PREFLIGHT CHECK

Good ball-strik­ing starts at setup.

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Contents - By Mav­er­ick McNealy

I’m on the Web.com Tour and have my eye on a PGA Tour card, but I’m still prac­tis­ing fun­da­men­tals that be­gan when I started work­ing with my swing coach,Alex Mur­ray, in the eighth grade. Namely, I’m try­ing to set up in the proper hit­ting an­gle.Alex’s the­ory is that to be in the cor­rect po­si­tion at im­pact, you should start in a very sim­i­lar po­si­tion at ad­dress. It makes it eas­ier to main­tain those an­gles when you swing.

I start with the left side of my torso set higher than the right (photo, pre­vi­ous page), but I don’t put too much weight on my back foot. In­stead, I fo­cus on my left side, mak­ing sure the shoelaces, calf, quad and shoul­der are all in a straight line. I also set the left side of my tem­ple over the ball.To be clear, I’m not stack­ing all my weight on my front leg. I’m just putting enough weight for­ward to cre­ate a re­verse-K look to my body at ad­dress.

This setup helps me elim­i­nate un­wanted body move­ment in the back­swing – no big sway away from the ball – and al­lows me to cre­ate lat­eral force to­ward sthe tar­get as I start down (photo, op­po­site page). Lat­eral force is so im­por­tant.You see it in a lot of sports – hit­ting a ten­nis ball, throw­ing a foot­ball or a base­ball, etc.Those ath­letes gen­er­ate power start­ing with the side of their bod­ies clos­est to the tar­get higher than the other side.You never see the op­po­site.You can’t per­form that way.

So that’s why I spend so much time work­ing on setup. Be­low are some drills I do to groove good po­si­tions and make my ball-strik­ing bet­ter. They’re things you can do to im­prove, too. Let me show you how.

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