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Stance, Set-up & Alignment

If you want to view previous lessons in this series go to the bottom of this page.

I recently joined to view their assortment of lesson videos. I'm really impressed. The instruction is excellent. And, they provide a free service that enables their members to upload their own swing video. You can then break your swing down into the various positions and sequences. I'd recommend you take a look. See the icon to the right.

How you set up to the ball influences greatly your swing and your ball flight. Your stance and set-up can be broken down into 3 categories

•  Ball Position

•  Posture, Weight Distribution & Balance

•  Alignment


Ball Position

The main objective with the golf swing is consistency. Having a consistent ball position is important. Some teachers of the past promote a different ball position for different clubs. They encouraged students to have a forward ball position with the Driver and woods. For irons, the ball position is progressively farther back in the stance as the loft of the club increases. Thus, a 3-iron would be forward in the stance and a wedge would be at least half way back in the stance, if not further.

Different ball positions, however, discourage consistency. Having different ball positions for different clubs would result in hitting the ball at different points in the swing.


A forward position advocates hitting the ball after the bottom of the swing, with the club moving leftwards. A rearward position advocates hitting the ball before the bottom of the swing, with the club moving rightwards. The goal is to hit the ball while the club is moving along the target line, towards the intended target.

To promote a consistent golf swing, two different ball positions are suggested:

•  When hitting off grass, the ball should be approximately in the middle of your stance. This promotes "hitting down" on the ball, which means the club contacts the ball at or before the bottom of the swing. It also promotes a proper swing path through the ball.



•  When hitting off a tee with a low lofted club, the objective is distance, thus the ball position is approximately adjacent to your left heel (for a right swinger; right heel for a left swinger). This position promotes "hitting up" on the ball, which means the club contacts the ball after the bottom of the swing.



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Posture, Weight Distribution & Balance

A proper posture promotes good balance and proper movement of different parts of the body during the golf swing. The goal in your set-up is stability, balance, and freedom from muscle tension. For a good set-up posture, do the following:   •  Create slight flex in your knees, keep your back straight, bend from the waist, and allow your arms to hang freely. Where your arms hang freely is when you want to grip the club. Have the sensation that you're just resting your butt on a bar stool. set-up-rear-front.jpg• 

Distribute your weight evenly between the right and left foot with the feeling that the weight is focused on the instep of the feet, rather than the outstep. Don't lean too far forward on your toes or too far back on your heels. Ideally, your weight is centered between the balls of your feet and your heels.


  •  Your feet should be about shoulder width apart. Again, for consistency, this distance should be the same with each club, although you might increase the width for the Driver & Woods since your swing will be longest with these clubs and thus require a solid, stable base.


•  You want to keep your lower back as straight as possible. Have the sensation that you are sticking your butt out, with slightly flexed knees, ready to spring into action.



Alignment sets up the body to swing the club along the target line at impact, hitting the ball towards the target. If the golfer is not aligned properly, the ball will not go towards the target. If poor alignment persists, the golfer will subconsciously alter his/her swing to get the ball flying in the correct direction. This is a major cause of swing faults.

To properly align, do the following:

•  Place the club behind the ball so that the face of the club is perpendicular to the target line, so that face and target line form a T.

•  Take your stance ensuring the feet, knees hips and shoulders are parallel to the target line.


When on the course, you won't have a mat or other device to help align you. Thus, you'll need to learn a method of alignment using an intermediate target.

Go to this page to learn a method of aligning using an intermediate target. CLICK HERE

To learn more about Intermediate Focus Golf, CLICK HERE


Want to view other lessons in this series thus far. Click on the link below.

Lesson #1: Golf Grip -- The Connection

Lesson #2: Golf Stance & Set-up -- The Foundation

Lesson #3: Golf Swing Plane -- The Swing Slot

Lesson #4: Golf Swing Weight Transfer -- The Athletic Move

Lesson #5: Golf Swing BackSwing -- The Takeaway & Coil

Lesson #6: Golf Swing DownSwing -- Maintain Angles & Transition Period

Lesson #7: Tempo Timing Rhythm -- Backswing/Downswing Ratio


©Probable Golf Instruction, Ken Tannar 2001-2013. All Rights Reserved.

Langley, B.C. V2Y 2G4 Canada
Phone: 604-309-7030  FAX: to fax, email an attachment or
Site maintained by Ken Tannar.

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