Many of golf’s biggest swing faults can be traced back to a poor set up position before a ball is even struck.
One aspect of the set up which could cause problems for the left handed golfer is the distance a player stands away from the ball. If a golfer stands too close there will not be enough room for the hands to swing down through the impact area, usually resulting in the hips being pushed back or the swing path altering to find space.
There are a number of check points left handers can use to ensure they are standing the correct distance away from the ball. Firstly, the posture must be solid and technically sound.
- Using a mirror at a driving range or at home, stand bolt upright. You should look left and see a straight, upright profile with the chest out, shoulders back and the arms hanging down loosely.
- From here, hold the club out in front of the body, arms extended and the butt of the grip pointing at the navel.
- Tilt forward from the hips keeping the back flat and straight. Keep tilting until the club touches the ground. Be careful not to drop the arms and hands. The club should only fall as the hips tilt.
- From this position add some knee flex, enough to put some bounce in the knees. The body weight should be on the balls of the feet.
- Look at your new athletic profile in the mirror. Your back should be flat and your shoulders should have tilted enough over the ball so they hang beyond the toes.
- To test this, maintain your new posture and holding the end of the grip, dangle the club down from the left shoulder. In the mirror, the club should hang down with the end pointing at a spot an inch in front of the left toe.
- With this new posture it will become easier to address the ball at the right distance.
After establishing this great posture position, the arms hang down and sit underneath the shoulders. A key checkpoint to now test is the space between the butt end of the club and the legs.
To check your distance from the ball, take a solid posture position like the one outlined above. After getting set up next to the ball, take the left hand off the club and try to wave it through the gap between the legs and grip. There should be just enough room to pass the hand through the gap. If the hand collides with either the club or legs you need to back slightly further away.
Using a great posture and solid set up position, checking the distance between the legs and grip, left handed golfers can have a better understanding of how far they are away from the ball.