1. Get narrow and open
Settle into a narrow stance, with your feet inside your shoulders. (A narrow stance reduces unnecessary lower body movement.) Next, pull your front foot a few inches behind you to “open” your stance. Finally, make sure about 60 percent of your weight is on your front foot.
2. Align your chest with your toes
Imagine you have a flashlight attached to your chest. To set up correctly, shine the light on a spot just in front of the ball. This positions the low point of your swing where you’re guaranteed ballfirst contact.
3. Stand close
Bend from your hips and lean out so your hands hang under your shoulders, with your eyes an inch or so inside the ball. Now the club can swing back straight and not too much to the inside, a big no-no.
4. Move the handle forward toward your lead thigh
This gives you that critical 6 to 8 degrees of forward shaft lean. Careful not to “hood” the clubface as you do this or you’ll sacrifice loft, spin and forgiveness.
James Sieckmann is director of instruction at Shadow Ridge CC in Omaha, Neb.