Set Up to Launch It!

“High launch, low spin”

Jason Carbone
Director of Instruction
Jim McLean Golf School
Goodyear, AZ

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“High launch, low spin” has become the trendy motto for every new driver being advertised today. While it is nice for the equipment to help create, and even enhance, the flight that will optimize distance, the majority of the work is still up to the player. But, rather than add any additional swing thoughts, let’s just make sure your set up matches the shot you want to see.
Bottom line: when the ball is resting on the ground, it must be struck with a descending strike, and vice versa when it is teed well up for a driver. The fact that we are trying to contact our tee shots slightly on the upswing, dictates how we need to stand to the ball. So first, make sure your ball position is forward in your stance, underneath your left shoulder. Go one step further and widen your stance to at least shoulder width. With a wider stance, and the ball forward, you are almost ready to launch your tee shots.
The majority of amateurs we see, that struggle with their driving, miss the last set up key. Because the ball position is forward, it is very instinctive to lean your upper body toward the target to get your head up over the ball. However, it is extremely important to make sure that your upper body tilts slightly away from the target. Check this by facing a mirror. Are your shirt buttons to the right of your belt buckle? If you suspended a club from your shirt buttons, are they centered between your feet, or even an inch or two right of center? If you can answer yes to both questions, your feet are at least shoulder width, and the ball is up underneath your left shoulder, now you are ready to bomb it. You are now in a set up that will allow all of the technology in your driver to give you that extra carry and roll. And, you are now ready to get all the distance you are capable of getting from that launch. Jason Carbone is the Director of Instruction at the Jim McLean Golf School located at The Wigwam Golf Resort and Spa in Goodyear, Arizona. He is one of Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Instructors and Golf Digest’s Top 20 under 40 instructors. You can reach Jason by calling 623.535.5600.