Golf Pro Jack Nicklaus: Unique Address Positions Video
Now, let's have a little look at Jack Nicklaus' setup position and some of the quirky movements he makes in his golf swing. There's no question, you know one of the greatest players ever, won more majors than anybody else in the history of playing golf. But the other couple of little moves in his golf swing, some things that helped him and some things that could help you but maybe not all of it. Now, when Nicklaus sets up the golf ball, one of the key things for him is he has a very straight line between the head of the golf club and his left shoulder and his arm and shaft run in a dead straight line along that. He doesn't have his hands centered like a lot of golfers but he sets them well in front of the address position.
Now for most players, they would start their hands in the center but then actually return to that left hand line, that straight line for impact. Nicklaus takes the approach of just starting in that position and that's quite a nice approach to have as well. So, in your address position, certainly with your eyes, try and point the butt of the golf club at your left hip, grip the club there and you'll notice a straight line forming on your front arm, right the way down between the club and the ball. That should encourage you to get into a nice pressed impact position where your front arm would be ahead of the golf ball for impact as well.
So go ahead and try that so that you can get a nice impact position, better quality strikes by doing that. The next thing Nicklaus was very noticeable when he was doing was he never actually grounded the golf club behind the ball. He felt that he created a bit too much tension in his forearms and his hands and his shoulders and it gave him the opportunity that he might grab it on the ground or stripe it across the grass on the way back which he didn't like either. So, he'd often hover the golf club just to sense neutral so off the ground before he took his swing.
For him, that was a way of reducing the tension in his setup and increasing the consistency of his action. And if you feel like you struggle with tension or you've noticed how the club snags in the floor on the way back, maybe that's something you could utilize as well. So, take a good address position, nicely relaxed with the grip pressure hovering the golf club just at the back of the ball, not grounding it too much and then go ahead and make your swing from there and see if you can get a good consistent ball strikes from that position.
The third thing noticeable in Nicklaus' swing particularly in his setup was how he actually angle his head in the address position slightly to the right hand side just as a trigger for his backswing. So, he got a setup, nice position here, a little tilt of the head and then tucked the golf club away. The reason for that was Nicklaus like that movement in his head to allow a nice fuller shoulder turn on the backswing, maybe a bit more freedom in the backswing was if he keep the head still, looking down at the ball, there's a bit more resistance there, the left shoulder won't turn as easily as the right shoulder if you can let your head move to the right and then let your shoulders move through. It'll move through more easily.
That's a good technique particularly if you suffer a bad back or you're making quite a short restricted backswing, I wouldn't mind you having that little look across when you had however, if you make a long backswing and you get a little bit out of control at the top, I wouldn't encourage you to do that because it'll just mean your golf swing will get longer and longer. You'll have very end to the top of your backswing.
So a good way of checking this, rotate your shoulders with your head still looking at the ball if you can get to 90 degrees, there's no need to turn your head but if when you try and look at the ball and turn your shoulders, you've got a bit stopped about 60-70 degrees, turning your head a little bit would allow you to make a bigger backswing. So, maybe bring that into your technique if you're struggling with a big backswing.
Be very careful, if you turn your head too much that you can't actually see the golf ball, you're clearly at fault. So, you have to keep eye contact with the golf ball and preferably both eyes so as I turn my head back here, if I shift my left eye and I can't see the ball from my right arm, my nose gets in the way. So, as I turn back here, I won't be able to see the golf ball with both eyes. So, make a backswing, keep looking at the golf ball, allow your head to turn away a little bit if you think you've got a shorter backswing like Nicklaus did but don't turn so far off the ball that you can't actually see it, that would be your fault.
Try and incorporate some of those elements of Nicklaus' technique into yours and let me know how it works for you.