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Joe Mama

My Golf Setup Worries

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My Golf Swing Worries

The following is a list of 20 things at setup that I believe affect the outcome of my swing.

yHow much to choke down
Arm separation.
Arm to chest separation
How many knuckles show on left hand.
Where is the left thumb.
How much of the left thumb is covered.
How firm is left grip.
How firm is the right grip.
Open, closed, or square face.
Feet separation.
Open, closed, or square stance
Body alignment left or right of target, or square.
Feet open, closed, or square
Knee bend.
Left side-right side weight distribution
Shaft tilt
Upper body tilt.
Spine angle
Angle between upper and lower left arm
How much pressure, and where, on the inside of right foot.

These are like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, each one of which needs to interlock perfectly with the ones next to it.  If the shape of just one of the pieces is changed, at least one other piece--and perhaps all of them in a cascading chain reaction--must also be changed.

Our sun will have burned out and life on Earth extinguished before the average golfer's search by ytrial and error for the right shapes for all 20 pieces is completed, because there are 20! (20 factoral), or 2,400,000,000,000,000,000, possible ways for the 20 choices to be made.

And this is only this is only the setup.

 

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10 minutes ago, Joe Mama said:

My Golf Swing Worries

The following is a list of 20 things at setup that I believe affect the outcome of my swing.

yHow much to choke down
Arm separation.
Arm to chest separation
How many knuckles show on left hand.
Where is the left thumb.
How much of the left thumb is covered.
How firm is left grip.
How firm is the right grip.
Open, closed, or square face.
Feet separation.
Open, closed, or square stance
Body alignment left or right of target, or square.
Feet open, closed, or square
Knee bend.
Left side-right side weight distribution
Shaft tilt
Upper body tilt.
Spine angle
Angle between upper and lower left arm
How much pressure, and where, on the inside of right foot.

These are like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, each one of which needs to interlock perfectly with the ones next to it.  If the shape of just one of the pieces is changed, at least one other piece--and perhaps all of them in a cascading chain reaction--must also be changed.

Our sun will have burned out and life on Earth extinguished before the average golfer's search by ytrial and error for the right shapes for all 20 pieces is completed, because there are 20! (20 factoral), or 2,400,000,000,000,000,000, possible ways for the 20 choices to be made.

And this is only this is only the setup.

 

The funny thing is that if you search around this website on myswing threads do you know the percentage of us working on setup?  Almost 0

it took me exactly less than 2 weeks and I had all the setup issues out of the way, 

I don't know why people are so hung up on the easiest part of the golf swing, the stupid set up and grip.  Ugh.

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Yeah . .but that assumes each of the 20 things you listed is completely independent of the others and they all matter equally in producing a functioning golf swing. 

Take the pros, for example . .there are a number of things on your list that they might change about their own set-up.  Doesn't mean they couldn't hit the ball well before. 

I'm in the "don't over think it" camp, lol. 

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Sure, there are multiple things a golfer can do to be in a good, athletic position from the start to hit all the correct planes and angles throughout the swing, but those are not the swing itself.  There are similarities with most/all pros, but some vary widely in their setups based on their personal swing.  While it is often the case, not every bad shot comes from a poor setup.  Also, Harvey Penick's Little Red Book points out that a golfer with a poor swing and the wrong grip might hit the ball straight.  However, if that golfer had the correct grip, he might be slicing the ball all over the place.  Likewise, if a golfer with a good swing had a poor grip, he might struggle.

That being said, I tend to worry most about grip and spine angle in my setup.

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The huge odds I offered is totally wrong; it's not 20 factorial.  It's probably closer to something like 2 raised to the power of 20, but nobody should care one way or the other. The thing is, the golfer has to do an awful lot of things right at setup before he or she has a chance to make a great swing.  If any one of them is wrong, others have to be made wrong, also, to compensate.  If you're wrong at the beginning, you will have to twist yourself into a pretzel to make it right.


I'm impressed that some of the members of this forum were able to get everything right in their setup in a very short time.  I have been working at it for four years, and still am not sure what works best with what.  For example, will showing two knuckles instead of 2.5 be better for me if want a higher flight when the ball is forward, assuming I take the club face inside by 5 degrees?  

 

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3 hours ago, DrvFrShow said:

I just want to make good contact with the ball consistently and have it go toward target.

I'll settle for just the first part.  If it's really well struck, I did my job . .who cares where it lands, lol.  I can't control that. 

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You put together a good list and everything seems valid. But, I think differently at setup. I'm wanting to be sure my upper body is in a good position to coil around my lower body. And, I want to ensure my lower right is setup in a good position to lead the drive forward in the downswing. And, I want to ensure that the whole package is aligned to pull off the swing I'm visualizing. The items on your list are things I may adjust to tweak my setup if it doesn't feel right initially. But, I wouldn't say that I go through the list every time as a matter of routine. That being said, I could add even more things to your list... Right grip in middle and ring finger, alignment of clubhead, outward turn of left foot... There's so many darn things in a golf swing :-O

Edited by tshapiro

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20 hours ago, Joe Mama said:

The following is a list of 20 things at setup that I believe affect the outcome of my swing.

