Getting Prepared

Published on 28 September 2009 by in Blog, Swing Tips


Fundamentals of the Pre-Swing
The set up you produce before you swing the club has the most influence on your direction, distance, and trajectory of your balls flight or pattern. To hit a straight shot you have to combine these pre-swing fundamentals to match your desired result. When any component of the set up is flawed, swing manipulations are required to gain control of the shot.Getting-prepared

Grip The grip is the device that maneuvers the clubs face angle at impact.

Think about your grip as the devise that maneuvers your clubs face angle. The intention is not to enhance power, but to direct the clubface and its angle at impact. This influences direction and trajectory; two of the three objectives for every golf shot. The grip is the only connection you have with the golf club and you must have your hands positioned clockwise or counter clockwise on the golf club in the correct relationship to the clubs face.

Key Points:

  • 1½ -2½  knuckles visible (index finger and middle finger knuckles visible on the back of your left hand).
  • A line between the thumb and index finger (short thumb) pointing to your right eye in your left hand.
  • An infant babies bottom visible in the left hand on top of the handle of the club (in the fingers).
  • In your right hand the letter V forms between your index finger and thumb on the very top of the grip. (No palming or hammer grip with the right hand under the grip handle).

Stance The stance will encourage mobility and stability.

The golf stance refers to the fanning and the width of the golfers feet at address. This dimension is evaluated from the instep of each foot. The stance encourages trajectory in a golf shot by influencing the angle of the swing arc. This angle or swing plane is upright with a narrow stance and flattens with a wider stance. Your stance should be wide enough to encourage balance and stability, yet narrow enough to provide a weight transfer.

Key Points:

  • Fan the feet no more than 35 degrees.

  • Weight should be on the fat part of the foot (ball to arc) and slightly inside each instep

Posture Posture for the golf swing is a universally athletic position.

In particular, the joints that bear all the weight should be in alignment, knees flex slightly with the spine bending forward at the hip joint (not the waist) to support a natural hanging of the arms. Posture at address should prepare the body for a dynamic motion during the swing and should grant a stable base from start to finish. Your posture at address and throughout the golf swing has a significant impact on how well your shoulders can rotate around your spine.

Key Points:

  • Feel like your sticking your butt out.
  • Put the hands in front of the hips while looking forward and up, then bend from the hip joint not the waist.
  • Put a golf shaft on the tailbone and up between the shoulder blades with the shoulders feeling slightly back behind the neck, then bend forward keeping the shaft in the same place.

Ball Position The ball should be in a middle position between the ankles.

Ball position refers to the golf balls relationship between the instep and how near or far from the feet at address. The ideal ball position should be slightly behind the very bottom of the swing arc. In a correct set up, this position should be centered in the stance or one ball width to the target side of center. This position should be marked with the ankles or the left armpit. Ball position has a large impact on trajectory, distance and direction in a golf shot. Secondary influences include grip and alignment. How near or far the ball is in respect to the feet is determined by what club is held at address, be it a driver or a wedge.

Key Points:

  • Position the small ball (golf ball) to make contact  before the big ball (earth). This is slightly behind the bottom of the swing arc.
  • Move the ball position back (right) to encourage a lower trajectory and forward (left) to promote a higher trajectory.
  • The butt end of the grips handle for every club should be directly over a line drawn across the knees while at address. This will determine how near or far the ball is, in respect to your feet.

Aim Construct the set up around the aim of the clubface.

A wood is aimed properly when the top line on the face is at a 90-degree or perpendicular angle to the ball-to-target line. An irons clubface is aimed properly when the leading edge of the clubs face is at a 90-degree or perpendicular angle to the ball-to-target line.

Key Points:

  • Hold the clubhead at eye level with the top edge of a wood or the irons leading edge hanging vertically. When lowered to the ground behind the ball, the edge of either club should be perpendicular to the ball-to-target line.
  • Pick an intermediate spot directly in front of the golf ball and directly on the ball-to-target line. This could be a blemish on the ground from a broken tee to a blade of grass. Point your clubface directly at that spot. This is called an intermediate target. The smaller the spot (a single blade of grass) the more precise the resulting aim.

Alignment of the body is parallel to the aim of the clubface.

The lines formed by the heels, knees, hips and shoulders represent body alignment. Their correlation to the aim of the clubs face affects direction, distance and trajectory.

Key Points:

  • Imagine a set of railroad tracks with the outside rail the ball-to-target line and the inside rail being the body line. Both are parallel to one another. The farther away the target the closer together the rails look. They never meet but they look like it. This is called parallel left.
  • Set a club shaft on the ground parallel to the ball-to-target line. Align the heels, knees, hips and shoulders to the shaft on the ground.


These fundamentals for preparations to a golf swing should be practiced in a mirror, on camera and on the practice or lesson tee. The more repetition the better your habit becomes at getting properly prepared to make a swing of the club.


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