Different clubs and shots require a different set-up and approach. Keith Williams explains the basics from driver right down to putter...
How To Hit Every Club In The Bag
Set up with a slightly wider stance than with an iron and the ball just inside your left heel. Your weight should feel like it’s slightly on the rear foot to work that upward attack angle. Your arms should hang ‘free’ from the body. Note the slight tilt in spine angle, too. From this position, I’m able to make a smooth, wide takeaway that will encourage a full turn and plenty of power.
Many amateur golfers have a real fear of their fairway woods, but with a few simple set-up tweaks, you can get this club back in play. Have the ball just inside your left heel, your spine fairly vertical and your weight slightly on the front foot to work that descending blow. Stay centred over the ball to ‘trap’ it, and avoid ‘trying’ to get the ball in the air, or hanging back – a common error.
Hybrids and long irons
With hybrids, you want the ball to sit two to three inches inside the left heel. Many golfers tend to sweep the ball away, but ideally you want to ‘trap’ it with a descending blow – so ball, then turf – although some hybrids are designed more like long irons. With traditional long irons you want more of a sweeping contact. You want the ball just inside your left armpit, certainly not too far back. Let the clubs do the work, instead of trying to get the ball airborne.
The key with a mid-iron is to keep the ball in the correct position at address, approximately one ball forward of centre. Your weight should be evenly distributed. To encourage a downward strike, focus on the front of the ball or slightly ahead of it. You then need to rotate away, keeping a fairly steady, centred head. A lot of golfers tend to jump at their irons because they don’t trust themselves.
With full wedge shots, I’d encourage a slightly narrower stance with the feet a little inside the shoulders. The ball position should be central, although this can be varied according to the shot type. The head should stay centred over the ball. What we don’t want is any lateral movement.
Greenside, you want just a clubhead’s width between your feet. Stand a little bit more upright, too, with the ball closer to your toes in comparison to a longer pitch. This allows the club to follow more of a straight line back and through. Then, just move the triangle created by your arms backwards and forwards. There should be very little hand action involved on these shots.
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Ball position is personal, but slightly inside the left heel is good, with your feet shoulder-width apart. You should feel slight contact between your upper arms and ribcage. You head position should be square to help you look along the line correctly. Work on getting an even length of stroke back and through, using your toes as a guideline.
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