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The Swing in Pictures: The Set-Up (Part 1)

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Over the next several weeks, Tom Stickney will be presenting a series called, “The Swing In Pictures” on GolfWRX.

Each Monday a different swing position will be coupled with thoughts you (as the player) should pay attention to based on your current handicap level.  I would suggest printing each of these articles out and place them in a binder, as the series will take you from address through the finish from the front and down the line views.

Click here to view Tom’s previous articles.

PLEASE NOTE:

This article is meant to be used as a general reference for the most common swing model used in today’s game. As with any golf swing, there are personal idiosyncrasies that will alter the “look” and/or actions of the clubshaft and body motions back and through, so there will always be exceptions. Please keep this in mind as you read each section. As Homer identifies in the Golfing Machine, there are 446 quad-trillion stroke patterns, or ways to swing the club. You only need to find one that works best for you.

DL1_SS

The set-up position readies your body and allows you to set yourself in a position where the body and clubshaft can be moved in conjunction with one another throughout the swing. It is here that you can make or break the golf swing. Jack Nicklaus said that 90 percent of all golf faults begin at the set-up. He could not be more correct!

For the Beginning Player:

  • The shoulders, forearms, hips, knees, and feet are all parallel left of the ball’s target line, like you are standing on train tracks.
  • The upperbody leans forward enough so that the arms will hang slightly out from vertical, allowing the clubshaft to point around the belt line.
  • Your balance or center of gravity should be between your feet and in the middle of your shoes.

For the Intermediate Player:

  • The amount of knee flex at address will control the amount of hip rotation throughout the backswing.
  • Monitor and do not allow the “rounding or hunching” of your shoulders at address, as this inhibits shoulder rotation to the top.
  • To audit the alignment of your shoulders, check how level your forearms are at the address position. If the rear forearm is higher or lower than the forward forearm, your shoulders are misaligned.

For the Advanced Player:

  • The clubshaft plane line set at address by your posture of the body and the lie of the club can influence your overall backswing plane.
  • Aligning your body independently of your ball’s targetline will allow the club to move on differing tracks through the ball, allowing you to alter the curvature of the golf ball.
  • The proper amount of forward bending of the upperbody will allow the shoulders to drive the arms, hands, and clubshaft during the swing.

For the Professional Player:

  • The forward bending of the spine is between 25 to 32 degrees forward, allowing the arms to have clearance from the body.
  • The angle of the clubshaft and the forward wrist influences the actions of the clubshaft to the top; the more the forward arm and club shaft are in-line, the more the clubshaft will stay on one plane throughout the golf swing.
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Tom F. Stickney II is the Director of Instruction at Combine Performance in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, and has been honored as a Golf Digest Best Teacher and a Golf Tips Top-25 Instructor. Tom is also a Trackman University Master/Partner, a distinction held by less than 60 people in the world.

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Instruction

WATCH: How to Start Your Downswing Correctly

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The downswing is one of the most misunderstood parts to the golf swing — especially the transition from the top of the backswing into the start of the downswing. Disaster is likely to strike if you make these moves in the wrong order using the wrong parts of the body.

This video will clear up some of the questions you may have about how you should be starting down and then continuing through impact and to the finish.

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Instruction

Trackman Tuesday (Episode 2): Driver Loft

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Welcome to Episode 2 of Trackman Tuesday. In this weekly series, I will be using Trackman data to help you understand the game of golf in a little more detail and help you hit better shots and play better golf.

In this week’s episode, I look at driver loft. What effect does driver loft have on your shots and how important is it, really?

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Instruction

How Far Away from the Ball Should You Be at Address?

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How far away from the ball should you be at address? This video is in response to a question from Tom McCord on Facebook.

In this video, I look at the setup position. I offer a simple way to check your distance from the ball at address with your driver, irons and wedges.

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