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          GOLF TIPS - Wednesday, July 16, 2008
 "Tips... News... And More... All For The Love Of The Game"
------------------------------------------------------------

Fellow Duffers,

Setup for success. Most people set up in an open stance and don't
realize that is the reason many of their shots go to the right.
Take your time and learn how to set up and aim properly. It'll
payoff is spades. 

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Alignment

At address your body (feet, knees, hips, forearms, shoulders and
eyes) should be positioned parallel to the target line. When
viewed from behind, a right-handed golfer will appear aimed
slightly left of the target. This optical illusion is created
because the ball is on the target line and the body is not.

The easiest way to conceptualize this is the image of a railroad
track. The body is on the inside rail and the ball is on the
outside rail. For right-handers, at 100 yards your body will
appear aligned approximately 3 to 5 yards left, at 150 yards
approximately 8 to 10 yards left and at 200 yards 12 to 15 yards
left.



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The feet should be shoulder width (outside of the shoulders to
the inside of the heels) for the middle irons. The short iron
stance will be two inches narrower and the stance for long
irons and woods should be two inches wider. The target-side
foot should be flared toward the target from 20 to 40 degrees
to allow the body to rotate toward the target on the downswing.
The back foot should be square (90 degrees to the target line)
to slightly open to create the proper hip turn on the back
swing. Your flexibility and body rotation speed determine 
the proper foot placement.

Your weight should be balanced on the balls of the feet, not on
the heels or toes. With short irons, your weight should be
60-percent on the target side foot (left foot for right-
handers). For middle iron shots the weight should be 50/50
or equal on each foot. For your longest clubs, place 60% of your
weight on the backside foot (right foot for right-handers).
This will help you swing the club on the correct angle on the
back swing.



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The ball placement varies with the club you select. From a flat
lie:

• Play your short irons (wedges, 9-iron and 8-iron) in the
center portion of your stance. These clubs have the most upright
lie angles and they must be swung at the steepest angle, and you
should take a divot in front of the ball.

• Your middle irons should be played one ball toward the target-
side foot from center (a ball left of center for the right-handed
golfer). These clubs have a slightly flatter lie angle and you
should take a slightly shallower divot than with the short irons.

• The correct ball position for the long irons and fairway woods
is two balls toward the target-side foot from center (two balls
left for the right-hander). With these clubs, the ball should be
struck directly at the bottom of the swing arc with very little
divot.

• The driver is played farthest forward (three balls left of
center for the right-hander) to strike the ball on the upswing.



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When viewed from face on, your spine should tilt to the side,
slightly away from the target. The target side hip and
shoulder should be slightly higher than the back hip and
shoulder. The entire pelvis should be set an inch or two
toward the target. This places the hips in the lead and it
counter balances your body as your upper spine leans away from
the target.

Your chin should be up, out of your chest to encourage a
better shoulder turn. The head should be tipped at the same
angle as the spine and your eyes should focus on the inside 
portion of the back of the ball.

At address, your hands should hang just forward of your zipper
(just off the inside of your target side thigh). The hands-to-
body distance varies depending on the club you are hitting. 
A good rule of thumb is hands "a palm’s width" from the body
for short and middle irons (4 to 6 inches) and "a palm’s
length" from the bottom of the wrist to the tip of your middle
finger - for long irons and woods.

The shaft of the club will appear to lean slightly toward the
target with your short irons because the ball is positioned
in the center of your stance. With your middle irons, the 
shaft of the club will lean only slightly toward the target
(or not at all) since the ball is forward of center. With long
irons and woods, your hands and the shaft of the club will 
appear to be in line. Again, as the ball position moves forward,
the hands stay in the same place so the lean of the shaft
disappears. With a driver, the shaft will lean away from the 
target.

Your arms and shoulders should form a triangle and the elbows
should point to the hips.

And a Final Note about Tension
At address the upper body should be tension free. You may feel
tension only down the inside of the back leg.

Remember: "Your swing evolves from your setup." If you focus
on this vital pre-swing fundamental, you are more likely to
improve your performance. A good setup does not guarantee
success, however it improves your chances immensely.


You can discuss this issue or any other topic in the new
Golf Tips forum. Check it out here...


Golf Tips Forum

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