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Question on setup position

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I noticed all golf professional hang their hands down freely during setup and hence there is an angle between their arms and the shaft. During the downswing, I also notice that the angle is maintained, and they are able to hit it on the sweet spot of the club face everytime.

My preference is to extend my arm out so that it is almost inline with the shaft, and during downswing, my arm and shaft form a straight line without much of an angle. To me, this is the best way to avoid hitting fat or top shot as I have already stretched myself so the impact can be more precise as long as my body remain stable.

More over, I feel that by having the arm and the shaft form a straight line, I'm maximizing the radius of the swing and hence should hit the ball further. Is this totally crap? Does anyone have the same swing pattern like mine? Do I lose distance or power doing this? I don't seem to drive my ball very far.

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learn to set up and swing like you see the pros do. I doubt your setup is very comfortable or consistent. It's not really a natural body position. I'd suggest to go see a teaching pro and he'll show you all the fundamentals. Even one lesson, you can get a good idea of what you're supposed to setup like. Be warned though, the results may make you want to take more lessons.

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My preference is to extend my arm out so that it is almost inline with the shaft, and during downswing, my arm and shaft form a straight line without much of an angle. To me, this is the best way to avoid hitting fat or top shot as I have already stretched myself so the impact can be more precise as long as my body remain stable.

A common mistake by a beginner and as you pointed out, we do that so we can try to hit the ball.

More over, I feel that by having the arm and the shaft form a straight line, I'm maximizing the radius of the swing and hence should hit the ball further. Is this totally crap?

It would work if the golf swing actually worked that way but it doesn't. There is a second radius at work in the golf swing that hinges at the wrist. This movement is often referred to as "lag".

Does anyone have the same swing pattern like mine? Do I lose distance or power doing this? I don't seem to drive my ball very far.

Yes, its a common beginner's mistake and yes, you are not maximizing your power/distance.

Here is a very good online article that I'm sure will help better understand the golf swing physics. You are on-track to a better swing by asking questions. http://perfectgolfswingreview.net/casting.htm

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I noticed all golf professional hang their hands down freely during setup and hence there is an angle between their arms and the shaft. During the downswing, I also notice that the angle is maintained, and they are able to hit it on the sweet spot of the club face everytime.

It's not typical and the vast majority of golfers don't swing that way but that's not to say it can't work.

Here's a video of a guy called Moe Norman who had a lot of success swinging the club like you describe:

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Having the left arm and the shaft for a straight line at set up is good because it is the same as the impact position. No professional golfer in the world hits the ball with an angle between the left arm and the shaft at impact.

That starting set up is a very consistent set up and you are right, you have to have a stable body to allow that set up position to work for you. No on to producing the lag needed to generate power. The angle is not produced at address, and it is not a twisting of the hands to get them to hinge and set.

Here is a link to a drill I posted a little bit ago. The PVC drill will help use your set up and get your arms and hands working together to create plenty of power.


PVC Drill

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I'd heard the name Moe Norman but couldn't remember where exactly. That's definitely an interesting swing and he seemed to be consistent with it. I'm suprised they don't mention how far back away from the ball he started the club head, it was back almost a foot it seemed.

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there's a video on youtube of a couple of guys talking with moe norman, and they do actually mention the fact that he starts the club back over a foot away from the ball. they ask him why he does that, and moe, well... i gather moe wasn't exactly a "normal" kinda guy, and he didn't give them very much of an answer, he just said that a) he would Not recommend it for amateurs to try that and b) he does it because it "illuminates over a foot of the swing."

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A common mistake by a beginner and as you pointed out, we do that so we can try to hit the ball.

Thanks for the link there Alf.

I'm not sure if much of it sunk in but I will be trying to keep it in mind during my next range session. This double pendulum idea really puts me in mind of how a trebuchet works and that is undoubtedly a powerful action!

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A common mistake by a beginner and as you pointed out, we do that so we can try to hit the ball.

thats a very good look at it

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It's not typical and the vast majority of golfers don't swing that way but that's not to say it can't work.

You are spot on. I guess I was mimicking Moe Norman without even knowing such swing existed. I thought I was the only one on this planet who has this weird swing.

It actually feels quite comfortable and give me amazing striking accuracy. With a one plane swing, I never have to worry about the angle between arms and shaft, that is usually mind-boggling for me especially when I need to have clear head for the downswing. Just that I feel this swing is unorthodox and subconscious about it. Looks like I should keep the swing after all. Any comment?

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You are spot on. I guess I was mimicking Moe Norman without even knowing such swing existed. I thought I was the only one on this planet who has this weird swing.

That's fine. Your power and distance you seek will come from the lag and the release of the club with your wrists just before impact. Examine Moe's swing, he's got it working for him.

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You are spot on. I guess I was mimicking Moe Norman without even knowing such swing existed. I thought I was the only one on this planet who has this weird swing.

Ok so if I understand this you're saying that since one dude happened to be able to play decent with this type of setup then you're going to throw out the example set by almost EVERY other good ball striker in the history of golf? Seriously? Go ahead man if that makes you happy but I'd rather use a model proven in more than one insance. How many PGA wins did he have again? Not saying you're trying to play tour golf but if it's more successful (conventional set up) for the best golfers then don't you think it's probably better for the rest of us too?

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Moe played every shot off the inside of his left foot. The right foot moved farther back depending on what club he hand in his hand. If it was a wedge, the stance was more narrow. If the club was a driver, the stance was wider, but the ball position was the same. The distance the club was behind the ball varied depending on what club he was hitting. The hands were always body centered, so when he was hitting a wedge, the club was not that far behind the ball because his stance was more narrow. With a driver, the club head was over a foot behind the ball. The hands never changed position in relation to the body, and the ball.

His reasoning behind this.... he was told once to take the club back low and slow. Well, it does not get any lower than on the ground and any slower than starting well back from the ball. His reasoning was genus and simple. The result was that his set up was the same for every club. The only thing that changed was the width of his stance If you are really interested in Moe Norman, search Todd Graves. Moe taught Todd his swing and Todd teaches it now. http://swinglikemoe.com
Ok so if I understand this you're saying that since one dude happened to be able to play decent with this type of setup then you're going to throw out the example set by almost EVERY other good ball striker in the history of golf?

Moe Norman was the best ball striker along with Ben Hogan in the game. Moe never reached his potential because of emotional weakness. His swing is more than proven. Tiger even mentioned that there are only two people in the history of the game that have owned their swings.... Moe Norman, and Ben Hogan. Tiger said that about a weird man that has calleda hole in one on the fly and has called what fence post he would hit from 180 on the back of the range (I saw it with my own eyes). Hogan once watched Moe hit a ball on the range (dead straight) and mentioned that a straight ball was an accident. Moe then proceeded to hit many more each one saying, "there's another accident, and another, and another. His swing is so simple, people will not believe it works. It does. I have been trying to mimic his swing for 10 years. I went from a 7-10 to a +4 all because I don't miss a shot. how well I score is based on how well I putt. I average 90% of green and closer to 95% of fairways. Tell me that swing does not work. it does. Moe had the most simple swing to repeat the game has ever seen. It just takes looking outside the box to understand the simplicity of the movements.

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