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Squaring the club face at address and impact position.

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Hello everyone.  I'm new to the site and I'm hoping the members can help me out.  My apologies if a similar thread on this topic exists.  If a thread on this topic does exist, please point me in the right direction.

I've read through a lot of 'squaring' threads, blogs, and tips but I haven't found anything that really answers my specific question.

This is a bit of a convoluted explanation but here goes:

I understand what a squared face looks like at address.  The bottom grooves should be perpendicular to the target line and the pros typically prefer it to be open a couple degrees because of the path to the ball and the rotation of the club head through the ball.  I have seen many images of what a squared face looks like at address but none of the pictures really show the shaft angle for the progression of clubs.  Meaning, the shaft lean for a 3 iron vs. a 7 iron, or a wedge, etc.  Ball position obviously plays an important role too.  I also realize that the hands should be in front of the ball at impact.

Tiger might not be the best person to copy right now but I watched the youtube video 'through the eyes of Tiger' where they attach a camera to the bill of his hat.  I noticed that at his address position his hands are just inside of his left leg.  He may also have a forward press before he starts the backswing as well, but to me he is definitely setting up with a forward press which I assume is to "fix" his impact position.  I was always taught that your hands should be in line with your belt buckle and there are a lot of images of various pros that back it up.  Of course there is the possibility that my eyes are playing tricks on me.

So my question is this:

Is there progressive shaft lean throughout the clubs?  More for shorter clubs, less for longer clubs?  If so, is it correct to set up to the ball with the butt of the club lined up with the inside of your left leg instead of your belt buckle?

I always set up to the ball without the forward press and square the face from there.  I've been hitting high fades.  After watching the Tiger video I was messing around last night.  When I set up with a little bit of forward press, square the club head from that perspective, and then return to (what I was taught) as the correct setup position without adjusting the face, the club head appears to be closed a few degrees.

I haven't had the chance to try it out on the range yet but just by looking at it, it seems like I could come into the ball a bit better and possibly get more compression.  I believe I have and maintain a good spine position throughout my swing but I wonder if this could be the reason why I'm hitting high fades?  Doesn't the forward press hood the club face a bit?

Any insight the members might have would be appreciated.


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Originally Posted by ErikG15

So my question is this:

Is there progressive shaft lean throughout the clubs?  More for shorter clubs, less for longer clubs?  If so, is it correct to set up to the ball with the butt of the club lined up with the inside of your left leg instead of your belt buckle?

Yes. Yes. I don't think about this during set up (at all!!) but I suppose it's pointed between my left pocket and the pants loop just left of my belt buckle. Same for all clubs - hence the increased shaft lean with shorter clubs.


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Sean, many thanks for clearing that up for me.  It made sense when I set up that way last night but I wanted to be sure it was correct.

I can't believe I've been playing the wrong way for so many years.  I really can't believe I was taught to do that.  Is there a reason no one really brings this up?  I haven't seen any dialogue about this anywhere and it seems like a very important aspect of the set up.  I was basically setting up with an open face on the majority of my shots because what I thought what a squared club face was actually open probably 3 or more degrees.

I'm a pretty good player but with this insight I have some things to work on and I hope it takes a few more strokes off of my scorecard.

Thanks again.


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