I regard Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina as one of the top 10 golf courses I have ever played. It is one of those rare courses where every hole is memorable!Read More
So often I read that it is important to be "behind the ball". While this statement is almost correct I would prefer for a golfer to be "over" the ball and this sense initiates with the set up position.
The set-up encompasses ball position, stance width and spine/shoulder tilt. Let's take a look from the ground up.
With the irons I would like to see the ball played from the middle of the stance - keep in mind, that in order to hit down on the ball, a must, the weight must be in front of the ball. Notice that I said weight and not body or head! When the ball is centrally located it is that much easier to hit down on. As you get to the longer clubs(woods) slide the ball up toward the inside of the left heel. In the Ben Hogan illustration you'll notice how his ball is not quite in the center but a little forward. This is due to his pronounced hip slide into impact which still allowed him to be able to hit down on a more forward ball position.
As far as the stance width goes, I prefer a narrower stance than a wider one and here's why. A narrow stance allows for the weight to get to the front foot easily - that's why you should be chipping and pitching with a narrow stance. Too wide and you'll have a hard time getting onto the front foot without excess movement.
Head position and spine tilt is the most important factor in the set-up! I read an article yesterday pontificating about if you tilt away from the target you'll reduce your slice. Well, you might reduce the slice, but you'll have a hard time making solid contact with the ball. All the best ball strikers set up as Hogan has here, with the head positioned between the feet, the left eye over the ball and the spine just about vertical. There should also be a minimal amount of shoulder tilt when the spine is vertical. Make sure you avoid any excess tilt into your back side as this will make it almost impossible to get "over" the ball at impact.
Set yourself up to get into a great impact!
Things to ponder:
- Harbourtown and the TPC Louisiana are both Pete Dye golf courses. They look like they are from different planets!
- Can Steve Stricker finally get the job done on Sunday? It's been a while!
- Tiger Woods is a great champion, but does he play golf the way it was meant to be played? Does modern equipment let him play the game "his way"? I offer Greg Norman and Nick Faldo as contrasts.
- I was going to ask, " When will Sergio grow up?" but I'm not sure he ever will.
- Will Sergio ever grow up?