So congratulations to Dustin for getting back in the winners circle down at Doral this past weekend. Good to see him back out there playing again and hopefully he's got things on the straight and narrow now. This week we're going to be focusing in on a very critical part of the golf swing. And that's gonna be the set-up position. And I'm gonna go through a couple of really detailed checklists from both the "face on," and "down the line" version of the set-up position; so you know what to look for in your own golf swing. And this can help your game immensely.
All right guys, so if you've found yourself struggling with some areas of the golf swing such as rotation, weight shift ... If you've noticed that ugly reverse pivot, or if you've just struggled in many different ways to setup in this swing; it could be directly attributed to your set-up position. I think it's one of those areas that's really overlooked by so many of our students, and we want to make sure that you have a proper foundation to work off of. Some of you may find it a little on the boring side to focus on your set-up, but I guarantee that it will help you overcome some of those issues that you may have been struggling with over the past.
So if we take a look at Dustin's golf setup here, he does a really great job of getting into a good position. And he's got a little bit of an unorthodox looking move, but also, he's known as being one of the more athletic players out there. And if you look at his stance; his stance width is going to be two inches outside of neutral joint alignment on both sides. The way to determine that, is just basically finding that pointy pelvic bone on the front of your body, two finger widths inside of that. If you were to stand there and drop a line straight down underneath the center of the hip socket down through the knee, and then down through the ankle, you would be standing in neutral joint alignment. And you want to step out about two inches on both sides.
We got videos on the website that talk about why we would stand two inches outside of neutral joint alignment on both sides, and why we overcome that age old expression of being shoulder width apart. So that's a good video for you guys to check out, is determining proper stance width. But as far as what we've got here; Dustin's got proper stance width. I also want to talk a little bit about true balance, 'cause that's one of those things that people get a little confused on. And if you focus over here on the "down the line" view, true balance is gonna be generally right in between this little green section that I've outlined in the foot.
A lot of golf instruction in the past has told us to set up over the balls of our feet, and they said it's because it's an athletic position. But if you look at it from a golf standpoint ... Golf, we want to be really anchored to the ground. Weight set up on the balls of your feet in other sports; such as basketball or baseball ... Yeah, we set it there so we can react, so we can move quickly. In golf, where are we going? We're not going anywhere. We want to stay as balanced as possible, and true anatomic, true balance is going to be right underneath ... Right around that ankle-joint area. There's also videos on the website that talk a little bit about that.
As far as lower body stuff ... Two inches outside of neutral joint alignment on both sides, and then making sure that your weight is right in between that green section; centered right under the feet. And what you can do here is ... This is a great checklist for you to get into these certain areas. When you get into your proper setup position, and you draw a line up from the center of the ankles on both sides; you're gonna notice that you should be right in between the lines all the way up. You shouldn't have one shoulder poking through one way or the other. When you do this, you should have proper axis tilt. You can see that the spine is just inside the lead V here.
So I've already draw line down the spine. Doesn't have an exorbitant amount of axis tilt; but he's got enough where he's got his head in behind the golf shot, and he's got enough there that when he shifts to the trail side, that he can still rotate around the axis without creating some sort of reverse pivot. So from a "face on" perspective, all you're looking for is; two inches outside of neutral joint alignment, draw the lines up from the center of the ankles on both sides, make sure that you have proper axis tilt, and even weight distribution. So like I've said, if you see one shoulder popping through or if you see ... Look like an appearance where your stacked into your lead side at address; then chances are you have poor weight distribution. And that can set off a very long list of negative effects throughout the golf swing.
Now from a "down the line" perspective. One of the things that we look for here is; we wanna make sure that we've got our tail-end here, our tush, back behind the heels a good bit. And we also wanna double check to make sure that we have the back of our knee over the center of our ankle. Little tough to tell here 'cause Dustin's wearing pants and not shorts. But if you look at yourself from a "down the line" perspective; you want the back of the knee to be right over the center of the ankle, really critical. You don't wanna have too much knee flex here because what that'll do is, gets you sunk down into your quads ... And your quads are strong, but it makes it very difficult to be able to stay in your posture longer throughout the golf swing.
Because what happens is, those muscles will start to fatigue and when they start to ... Let's put it this way; muscle groups when they're stretched, they don't wanna stay stretched for all that long, they wanna let go. And when they fire, that's gonna stand you up and in turn, that can bring your hips forward and create some early extension of the spine. So two checkpoints for you here. Just make sure your tush line is out past the heels a good bit. That'll actually start to help you hinge from the hips, and put the chest more over the ball; so you can see the golf ball. You want the back of the knee to be right over the center of the ankle.
And then one little final checkpoint for you "down the line," is that you want your arms to be hanging freely from the shoulder line. So you can see here, that the center of his elbow is directly underneath the center of the shoulder. Okay, so that's another good one that you wanna pay really close attention to. We see a lot of people pull their arms back into their body, they get really crowded, they have no space between the hands in the thighs. Or we'll see students actually push their hands out further away from you. And that can actually start to create that long list of swing faults, that we've talking about from a "face on" perspective.
Alright guys, so checklist for you here ... And a good way to do this is if you stand up, and you found proper stance width, and you got your weight right under true balance, and you got your legs locked into a straight position, okay; no flex in them at all. What you're gonna do, is you're gonna hinge from the hips very slowly. Do not flex the knees at all, keep them locked straight. You're gonna hinge from the hips slowly, where your chest is gonna start to go over the ball; your tush is gonna be going back. When you feel the weight shift all the way to the back of the heel, where your toe starts to come off the ground on its own ... Don't try to lift the toes up, just let it do it on its own.
Then go ahead and just relax the knees just a little bit, to where the back of the knee be right over the center ankle. You don't need a ton of flex to do this. And then at that point, what you'll do is just slightly bump your hip toward the target to get axis tilt. And then you will roll your ankles in just slightly; just to get some of that contraction up in the part of the thighs there. And that'll get you into a really good anchored set-up position every single time. So that's a good game plan for you guys. One of the things I also want you to look out for is when you start to hinge forward from the hips, is that if you see a lot of roundness to your shoulders from your thoracic spine up. Then chances are when you started to hinge, gravity started to pull your shoulders down.
So make sure that you don't allow the lot of the roundness to the shoulders, 'cause it'll make it very difficult to rotate throughout the golf swing. So I hope that gives you guys a good idea of what we're looking for from a set-up position. Set-up position can affect tons of ways we move throughout the golf swing. Can affect the way we rotate, it could affect the way we load and unload, it can affect where our power sources are gonna come from. So if you haven't checked out our set-up videos ... All of the set-up videos that are over on the right hand side of the screen, are going to be absolutely critical for you guys to be able to check out.
I would check out, "Understanding True Balance," "Understanding Determining Proper Stance Width," "Golf Set-up Posture" is a great video, "5 Minutes to a Perfect Set-up ... All of the videos that you'll find in that section, are extremely critical for you and the rebuilding of your golf swing, or getting over some of the faults that you may have faced in the past. Alright guys, so let's get the set-up position nailed down. I know that the snow is gonna be lifting off the ground here soon [inaudible 00:08:13] some places in the world. But those of you that are fortunate enough to be out there, let's make sure that that set-up is perfect, and you'll be on your way to playing some great golf.
-Dr. Jeffrey Broker, Assoc. Prof. in Biomechanics at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Former Senior Biomechanist for U.S. Olympics Committee
-Hub Orr - Happy PREMIUM MEMBER of RotarySwing.com
-Sam Jarman, PGA Golf Instructor in the UK