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Set Up A Key Element Of A Golf Swing

This week we are going to talk about the most overlooked fundamental in the golf swing – the set up. I think the reason that this is the most overlooked fundamental is because it occurs before a person ever begins a golf swing.

So many players I teach are fixated on the golf swing that they overlook the fact that, if your body is not set up properly, your golf swing becomes inconsequential.

So how do we properly set ourselves up for a functional golf swing? The first step is to understand what you are trying to create in a set up. The simple answer is angles. You are trying to make sure that all angles of the lower body are integrated.

This starts with understanding and defining the most important angle or flex. The most important angle or bend is the hips. Many believe it is knees, but it is hips. The hip angle or flex is the most important angle in any athletic endeavor including baseball, football, and basketball.

To properly set this angle, do the following: grip the club, extend your arms directly in front of your body so the club and your arms are parallel to the ground. From this position, push your hipbones back until the weight goes to your heels. Lower the club to the ground, now flex your knees until the weight is under your shoelaces. Set up is complete.

If you take a snapshot of yourself, your spine will be straight, your knees will be flexed only slightly, and your arms will be hanging freely while gripping the club that is now in official hitting position.

I realize trying to accurately describe the setup is difficult, but if you re-read the above steps, you will put yourself in the best set up position. Please keep in mind that the feeling you get from proper set up will be more rigid than you are used to and will feel more athletic.

As I said, the golf swing is an athletic motion built on speed and sequential movements of your entire body. This sequence is easier to define, develop and feel if you begin in the same athletic position each time. Interestingly enough, if changes are needed in your golf swing, it is so much easier when you have the most important fundamental in your corner: a proper set up.

Rich Conwell is the General Manager & PGA Head Golf Professional at Wheeling Country Club and can be reached with questions or comments at rconwell@wheelingcountryclub.com or 304-232-2000.

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