Four steps to a first class address

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Four Steps to a first class address
There are not too many hard and fast rules in golf technique these days, but one enduring one is a good set-up. Your address creates a framework for your entire swing. A good set-up promotes a free, balanced movement that sends the club up and down the correct line; a poor one means a world of awkward feelings, constant compensation and frustration.

The good news is that regardless of age, skill of physical ability, any golfer can improve the way they stand to the ball. Here is the four-step process that will help you to a first class address.

Posture
Balance is at the centre of every effective golf swing, and many common swing faults are no more than the body, sensing it is off balance, trying to stabilise itself. Good balance comes from setting your weight and body angles effectively at address.

Alignment
Set your feet, hips and shoulders square to your target line and you promote a neutral path for your golf swing. This allows a free and powerful release of the club, with no need for the manipulation of the clubface that comes from hitting across
the ball.

Face Aim
Launch monitors have revealed just how dominant the aim of the clubface is in the direction of the shot. Indeed with the driver, around 85% of the ball's starting line is down to face aim at impact. Aim it well at set-up and you avoid the inconsistency that comes with manipulation.

STEP 1: Introduce the club

Step forward with your trail leg only to place the club behind the ball. Always use the club's designed lie angle, its toe raised slightly off the ground, when you place the club; it ensures a consistent lie and shaft lean around which you can set up.

STEP 2: Aim The Face

Pick a spot on your target line, three feet in front of the ball. Use the leading edge of the clubface to aim the face at your spot. A square face gives you your best chance of hitting your target while providing a useful reference in creating a square stance.

STEP 3: Square Up

Add your lead foot to square up to the clubface. Check you're the correct distance from the ball by making sure you can fit your trail palm between your lead thigh and hand. Rock gently from toe to heel to establish a balance point midway between the two.

STEP 4: Build Posture

Bend forward from the hips to create your posture, and add knee flex. Check your forward bend by holding the club against the middle of your trail shoulder. The shaft should hang in a position where it points down to the shoe laces of your trail foot.