left, to upright,
to hunched over. They can feel it is wrong, but still they go ahead and hit
You should incorporate a pre-shot routine in your game and stick to it. It
does not have to be elaborate, but it should be the same every time. This
will ensure that when you think you are ready to hit the ball, you actually
are ready to
hit the ball.
A good way to start your routine is to think GASP before every shot.
If the ball is on an uneven or difficult lie, take several practice
swings to get a feel for the shot.
Get your usual comfortable grip, and do it before you address the ball,
that way there is one less thing to think about while standing over the
Pick out a primary target and get aligned with it. Pick out a secondary
target about a yard in front of the ball.
Imagine a line through the ball and secondary target to the primary target.
This is your "target line"
Square your feet, hips and shoulders along this target line.
Make sure the ball position is correct in your stance. With a wood,
the ball should be just inside of your front foot, and move more toward the
center of your stance as the club becomes more lofted.
Also the feet should be shoulder width apart with the driver, and get closer
together as the club gets more lofted.
Address the ball, and stand up straight, then lock the knees. Bend at the
waist, letting arms hang naturally. Place the clubhead behind the ball and
let your knees unlock. This is an athletic position.
Finally, tilt your upper body away from the target to keep your head behind
the ball and the weight on the correct side of your body.
Practice this in front of the mirror, and you will see how good your set-up
looks, and when this is correct your chances of hitting a solid shot will be
And remember, before each shot, think GASP.
Agree with this review? Disagree?
thoughts at GolfBoards.com.