Setup, Setup, Setup

We played TPC at Craig Ranch. Great course.

Frank was a little off because his path was too far to the right. I didn’t notice anything terrible at first. Then while he was hitting a drive with his back to me, it was painfully obvious that he was aimed too far right.

We had a small discussion about it because it didn’t feel correct when he lined up a hair to the left for his cut. As it turns out, he was lining up his club face with some forward tilt and when he stepped into the ball, it made him setup with closed shoulders.

The rest of the day he walked into the ball with better angles and he laced every shot.

At that level, a small setup issue is the difference between a 72-73 missed cut by 1 and a 1.2 million dollar payday.

At any level, setup “sets up” the whole swing and this is why golfers suffer so much inconsistency from one day to the next.

We all don’t spend nearly enough time on this.




  1. Joe

    It’s been about 2 years since you did a setup and posture video. Maybe time for a new one? Great Work! – Joe

      • jaybee

        Cool, please incorporate: Face open (Nicklaus) or square? Left wrist straight and arm in line with club or cupped and not in line? Wide stance or narrow and does that depend on what you are trying to do, e.g. a hitter or an old school swinger? Grip- more and more people seem to insist on Hogan’s as being neutral and correct rather than weak?! He warned about a commonly too palmsy grip, but nowadays I see mostly strong fingercap grips…
        Also important IMHO: a parallel straight alignment off the heels feels/will be wide open as of the toes! I am sure that there is more and that all of them will probably also influence ball position, or won’t they? Nad how many teaching pros know what Calvin stated on that issue- 1%?
        I doubt that even a very good pro can figure the finer things regarding setup out without using a good video sytem and being able to draw lines properly…

  2. Mike Z

    When I am swinging well, I sometimes try to have someone take photos of my setup from a couple different angles on my cellphone. When I struggle badly on the course, I get fresh photos (if possible) and the difference is usually obvious. I should do this more, actually, especially when practicing. No point in learning to hit balls from a bad position.

    Feel can be so impermanent that a fixed point of reference is really helpful and easy to get with technology we carry around in our pockets everyday.

  3. David A.

    Any suggestions on how to practice setup?

    • Monte Scheinblum

      Yes, practice your setup.

      Not a smartass answer. You need to figure out what a good setup is for you and try hard to repeat it.

  4. Jabrch (Jason)

    I have a major setup problem….I FINALLY figured this out last week.

    I line myself up correctly….then when I am all set and comfortable, I take one last look at my target. To do that, I essentially open my shoulders about 45 degrees and rotate my head with it another 45 – so I am looking straight down the line. I thought I was returning back to square…but I figured out that instead of coming back to square, I was just turning my head back to square…my shoulders….they were remaining ~45 degrees open. No wonder I had such a hard time not moving the ball L to R??? Fixed that on Saturday morning and played worlds better. Hit a lot of drives that ended up on the left half of the fairway….a place I usually don’t see on purpose!

    Funny how a similar problem that plagues a 19 hcp also (similarly) effects a guy at Frank’s level.


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