Golf Basics - The Address

by : Jeff O`Brien

I am sure all of you have seen the old joke showing the gentleman walking up and introducing himself to the golf ball, well thats not what addressing the ball means.

Part of the equation of power and distance you generate in your stroke is created by the distance you stand from your ball as determined by the length of the club.

On a putt you stand close to the ball and on a drive with a longer shaft you stand farther away.

Essentially then, how far you stand from the ball is controlled by the length of the club and the angle the shaft comes out of the head.

The driver is the longest club in the bag and the putter is usually the shortest, because you stand closer with the putter and further away with the driver.

There are a few things that are musts regarding the addressing of the golf ball or your setup:

*You should stand comfortably over the ball with your knees slightly bent, this also avoids stiffness and allows you to stay with the shot longer.

*To maintain your balance during the stroke, you should work to maintain a flat and consisten spine angle throughout your golf swing. It puts your eyes and head in the right position over the ball and keeps your swing on a consistent swing plane.

*Begin your setup by balancing your weight evenly on your feet. This aids in a good initial setup and alignment to the ball. Even though there is a transfer of weight from back to front during the golf swing, you'll want to establish a good balanced 'feel' during your address and setup to the golf shot.

*Forming a stable base is accomplished by separating your feet the correct distance.

This is usually about shoulder length for most people. If your feet are too far apart this may cause you to choke down or bend your elbows to hit the ball.

Even if having the feet further apart is more comfortable, these are situations you want to avoid.

*Your arms should be straight and relaxed, not stiff, and your hands should be under your shoulders. This posistion is created by that flat spine that is slightly angled over your body.

If you are in the correct position, your hands should be a few inches from your lower body, just above the knees.

If you are in a proper stance you should be able to hold it for a without feeling and discomfort.

If when you achieve the proper setup it may feel a bit awkward and uncomfortable initially if you've never been instructed on this before. The key it to develop this habit and get your body and your muscles used to creating this solid foundation from which to work.

Don't slip back into your old bad posture setup. Stay with this type of address at the golf shot and you'll very soon get comfortable with it.