Trail Golf Tip: The Importance of Setup

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In this video, Mike Rugg of the Steve Dresser Golf Academy at True Blue Golf Club and Caledonia Golf & Fish Club in Pawleys Island, S.C. walks us through the paces of a proper setup both with your irons, and your driver. It may seem boring at first, but it’s a critical element to the rest of your game!



Mike Rugg:

Hi, my name is Mike Rugg. I’m one of the instructors here at the Steve Dresser Golf Academy in Pawleys Island, located at the True Blue and Caledonia golf courses. And I probably have an extremely boring, but extremely important tip for you tRoday, and that is the importance of setup. Too often, we see people coming here with all kinds of problems that can originate with their stance. Again, it could be really boring. I could go for a couple hours, and I’ve been known to go for a couple of hours, but I won’t today.

So one of the common things that we see is misplacement of the ball and bad ankles here at address. And what I mean by that, most people worry about their feet. But I always like to see in the average person, have the ball position off the inside their left cheek, with feet at a comfortable width. Longer the iron, the wider the stance, the shorter the iron, the narrower the stance.

I also like to see the feet, hips, and shoulders parallel to our target line. And this represents our target line right here. So, iron basically off the left cheek, shoulders square. In order of importance, shoulders, hips, feet. Too often we see people with their shoulders open, sometimes their feet closed, all kinds of problems. And that would distort where the ball placement is. So if we can get organized here at address and we can repeat it, we stand a good chance. I think the greatest player in the history of the game, Jack Nicklaus, said if he set up to the ball properly, he stood a reasonable chance of making a reasonable shot. And if he did not set up properly, he basically stood no chance. He did a pretty good job of that!

Now with your driver, I like to see the width of the stance, with the right foot, if you’re right-handed, outside the hip. And I like to see the ball off the inside of the shoulder. Now I’m going with upper body placements because it depends on how wide we stand of where the ball should be placed. Too often, I see people trying to get off their left heel and it’s very hard to do. So, if things go bad, rather than run to YouTube, or read a book, or listen to your buddies at the 19th hole, go back to seeing where you’re set up at address. Are you parallel, or are you open? Make sure you get those in line, and your game will turn around.

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