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Why Do Players Stand Behind The Golf Ball During Their Set Up Routine?If you watch all of todays leading golf professionals, you will notice that before they hit the golf ball, as part of their set up routine, they all stand behind the golf ball and look directly out at the target.

The initial reason that they are doing this is to get a really good mental picture and image of where the target is in front of them, of where the target is positioned in relation to hazards and of the shot that is needed to be played. Once theyve got this really clear image in their minds and they know exactly what they want to do with the golf ball, standing directly behind the ball then allows them the opportunity to align both the club face and themselves correctly to the target.

Players do this by standing directly in line with the ball and the target and then by drawing a mental line from the target back to the ball in their mind. Once they have done this, they then pick a spot that is on this line but just a few feet forward of the ball, effectively bringing the target much closer to them. The closer the target is to the ball, the easier it is to hit the ball accurately at it. The players then align the club face to the spot that theyve selected and then set their feet so that they are standing parallel to the target line. They are now set up ready to play and have a great chance of making a swing that produces an effective and highly accurate the shot.

Work on the following drill, initially on the driving range and then once comfortable with it, take it out on to the course and use it to play much more effective golf shots.

Rather than just hitting golf balls out on to the range the next time you practice, select a specific target to work on hitting at. Before you play the shot, stand directly behind the ball so that you can clearly see the shot that is required. Place an alignment pole on the floor between the ball and the target about three feet ahead of the ball. This will help you to visualize the line that you want the ball to fly down more clearly. Pick a spot on that line a few feet ahead of the ball and aim your club face directly at it. Your club face should be at a right angle to the alignment pole on the floor. Place your feet together so that they are parallel to the club face and so that the club face is in the centre of your two feet as they are together.

Once you have ensured that your feet are parallel to the club face, take your stance. You are now correctly aligned with both the club face and yourself, in a position to swing accurately at the target. Work on playing the shot to the memory of the target line so that you hit the ball directly down the alignment pole and over the spot that you selected.

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Players are not standing behind the ball because they are reluctant to set up, swing and hit. They stand behind the ball as part of their preparation to make clear decisions about what they are required to do – the club that is required, the direction to hit in, the target to hit at, the swing length/power to use. Once they have made the decisions and are certain of what is required to play a successful golf shot, then they move to the ball, set up and hit.

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If you want to hit an accurate and effective golf shot you must stand directly behind the golf ball in order to get a clear understanding of the task at hand – getting the ball from its current position to where it needs to be to complete the hole in the lowest number of shots possible. If you do not stand behind the ball, you are not looking directly at what faces you and all of today’s leading players do this in their routine so they know exactly what is required.

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Although most good golfers do judge the wind before each shot, they would very rarely do it purely by standing behind the ball. Most good players would look at the flag, the top of the trees or take a few stalks of grass and throw it in the air.