The set up of your body in the correct position while addressing the ball will have an important impact on the success of your shot. The set up must also enable you to maintain good balance during the execution of your swing. Good balance is common to all good swings.
During a swing, your body needs to be able to move freely from a center point, back to your right side, then through to your left, all the while maintaining your balance.
There are 2 basic rules to follow when preparing the set up for your shot:
1. Your stance must be wide enough to promote stability yet narrow enough to promote unhindered motion.
2. The longer the club shaft, the wider your stance must be.
Note: The ball remains in the same position for every club in your bag - opposite your left armpit - no matter the width of your stance.
During the set up, (right handed players) positioning of your weight should vary slightly as well depending on club selection. For drivers and fairway woods, your right side should support a little over 50% of your weight. For mid-irons, the weight distribution is more even. And for short irons, a little over 50% to your left side. (right handed player)
If you should need to narrow your stance, always do so by moving your right foot closer to your left. This way, you can always be sure that the club shaft and your left arm form a straight line, creating the radius of your swing.
The next part of the set up concerns the flex in your knees. When you are looking down, you should only see the front half of each foot, and a vertical line extended through your kneecaps would carry on into the balls of your feet.
Your hips should be positioned so that there is a slight upward tilt toward the target, your left hip fractionally higher than your right.
The correct angle of your spine is formed by bending your torso from the hips as opposed to your waist. Almost as though you were about to sit down on a chair. This will form the axis of your swing plane.
At this point, if you were to draw a vertical line from the middle of your right shoulder, it should pass through the right kneecap and into the ball of your right foot. If the line is in front of your knee, you are too far forward. And alternately, if the line is behind your knee, your weight is too far back. This is key to keeping your body balanced throughout your swing plane.
The next step in the set up is to place the club head behind the ball. Your arms should hang freely so that your elbows point directly at your hips. Maintain a distance of a hands width turned sideways between your thighs and your grip.
You should now be well balanced, relaxed, and in the proper set up position to begin your swing. But first, let's look at the proper alignment to the target.