Categorized | Tips & Tricks, 2014, February 2014

The Setup & Alignment

By: Adam Taylor

The Setup & AlignmentIn the last issue of Golf Indonesia (January 2014), I outlined the placement of the hands for a correct grip as the first step in my series of the five most basic principles for a solid golf swing. In this second installment, I will demonstrate how to perform the setup and alignment correctly to compliment your grip position. Once again these principles apply to almost every area of the game.

For many golfers, the correct setup can be difficult to achieve due to many factors, including lack of flexibility, and existing lower back injuries. If you feel you might have a condition that is making it difficult to achieve a good setup, it might be wise to consult a health professional who can advise you on an appropriate course of action to help remedy any pain or discomfort you might have.

The Setup & AlignmentIf you feel you can improve your setup position without any long lasting discomfort, achieving a sound setup position will help your body rotate better throughout the swing, and actually prevent lower back problems from occurring.

The easiest way to achieve a sound setup is to first start holding a club upside down. If you are able to do this in front of a mirror or from a reflection from glass it will be a lot easier to perform. Holding the club upside down will stop the club slipping on the ground using the grip, and the club head will give you a larger area to place your hands on.

The goal is to be able to get a number of athletic straight lines formed throughout our body. Placing your hands on the sole of the clubface, angle your arms on a forty five degree angle so that the grip of the club is around one metre from your feet and in the centre of your body touching the ground. The key then is being able to push back your hips, and then straightening your back. This helps produce just a little bending of the knees, but most importantly helps to get a stronger and more stable back position for a better swing.

The Setup & AlignmentFrom a front-on position, the main goal is to have even balance on both feet, as well as feeling the majority of weight on the balls of your feet, not your heels. This will make it easier to maintain your balance and have a good body turn throughout your swing.

The aim now is to achieve this position with the club head on the ground in a position to hit the ball. A guide for your arms is to position them on a slight angle away from your body. The setup position created will remain very similar for just about every shot you will play. The main difference will be the ball position. Inside the right foot for chipping, in the centre for short irons, then progressing to the inside of the left foot for the driver.

Probably the most forgotten area of the game for most players is the importance of having the The Setup & Alignmentcorrect alignment. Along with the grip, this is the area that can affect your club path and clubface greatly both positively and negatively.

Did you know that the alignment for your shots off the ground and the alignment for your driver should be slightly different for your straight shots?

The reason for this is the angle the club approaches the ball. For shots off the ground, the club should still be moving downward towards the ground as the club strikes the ball. Whereas the driver should be moving very slightly upwards away from the ground as the club strikes the ball.

The key aspect of this is that the lowest point of the swing is when the clubface should be straight. But very rarely do we hit the ball when the club is at its lowest point. This is after the ball for shots off the ground, and before the ball for the driver. So anything before this point the clubface will be open, after this point the clubface will be closing.

The Setup & AlignmentNext time you are on the range practising, place a club or an alignment rod on the ground halfway in between your feet and the ball. Aim the club or rod slightly to the left of your target for shots off the ground, very slightly to the right for your driver, therefore making sure that you are always lined up correctly.

The next step is being able to perform the correct alignment on the golf course. Most players aim their body at the target first then their feet. If you do this you are almost guaranteeing that you will always be aiming too far to the right for all shots. Always approach the ball from behind and in line with your target, and always line up the club first either by the club itself or picking a spot in front of the ball no more than the length of a club grip, then your body.

If you would like more information on the setup and alignment, or to have a personal lesson with me, contact Ancora Golf Institute at Royale Jakarta Golf Club.

Ancora Golf Institute

Ancora Golf Institute
Royale Jakarta Golf Club
Jl. Raya Halim Tiga
Halim Perdana Kusuma, Jakarta 13610
Phone +62 21 8087 2222 ext. 310-311
Email –
Web – www.

About Adam Taylor

Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Adam graduated from the Australian PGA as a full member professional with a Diploma in Golf Instruction in 2005. Having been based at Royale Jakarta Golf Club for the past two years, Adam has devoted his passion and knowledge of the game to improving players of all levels and ages. His instructional techniques have featured in several television golf programs and golf magazines. He looks forward to improving your game through Golf Indonesia Magazine and at Ancora Golf Institute, Royale Jakarta.

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