Common Mistakes At Set-Up
Step 1: Weight on the heels
If you set up with your weight on your heels, rather than the balls of your feet, your swing will travel flat around your body, pulling the ball to the left. Your body rotates the same way in both cases, but the swing travels in different planes. To swing freely and in a high swing plane with your weight on your heels, you would have to compensate by lifting your arms in the back swing. All you really have to do is shift your weight from your heels to the balls of your feet, which at the same time improves your balance.
Step 2: A faulty grip
A common mistake is to grip the club with the palm of your left hand instead of the fingers. This prevents the left hand from gripping in its natural position, turned slightly inwards. As a result, the clubface will open as the arm stretches out during the downswing, slicing the ball as explained in our video "Why we slice.". To avoid slicing, you would have to compensate by stopping your body earlier in the downswing, turning your hands earlier to ensure the clubface meets the ball square on. The real solution is to grip with your left hand in the correct position as described in "The Grip".
Step 3: Poor posture at set-up
Another common mistake is bending the back when setting up instead of leaning the body forwards from the hip. The body can only turn around its spinal axis if the back is straight. It is impossible to turn around a bent spine, so you are forced to move your body too much and swing mainly using your arms. Instead, just lean straight forwards from your hips, allowing your upper body to rotate freely.
Step 4: Aiming to the right
Ninety percent of all golfers actually aim to the right of the target, although thinking they aim straight. They must then compensate by opening the shoulders towards the target at set-up, and not rotating the body fully in the back swing, in order to hit the ball to the left towards the target. Open shoulders and a short body turn make the club head swing in from the outside and across the line of the ball, leading to a slice. The solution is simply to aim straight at the target, with your shoulders square, then turn your body to lead your arms and hands through the swing, bringing your shoulders back square to the target at impact for a straight shot.