short irons

Golf fundamentals – How to set up to the ball

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practice golfGetting into the correct position as you address the ball will help you strike the ball more consistently. Your
aim, ball position and posture are essential parts of the golf swing that cannot be overlooked. In this post we look at the correct set up that will help you achieve a better address position and more consistent ball striking.

Your goal should be a square position to the ball at address. Lay a golf club on the ground to act as your target line. Now stand parallel to the club with your feet, hips and shoulder square to that target line. This is what we mean by a square orthodox stance. Many golfers fail to get into this position simply by not having a good pre-shot routine that will help them get into the correct setup position. Please look through our back catalogue for posts on developing a good pre-shot routine.

Next we want to talk about ball position. The correct ball position can vary depending on the type of shot you are trying to play. For example if you are trying to hit a shot with a higher than normal trajectory you may position the ball slightly further in your stance to help achieve an ascending strike and higher ball flight. Or you may want to play the ball further back in your stance to hit a lower than usual shot. For this post we are going to assume that you are playing a standard shot with a standard trajectory for that club.

Lets start with the driver. This club is almost always played off a tee peg so we are trying to hit this shot on the upswing. To help us achieve this ascending hit we must position the ball forward in our stance in-line with our left heel. This will encourage the correct strike on the ball and a high flying shot.

As we move into our fairway woods and longer irons we move the ball slightly back in our stance, just forward of centre, two or three ball widths. These clubs are struck with a sweeping motion so the ball should be positioned just forward of our sternum where our swing reaches its lowest point.

Our shorter irons are positioned further back still, around the centre of our stance. This will encourage a ball then turf contact and apply the correct spin on the ball as it is compressed against the ground.

What about your weight distribution? Many golfers ask whether their weight should be favouring their left or right foot. This is not something that you should consciously do. However, you will feel that you are more behind the ball with a driver and that your weight is more on your right foot. Also when you are playing shorter irons you may feel that you are favouring your left foot because of your smaller width stance.

The set up is much more important than many golfers give credit. If you are finding that your shots are inconsistent then go back to basics with your set up to see if there are some bad habits that are creeping into your game. At your next friendly round of golf ask a friend to video you with your cell phone so you can analyse your set up and find any faults. A good set up is something that the best players in the world work on regularly. Start dedicating some time at the driving range to your set up. Only with constant repetition will you start to build muscle memory that you can take on the course and play your best golf

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Course Management – Five tips for short hitters

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For many golfers we have to accept that hitting the ball a long way is not going to happen for us and try as we may, keeping up with the long hitters in the group will just make us feel frustrated. However, this does not mean that we cannot score well we just need to play to our strengths. In this article we will give you our top five recommendations of how to score well and not let yGolf 005our distance off the tee be a disadvantage.

First of all we need to accept that distance is not our key priority, accuracy is. For many short hitters are relatively accurate. What we need to concentrate on is consistent ball striking. So our first tip for the short hitter is to practise hitting crisp iron shots. A good drill to practise when on the driving range is to place a ball under you right heel and hit a few half shots with a medium iron. This should give you the crisp feeling of a descending blow and help you achieve the desired strike. Also remember to practise your pre-shot routine, this will help with consistent ball striking. For more details on how to develop a reliable pre-shot routine look in the back catalogue on

Our second tips is to look at your golf club selection and assess whether you have the right clubs in your bag for your local course. If you are playing a course that has a number of longish par fours then maybe the addition of a seven wood or a rescue club would be a good addition to your bag.  Longer irons are usually much harder to strike consistently well so try them out and see what difference it makes to your game. If you do decide to stick with your irons then ensure that you give them plenty of time on the driving range to help with your confidence and consistency.

You will find that you will be faced with a number of longer shots into the green so a good short game is a must for you to score well. Practise chipping from off the green and holing the putts to help you get up and down on a consistent basis. Also spend a little time on pitch shots of around twenty to thirty yards as you may find yourself just short of the green and as with chipping getting up and down from here is essential.

Also with regard to putting practise, spend more time holing out from three feet to take some pressure off your chipping. Develop a good, reliable stroke. Remember that even though you may not reach the green in regulation a good putter is a match for anyone. Keep a note of your putting stats with an objective to lowering your averages.

Finally accept that you will not reach some greens in regulation and that you will be forced to play some par four holes as three shots onto the green. This means that good course management is essential. Ask yourself how is it best to play this hole instead of immediately reaching for your driver. For example a par four hole with a yardage of four hundred yards maybe a driver, a five wood and a chip onto the green for you. Or you could play three six irons and achieve the same result. What type of play will give you more consistency?

Try these tips and see how they improve you score and enjoyment out on the course.

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The Golf Talk team