Setup for Success

Greg Ellis
Great Golf Academy
Goodyear, AZ

More Information

Did you know that the golf swing is an athletic move to properly strike the golf ball and have it go in your intended direction of the hole? I help golfers all the time that try to hit the ball with the lack of athleticism; thus, they lose direction and distance. The entire golf swing begins with the proper setup. You must have a good athletic base to start and that is what we are focusing on this month. Without a good setup, your chances of achieving your desired results are reduced. With this in mind, I would like you to work on the following setup for success:

•  I am going to assume (this is never a good thing but I will) that your grip and alignment are proper and focus only on setting up to the ball. As part of your pre-shot routine, place your hands on the grip properly and begin to get your body aligned correctly.

•  Next place the clubhead behind the ball with the leading edge of the club perpendicular to your target. Once you are in position, begin to set your feet. For the sake of this tip, we are speaking of hitting a regular golf shot not a specialty shot.

•  Set your feet so the inside of your heels are shoulder width apart. This will create stability. Tilt over at the waist, not in the back. You want to keep your spine as straight as possible. Imagine Adam Scott or Michelle Wie in their address position.

•  The weight distribution on your feet is twofold. You should have slightly more weight on your trailing side than on your leading side. Now this is the most important piece to the setup; you want the weight on your feet to feel like it is on your ankles with a spike going straight down into the ground for a great base.

•  Now when you make your backswing you are in a position that will allow your hips to turn back out of the way so you can make a full turn. If your weight is on your toes your lead shoulder will have a tendency to go down rather than back. Also, you will have a tendency of “coming over the top” of the ball and pulling it. If you are on your heels, your weight will get to the outside of your trailing foot and you will fall off balance or come back into the ball too shallow.

•  Once you are at the top of your backswing, you will now be able to start the downswing from the feet up in the proper sequence and return the impact in a better position. You should be able to feel your legs driving through the shot, similar to what I wrote about with my “Batter Up” tip last month. By setting up properly on your feet through the swing, you will have great balance and more power.

Practice your “Setup for Success” to develop a great base to increase your chances of hitting the golf ball toward your target. ?

In the meantime, be sure to tune in to the Bunker to Bunker Golf Show every Saturday morning from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. on ArizonaSports 98.7 FM or on the internet at for more tips  and updates on all of the week’s golfing news in the Valley and around the world. Join Greg, Jim Hill, and Marty Monaghan for a comprehensive look at the golf world for the week.