How much to choke down
Arm separation.
Arm to chest separation
How many knuckles show on left hand.
Where is the left thumb.
How much of the left thumb is covered.
How firm is left grip.
How firm is the right grip.
Open, closed, or square face.
Feet separation.
Open, closed, or square stance
Body alignment left or right of target, or square.
Feet open, closed, or square
Knee bend.

Left side-right side weight distribution
Shaft tilt
Upper body tilt.
Spine angle
Angle between upper and lower left arm
How much pressure, and where, on the inside of right foot.

 

 

I put in bold the things I am conscious of during my set-up. If any of those other things take place during my set-up then I am unconscious of them.

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19 hours ago, Abu3baid said:

The funny thing is that if you search around this website on my swing threads do you know the percentage of us working on setup?  Almost 0

It's something I am working on more. By working on I mean being more aware of during my pre shot routine.

 

20 hours ago, Joe Mama said:

How many knuckles show on left hand.
Where is the left thumb.
How much of the left thumb is covered.
How firm is left grip.
How firm is the right grip.

and

20 hours ago, Joe Mama said:

Open, closed, or square face.

 Depends on your swing.

20 hours ago, Joe Mama said:

Feet separation.
Open, closed, or square stance
Body alignment left or right of target, or square.
Feet open, closed, or square
Knee bend.
Left side-right side weight distribution

 

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Of those items listed by the OP, the one on alignment is all I ever think about when getting into my set up. It's the only one I practice. Even that is some what a nonchalant action action when playing, with a quick check with a turn of my head. All those other things I probably do, but they are pretty automatic and done subconsciously. 

Way back, some 40 + years ago, I had a list of 14 check points (positions) in my swing that I spent some time working on. Over the years I culled those down to just a couple. Maybe even one now. I found I was suffering from TMI, which just didn't do me much good. 

These days I just swing the club, hit the ball, go find it, and hit it again. 

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Almost every aspect of the setup are far more important than we think they are, I think.  If just ONE thing is wrong--for example, your left thimb is a half-inch too long, as Hogan's used to be when he was hooking everything-- then your game could be seriously compromised. Years go by while you're chasing your tail, trying to fix things that don't need fixing, all the while failing to take a closer look at possible setup flaws, and maybe finally uncovering that ONE really big flaw that, once corrected, will change everything

At least one of us in this forum got it exactly right in just two weeks, and will never need to worry about it again. I suspect that the rest of us will struggle forever, looking for the optimum setup--for them.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Joe Mama

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Since I tweaked my shoulder and had to shorten my backswing, I've had to re-build my swing.  My motto has been to simplify things.  Things are still inwork, but there are a few basic principles I have tried to employ.

Ground the club... I've thrown out all of my hands forward, shaft tilt, and all that stuff.  The club will tell you where everything should be.  I'm still working of ball placement that obviously has an impact.

Grip... Went from interlocking 40+ years ago to a Vardon to a slight overlap of the index finger.  For me it is kind of just grabbing the club.  People go on and on about grips, but after years of playing tennis, I've found that it is merely a fallout of a person's stroke.  Compared to split second decisions on changing grips forehand/backhand, golf is pretty simple.  Just find one that is comfortable and works  and don't think about it.  Tweak it strong or weak as necessary.

I understand the value of posture, spine blah, blah, blah, but for me it is just using a natural and comfortable posture and arm setup that allows me to, at times, replicate the same swing over and over.  For me the key is being able to replicate the swing.

The things I am actively thinking/worrying about when I play are ball placement (for now), knee bend, head behind the ball, keeping weight on the inside of my back foot, and a very slight pre/initial (hip turn).  With a shortened backswing, I can easily over turn the hip or, more likely, not at all and that causes a sway, so I need to control my hip.  That is becoming the single most important thing for me.

John

Edited by 70sSanO

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17 minutes ago, Joe Mama said:

Almost every aspect of the setup are far more important than we think they are, I think.  If just ONE thing is wrong--for example, your left thimb is a half-inch too long, as Hogan's used to be when he was hooking everything-- then your game could be seriously compromised.

Nope. You are totally off on this.

Like anything with golf it's individual preference. Some golfers like to pull the left thumb more up the grip. Others like it less so. There isn't a right or wrong way on this one. Hogan's way is not dogma.

20 minutes ago, Joe Mama said:

Years go by while you're chasing your tail, trying to fix things that don't need fixing, all the while failing to take a closer look at possible setup flaws, and maybe finally uncovering that ONE really big flaw that, once corrected, will change everything

I doubt it. One set up change will not fix a bogey golfer.

 

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3 hours ago, saevel25 said:

It's something I am working on more. By working on I mean being more aware of during my pre shot routine.

 

and

 Depends on your swing.

 

Fine, so I should have said there is one person working on it.. My point is that in terms of priorities it doesn't stay on the priority list for long and it's relative importance compared to other parts of the swing is very low.  He is making it sound like this is what's holding us hackers back.

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8 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

Nope. You are totally off on this.

Like anything with golf it's individual preference. Some golfers like to pull the left thumb more up the grip. Others like it less so. There isn't a right or wrong way on this one. Hogan's way is not dogma.

I doubt it. One set up change will not fix a bogey golfer.

 

I was not advocating for Hogan's thumb position.  I was merely giving an example of how just one small change in a setup can have a huge impact on a person's game.

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