Getting set: these fundamentals govern golf’s starting position for your type of swing
The ball should be farther from the feet for the one-plane player. Ball position in relation to the feet should be opposite the left heel or instep for a driver, dead center or slightly ahead of center for middle irons, and middle or slightly right of center for short irons and wedges.
WARNING: Do not stand too close to the ball. This will force you to swing your arms on a steep plane, one that your shoulder turn could only match by tilting rather than turning.
Bend over more from the spine, at least 35 to 45 degrees forward from vertical. Taller golfers will bend more than shorter players. A line drawn down from the shoulders should point just outside or beyond the toes. When viewed from the front, the spine should appear perfectly straight, the shoulders directly over the hips.
WARNING: Do not tilt your spine to the right at address. Doing so will create unnecessary width on the backswing.
The ball should be slightly closer to the feet for the two-plane player. As with the one-plane swing, ball position in relation to the feet should be opposite the left heel to the instep for a driver, dead center for middle irons, and slightly right of center for short irons and wedges.
WARNING: Do not position the ball too far from your feet. When the ball is too far away, the arms will swing on too flat a plane than needed for the two-plane swing.
Spine is more erect, bent toward the ball by no more than 20 degrees from vertical. Shorter players will be slightly more erect than taller players. A line drawn straight down from the shoulders should point to the toes. When viewed from the front, the shoulders are positioned slightly to the right of center of the hips, the spine tilted slightly to the player’s right.
WARNING: Bending over too far forces you to turn the shoulders in too upright a manner for an effective two-plane swing.
Moderate to wide stance, with the distance between your heels at least as great as the width of your shoulders when using the driver. The feet are aligned and parallel to the target line, or slightly closed. The left foot should angle out 30 to 45 degrees toward the target. The hips and shoulders are square to slightly open.
WARNING: Do not use a one-plane action while playing from an open stance. This will force you to move the right hip in an incorrect pushing manner to start the downswing. This hip movement at the expense of a free shoulder turn can lead to back problems.
On full shots, keep your weight evenly balanced, 50 percent on each foot with the weight toward the balls of your feet. WARNING: Do not put more than 50 percent of your weight on your left foot, particularly when playing the driver and fairway woods. Doing so will result in a steeper hit and a loss of power.
A neutral to strong position, with the palms facing and in a position in which you can see at least two but no more than three knuckles on the left hand.
WARNING: Do not attempt to develop a one-plane swing action while using a weak grip. A weak grip is one in which the back of the left hand directly faces the target.
Moderate to narrow stance width. The distance between the heels is slightly more narrow than the outside width of the shoulders when hitting a driver. The feet are aligned parallel to the target line or slightly closed. The left foot is set square to the target line, with the right foot square to that line. The hips and shoulders are square or slightly open to the target line.
WARNING: Do not set up with a wide stance. This promotes a stronger use of the body than is desired in the two-plane swing.
Place about 60 percent of your weight on your right foot and 40 percent on your left for normal full shots.
WARNING: Do not put more than 60 percent of your weight on your rear foot, particularly on short-iron shots, because it will increase the likelihood that you will hit fat or thin.
A neutral to weak position, with the palms matching and in a position in which you can see at least one knuckle (but no more than two) on the left hand.
WARNING: Do not try to develop a two-plane action while using a strong grip, i.e., a grip in which the back of the left hand points somewhat upward and one in which you can see three knuckles on that hand.
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