The golf swing works with a cause and effect relationship. Therefore, the golf setup and feet position play an important role in how you swing the club. The position of your feet is a basic fundamental that has an enormous impact on the golf swing. If you set up to narrow of a stance, it will be nearly impossible to maintain the appropriate balance through the swing. Setting feet up too wide causes the head to move with poor weight shift and prevents getting back to the left side and impact correctly.
The correct golf set up feet position creates a stable base and positions your feet approximately shoulder width. Think of a pyramid to understand the importance of a solid base. Stability is necessary to maintain balance throughout the rotational movements of the swing. Therefore, as each club gets longer, allow your feet to get slightly wider to support the rotational movement and wider arc of the swing. Some players prefer to turn their front foot slightly open to the target line.
Chip Set Up
The chip is a low shot that travels in the air a small portion of time and rolls on the green the majority of the way toward the hole. The correct golf set up feet position is drastically different for a chip shot in comparison to a full swing.
Position your feet close together (approximately 6-8 inches) and turn them 45 degrees toward the target. The majority of your weight is positioned on the front foot while the ball is positioned off the inside of the back foot. During the chip shot swing, the weight remains on the front foot and both feet remain flat on the ground. The chip shot is basically just a short swing with the arms and shoulders.
Pitch Set Up
The pitch shot is performed farther away from the green and the ball travels the majority in the air and rolls the remainder on the ground. Bigger swings require a wider base that helps maintain your balance throughout the swing. Therefore, the golf set up feet position is similar to the chip shot except with a wider stance. In addition, place the majority of your weight on the front foot and maintain it on the front side throughout the swing. Setting up with your weight on the front foot will help deliver the club with the proper downward angle of attack necessary to hit the ball in the air.
The full swing set up differs from the chip or pitch set up. Setting up for a full swing requires you to position your feet approximately shoulder width. Shoulder width entails the inside of the heels with the outside of the shoulders. This is the basic starting position for a full swing. The idea is to make a repeatable swing and allow the club to create a different result based on the loft and length of the club.
Ball position starts in the middle of your stance with short irons and incrementally moves forward with each club. Each club is a half inch longer than the previous club. Therefore, think of ball position moving forward in your stance a half inch for each club. Another variable for the set up includes how far away your feet are positioned from the ball and target line. As each club gets longer, you must compensate and stand farther away from the ball and target line.
Start off with your feet shoulder width and point your toes toward the target line. Next, allow the left toe to flare out approximately 30 degrees to the left. The toes on the right foot are normally square and point directly at the target line creating a 90 degree angle. Some players prefer to open the right foot up and point slightly to the right to encourage a hip turn during the backswing. Flexibility and body movement determine the appropriate foot placement for each player.
Ball Position in Relation to the Feet
Short Irons (8-PW, AW, SW, LB)
Position the ball in the center of your stance.
Mid Irons (5-7 Iron)
The ball will move toward the front foot approximately 3-4 inches from the center of your stance.
Long Irons (3-4 Iron), Hybrids, Fairway Woods
The longer clubs in your bag should be positioned approximately 4-6 inches forward of center in your stance.
The ball is positioned directly off the inside of the left foot. Compensations are required when the ball is played toward the center of the stance or when the ball is positioned to the left of the left foot.
Feet Position for Straight Shots
The position of your feet can help influence ball flight. If your intention is to hit the ball straight position your feet, knees, hips and shoulders parallel to the target line. Swing the club down the line and the ball should start straight.
Feet Position for a Fade
Promote a fade by positioning your feet, knees, hips and shoulders left of the target. This is known as an open stance. Swing the club down the target line and impact should result with the club face in a slightly open position. The ball should start left and curve back to the right.
Feet Position for a Draw
If you need to hit a draw set up with a closed stance. Position your feet, knees, hips and shoulders right of the target line. Make a normal swing down the line and impact should create a slightly closed clubface causing the ball to curve right to left.