Are you having problems with your golf swing setup and specifically, standing too far away or too close to the golf ball?
One of the most common issues we see at RST is that members are setting up the incorrect distance from the golf ball, often resulting in hands too close or too far from ideal setup.
Using your chinline as an indicator, we are going to show you the scientific answers to perfect golf setup every time.
Anotomically speaking, your hands should be directly underneath your chin when setting up to the golf ball using the RST setup foundation. Too close to your body and you could produce a cramped swing that loses power and promotes shanks. Too far away and you ruin your swing plane and proper rotation.
Watch our simple golf distance technique that will alway produce a proper setup distance from the golf ball.
How far should you stand from the golf ball when viewed down the line? This is a really common question that we get and it has a very specific answer that's, again, RST golf swing fundamentals on how far you should stand away from the ball. And I want to talk about a couple things that we see that are really common that shows when people are going to start having problems in their swing when they set up incorrectly. And what that typically looks like is with the hands too close to the body. What you'll see, if you draw a line straight down from the chin, we call this the chin line, just vertically down, the end of your right hand should be just on the edge of that chin line. If it's outside of that, you're extending your arms too far, or, of course, you could have a postural issue. Or, what we see more commonly is that the hands are well inside that chin line.
Now what causes this? This is the key. When I see somebody with their hands well inside that chin line and this right arm is really close to the body, I know with a 99% certainty that they're going to be very right-side dominant in their golf swing. How do I know that? Well, the reason that they're pulling their right arm in is that they're trying to get this lat connection back with their arm so that their right arm feels connected to their body, because it feels more powerful. So the left arm gets pulled really into this awkward position where it's really jammed up and close and they see this really hiked up left shoulder. You see this stuff all the time. It's because it doesn't have anywhere to go, because they're trying to pull the right arm in so close to their body that the left arm is getting beat up.
So how do we figure out how far we want to set up from the ball? Well, again, the golf swing is lead side dominant, so what you've got to do is let your lead arm, your left arm if you're a right-handed golfer, hand down nice and free. Now you're going to see that neutral, just where I'm completely relaxed, that has my left hand right about at my chin line. That would put the right hand outside of it. We don't want to be that far out with our left hand, because then that's going to put the right arm way far out there. We want to be in just a little bit to where the right arm still has connection to the core throughout our back, but not so far in that this left arm gets beat up and the left shoulder gets really hiked up. So how do we find that as we set up? If you're swinging left arm only and you're doing drills left arm only, then you want to keep the left arm that far out where it's completely neutral and relaxed. My left arm is completely relaxed here. Because as you swing left arm only here you don't have the right arm to kind of help hold it in place, so it tends to swing out away from you.
If you're doing a lot of left arm only drills or lead arm only drills, and you find yourself shanking some, that's okay. That's totally normal. You're just standing a little too close to the ball. The centrifugal force from the club when you're going left arm only is going to pull the left arm out further away from you. We see that all the time. So let your left arm relax and let it swing out away from you. The right arm when it gets back on the club will pull it back in and that will pull the ball closer to you when you're hitting full shots with both hands on the club. So left arm only this is perfectly okay, but now we put the right arm on there we've got to find the healthy compromise. And that's simple. Again, we're going to pull it in just a little bit so that, again, the end of the right hand is just beneath my inside of that chin line. So that will pull the left hand in. We kind of use almost two fist widths as a generic guide or a fist width and a half of where the back of the left hand or the back of the butt of the club should be at address.
So if you set up there then you're in the right spot, as long as this is inside that line. Now, again, this assumes that you're following our set up protocol, that you're getting set up correctly, weights set up correctly. Because if you're set up on the balls of your feet with not posture, then this is going to look really weird for your hand to be inside your chin line. So watch the set up videos. Make sure you're set up correctly with good forward tilt and your weight is balanced. And that will help you find where the chin line is. If you're not sure, just take a club and hold it down from your chin and you'll see where this line is. Now you know how to set up how far from the ball.