The Address Position

Alignment and ball position are directly related.  People have such a hard time lining up and it really is not that difficult.  Don’t keep your head down but keep looking up at your target to make sure you can swing the entire body through the shot.  If you are too open you will have to scoop the shot to get the ball in the air and if you’re closed you will have to pull your arms around your body usually resulting in a hook.

StaffordAlignment-9-Iron_1 The ball position should be in the left center of your stance.  (Left handed people please reverse).  This is evident in the picture where I am addressing the ball with a 9 iron.
StaffordAddress6-iron As the club gets longer the back foot gets wider for one to maintain balance.  Notice the width of the stance with a 6 iron.  I have not moved the ball just moved my right leg back.
StaffordAddressDriver With a driver in my hand I really need a wide stance in order to maintain my balance as the arc of the swing and the speed of the club head require a solid and secure stance.  Again the ball has not been moved, just my right leg and foot position.  I choose to turn my left toe out allowing me to get through the shot with less stress on the left knee.

 

Looking down the target line we now need to line up correctly.  Do not commit your body until you get your club in position.  Remember the club is hitting the ball and you are swinging the club.  From behind the ball, look at the line of flight which you want your ball to follow.  Then, step to the side of the ball and place the face of your club on this line.  Now position your body parallel to that line, your body should be to the left of the target.   Flex the knees, bend at the hips and let the arms hang naturally.  There will be a slight tilt in the shoulders as one hand is lower than the other, do not exaggerate this tilt.  There should also be angle formed by the club shaft and your arms.

StaffordAlignment-6-Iron With the 9 iron you will notice that the red flag appears slightly behind my neck because I need to stand closer to the ball but my body is still parallel the line of the ball flight.
StaffordAlignment-9-Iron With the 6 iron I stand farther from the ball with the longer shaft and with the wider stance, as you can see the position of the red flag is even closer to my neck.
StaffordAlignment-Driver The driver, being the longest club in the bag, puts you the farthest from the ball.  Notice how the red flag is now positioned in front of my head.

 

No matter what you club you use the club face needs to be on the target line and not your body.  Make sure your club sits flat on the ground, not up on the heel with the toe in the air.  The lie angle of the club is also very important.

 

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