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Corey Lundberg's Golf Instruction Blog

Article: Adjust Your Setup to Fix Ball Flight

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For the sake of simplicity, we can basically group all golfers into two groups; hookers and slicers. To generalize even further, you can usually assume they will share a lot of common characteristics in their setup. So depending on what group you fall under, examine the varied components of each group’s set up and determine any adjustments you should make in your setup to improve your ballflight.

The Hooker’s Setup

Alignment: In an effort to keep the ball from going left, the Hooker aims right. This just exaggerates the in to out swing path that starts the ball to the right. Because the ball starts right, the hands have to close the clubface to have any hope at hitting the shot to the intended target. Timing this consistently is near impossible.

Grip: A stronger grip, with the left hand on top and right hand under, is the main contributor to the closed clubface that troubles the Hooker.

Ball Position: Ultimately, the Hooker’s biggest problem is a closed clubface. The farther up in the stance, the more time the clubface has to close. So typically, the Hooker will move the ball position too far back in the stance.

The Slicer’s Setup

Alignment: Like the Hooker, the Slicer alters the alignment in an effort to correct the most common miss. Because the ball usually tails right of the target, the Slicer will tend to aim too far left. This opens the stance and shoulders, further exaggerating the out-to-in swing path.

Grip: With the out-to-in club path, the Slicer will tend to return to impact with an open clubface. The weaker the grip, the more open the face.

Ball Position: Due to the open stance and to combat the open clubface at impact, the Slicer will play the ball too far up in the stance. The further up in the stance, the more time the player has to square the face.

As made clear by their setups, the Slicer and Hookers compound their mistakes in the setup. As your working to solve these issues, its important to understand the cause and effect involved. When starting with a poor grip, a player has to make adjustments to the alignment and ball position to compensate. Likewise, a player with poor alignment will have to make some adjustment in the grip or ball position to get the ball to the target. And this doesn’t even include the compensations created in the swing.

If you’re hitting some stray shots, before you start to change your swing, examine the setup. Usually, that is all you need to straighten your shots. So commit to the following goals for your setup:

• Achieve a grip that will allow you to square the clubface at impact. This will be different for different players, but usually not too far off from neutral. In a neutral grip, the ‘Vs’ on the hands will point somewhere near the right ear.

• Align your feet, hips, shoulders, and clubface properly. The alignment just has to get a little off to create major issues in the rest of your setup and swing.

• Be aware of your ball position. To keep it simple, you can play all your woods off the left heel and all irons slightly forward of center.