The Balance And Power Set Up


The Balance & Power Set Up Front View

Building a solid foundation in your golf swing

The set-up for hitting long and controlled drives time after time needs to be followed meticulously.  Great golf swings are born by how well these set-up principals are adopted.

It’s like building a house on bad foundations, eventually the house will crumble under stress. 

The same can be applied to the golf swing. 

Especially the driver as this is the club that is going to travel much faster through impact than any other in your bag. 

The solid repeatable set-up which I am going to show you will put you in a great starting position to not only marmalise those drives but wow your playing partners too.

Lets get started

Our aim is to position the whole body so the weight is central to allow for a dynamic rotational motion whilst staying in complete balance throughout the swing.

I would like you to feel the body weight is positioned exactly halfway between the balls of your feet and your heels, with a 50-50 split of weight on the right and left foot.

Try rocking your weight forwards and backwards from the balls of your feet to the heels and also from side to side to generate a greater awareness of your weight distribution.

A starting point for the width of your stance can come from using this general rule of thumb where the distance between your heels is the length of your foot.

PGA Pro Richard Lawless Showing How to Get The Correct Width Of Stance For The Driver

To compliment this weight distribution, the rest of the body must follow suit and be in a strong and balanced position.  

I would like to introduce the ‘V’ symmetry system to create great body angles and help give balance throughout your swing and the potential to create more power.

This simple reminder can be adopted not only to your driver but all other full shots.

The ‘V’ symmetry system is simply achieved by ensuring your thigh bone and your lower spine are symmetrically positioned in relation to each other forming the appearance of a ‘V’ shape.

You will need to use a mirror to make sure you get into the correct position.

PGA Pro Richard Lawless showing V-symmetry in the golf swing

It is also important to achieve a neutral hip tilt to accompany this symmetry.

A neutral hip tilt will make it much easier to create a rotary motion in the back swing, helping your body weight to turn to the center of your right foot in the back swing and keep balanced.

A hollowed look to the lower back at address indicates too much anterior hip tilt. This is where your belt buckle looks aggressively down to the ground.

The opposite of this is an arched lower back at address indicating too much posterior hip tilt. This is where your belt buckle looks too much towards the horizon.

The midway point between these two extremes is a neutral hip tilt position.

PGA Pro Richard Lawless showing V-symmetry comparison in the golf swing

Your head is also an extremely heavy part of the human anatomy and its position will often dictate what subsequently happens during the swing.

Try getting out of a chair, which part of your body moves first to change your center of gravity?

The eye line needs to be parallel to your ball to target line to keep good balance.

A great way to achieve this is to look up to the horizon once you have addressed the ball which gets your eyes level.

Then slowly look back to the ball which will help keep the eyes parallel to the ball to target line.

PGA Pro Richard Lawless showing V-symmetry head position in the golf swing

I hope by now you are beginning to realise how vital it is that you try to achieve this ‘V’ symmetry, correct hip tilt and also engage your neck muscles to support the weight of your heavy head at the correct angle.

Hopefully you can now also start to imagine how difficult it is to keep the body in balance throughout the swing whilst turning back and through at speed to strike the ball.

A lot of bad shots, not only with your driver, can be traced back to this set-up position. 

Work on this regularly by using a mirror to assist you in making sure it is in perfect balance and ‘V’ symmetry.  

Sometimes what you feel is correct might not be correct, so take time to get this right. 

This is your foundation for long and powerful drives!

So how should the set-up look from face on with your Driver?

I mentioned about spine tilt away from the target.  I don’t believe this is a necessary thought process at address. 

The ball position in relation to your feet stays the same (about 3” back from the instep of your front heel) but by taking a slightly wider step away from the ball with your back foot, let your torso move with it. 

This positions the breastbone slightly further behind the ball.

PGA Pro Richard Lawless showing the breatbone position in the golf swing

Picture this, Imagine your club head always reaches its lowest point in the swing at a point opposite your breastbone. 

Therefore your breastbone is now a further 2-3” back behind the ball because you have increased the width of your normal stance by this same amount. 

The lowest point of the swing arc will now have a chance to occur 2-3” before impact.  Thus ensuring the ball is struck very slightly after this point and on a marginally upward path, sweeping the ball from the tee peg.

The height you should tee the ball depends on the depth of the face of your driver.

Combined with how wide you make your stance to help ensure the ball is struck from the center of the club face on a very gentle upswing.

The wider you make your stance taking the breastbone further behind the ball, the higher you will need to tee it up.