The Perfect Golf Swing Stance and Grip Routine

Most Tour Professional players say that more often than not, when they are having a bad day, the problem can be traced back to their setup routine. If the hands, knee-bend, spine angle, or any other part of the setup is off by just a little bit, it will directly affect the golf swing.

When the setup is off, your whole game suffers and it's hard to figure out during the round. Golfers are always telling me that they used to suffer sometimes for weeks only to find a small error in their setup. Once they found this routine to keep their setup correct, their scores improved and they enjoyed golf a whole lot more.

When you are out on the golf course, you can't see your setup, so if you want to know it is right, you have to learn to feel it, and know if it is correct, and if not, how to fix it......that's what this routine will do for you. This golf grip and stance routine will automatically place you in a properly balanced stance for any golf club or any golf shot.

More importantly: This routine automatically adjusts to any golfer's build, so it doesn't matter how tall or short, big or small you are.

WARNING: You must pay attention to all of the details or this routine won't help you. When you understand the benefit from this setup routine, you will have what it takes to play scratch golf.

IMPORTANT: This exercise looks like most other golf instruction you will find, EXCEPT it has subtle differences. Those differences have a lot to do with how your mind and body communicate. The smart golfer who pays attention to the details of this exercise will see the differences and start to understand the subtle difference between instruction and instruction well communicated to the body.

Over the years, I have tried and taught different routines to get into the golf stance, but I felt that they were incomplete and often still led to problems. The routine I teach now took 12 years to develop and test so that it will work whether you are 6'9" or 5'2" and adjust your setup to whatever club you are holding.

This routine is designed to allow golfers to find their own natural balanced stance without thought or doubt as to whether the stance is correct.

I have to start with the grip, which has it's own routine. We all have to grip the club in some manner. If there is a routine for the golf grip, it will be the same every time, which will reduce the variety of shot errors. There are a number of good references on the grip. My favorite is Golf My Way, by Jack Nicklaus. Remember, although his grip and yours will not be the same, His routine is what I would like you to pay attention to.

Now for the whys of the golf grip. The butt of the grip should extend past the heel of the left hand (right handers). This helps to maintain control of the club, prevents the glove wearing out in the palm (a telltale sign), and helps to keep the ball from popping up during a normal shot.

The club should be gripped lightly in the fingers. Gripping in the fingers eliminates tension in the arms which would reduce the ability to transfer energy to the club. It also allows the wrists to naturally turn through the hitting area without having to be forced to do so. (See Figure 2)

The right thumb (right handers) should NOT be on top of the club. Putting the thumb on top of the club creates tension that goes all the way to the shoulder.

Try this experiment: grip a club with the right (right handers) thumb on top of the grip and push down with the thumb. You should be able to feel the tension all the way up the right arm. That is a swing killer.

I prefer to take my grip on my left side by reaching my right hand across my body to place it on the club while holding the club level to the ground at the waist (Belly button) in my left hand and on my left side. I do this because when I hit the ball, ideally, that is where my hands should be; on the left side. If I set up my grip there, my club face should be correct to send the ball in the intended direction. (See Figures 1 and 3)

The stance routine that I teach works very well in just about every case. I have experimented with it by showing golfers at a driving range nothing more than the stance routine. In just about every case, when they properly performed this drill, their shot stayed on line with the intended target.

First I step up to the ball with the right foot and ground the club head behind the ball. I keep 90% of my weight on the arch of my right foot and tilt my upper body until my arms are hanging straight down.

Having the weight on one foot while placing the club forces the upper body to find the correct forward bend.

Once you get the angle of waist bend/forward upper body forward tilt, it is very important to keep it while you place the rest of your body.(See Figure 4)

The next step is the most important: Look down range at your target, and keeping the upper body angle intact, place your left foot and then your right so that your weight is distributed behind the balls of your feet with about 65% of the weight on the arch of your right foot. Move back and forth, foot to foot, in very small steps until the feet feel comfortable with the weight in the arches. This movement should be made without swinging the hips, but rather keeping the hips centered and rocking foot to foot as you pickup and place you feet. The feet should raise a few inches off of the ground each time.

The key here is to consciously feel the weight distribution under your feet.

DO NOT look back at the ball until your feet are positioned and you feel comfortable!!! AGAIN, all placement of the feet is performed while you are looking down range at your target. You should be imagining in your mind where the ball is to "see" where to place your feet. This jump starts the visualization proces and keeps you relaxed for the swing.

Since your right hand is lower on the grip, your right shoulder should be lower than your left (right handers). This is accomplished by tilting the spine slightly to the right. (See Figure 5 and 6)

The arms should hang straight down directly under the shoulders because this is where gravity will fight to take them during the downswing. If you allow them to follow their natural path, you can direct more energy to the club head. If you feel like your hands are too close to your body, (It should be about the width of your hand across your fingers away) it means you do not have the proper forward upper body tilt.

When you start the club in the right position, you don't have to fight the laws of physics during the swing and you then have more energy to direct to the club head.

The reason you look away when you set your feet is so that you automatically get the right amount of knee bend and you automatically balance yourself.

Setting the spine angle to the right sets up the right side pivot point which reduces the tendency to slide the hips as you take away the golf club which allows a coiling on the right side where all of the energy is stored in the backswing.

IMPORTANT: If you center yourself and find that the club is no longer behind the ball, STEP BACK and start over.
The tendency is to just reach a little bit to put the club behind the ball which will create an off-balance condition and defeat the whole purpose of the routine.

Lastly, ball position is handled by remembering only three important rules: 1) The club head goes behind the ball. 2) The grip/handle should be ahead of the ball (with exception of the Driver). To get more exact, the bottom of the grip should be just ahead of the ball. And 3) Your hands should be lined up with your target side inner thigh. In that position, the club face should be lined up to the intended target line. If you get the setup and the club face lined up properly, the ball should fly on line.

This routine should help you to start hitting the ball more consistently, no matter what pattern your shots have. The pattern can be corrected, once you have a consistent shot. If, after trying this set up routine, you don't see a difference, I invite you to e-mail me and let me know what happened.

I would like to make sure you see the difference in this instruction, so if you missed something, I'll be happy to help you with it.

Tracy Reed

Attention: Because reading instructions can sometimes be confusing, I have created a DVD of the setup routine to make sure golfers can enjoy the full benefit of this routine. The DVD is free. You just need to pay shipping and handling fee of $6.99

If you would like to get one of these DVDs, simply e-mail me and get one sent out.

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Contact Information:

Tracy Reed
International Golf Coach and Biomechanic

7019 Tynan Ave.
Jacksonville, FL 32211
ph. 904-727-9108

Figure 1
grip 1
The club on the left side, level to the ground, waist high

Figure 2 grip in fingers
Grip the club in the fingers
Figure 3
grip on left side
Reach right over to left side to take grip

Figure 4 step up with right foot forward
Stepping up to the ball

Figure 5 look away while setting feet
Look away while setting your feet.

Figure 6 keep looking away
Keep looking away until you feel comfortable.

Figure 7 set the pivot point
Keep the chin up to keep the upper back straight.
Center the weight right of center to set the pivot for the backswing.