How to set up | Golf tips with Wozeniak

Kirkland resident Steve Wozeniak, PGA Director of Instruction Bellevue Golf Course, shows how to setup a golf swing. - Contributed photo
Kirkland resident Steve Wozeniak, PGA Director of Instruction Bellevue Golf Course, shows how to setup a golf swing.
— image credit: Contributed photo

Let me first say that all great golfers have the same fundamentals in their swing. Jack Nicklaus, Annika Sorenstam, Stacy Lewis, Tiger Woods, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player’s swings are identical when they are at the top of their game.

Most people notice the differences, body types, mannerisms, tempo and so forth. But I teach what all these great players do, and I can make you do them too, with just one or two swing thoughts. The golf swing is extremely easy to understand given the right information. Doing it time and again is the hard part. During the course of these articles I will lay this all out for you, improve your golf swing and your understanding of how it works.

The lesson today is how you must set up to make an athletic, powerful and repeatable swing through the golf ball and toward the target.

If you are a right-handed golfer, your right foot must be square so you can shift your weight into the right leg and not around it. To get a feeling for what "really square with the foot" is, put a straight edge down on the ground. Then, put your right heel and the middle of your foot on this line and it will give you the feeling.

To everyone that is not used to this, it will feel toed in and strange. What you are feeling is resistance and this is what any athlete would do if they need to propel an object with some force to the left. The left foot must be toed out slightly so you can unwind to the target aggressively without hurting yourself. Now just pinch your knees in towards each other slightly. The insides of your heels must be even with the outsides of your shoulders in width. You are now in an athletic ready-to-go position with your legs.

The arms have to lie in front of our chest on our pectoral muscles, not on your sides. This position is exactly how we would have the arms if we had to curl some light weights. Your arms will be nice and relaxed and your elbows will be pointing at the hips so they can hinge correctly to curl weights.

Now, notice how your shoulders are fairly level and you are balanced in an athletic ready-to-go position. Keep your spine and head in line and just bend a bit from the hips. Your head will be up and you should feel tall and balanced.

Place your hands on the club and in your fingers. Never use your palms. This is the way any athlete would hold a tennis racket, baseball bat or hammer. Remember, this set up is critical. I cannot get you to do what I want from any other position.

Now, all you have to do is line up towards your target. This is easy, just imagine yourself standing on railroad tracks. Your club and ball on the outer rail going toward the target while your body is on the inner rail going parallel left of it.

Visit my website for more instruction, call or email me for private lessons anytime.

Steve Wozeniak is a Kirkland resident and the PGA Director of Instruction at the Bellevue Golf Course. You can email Steve at, call him at 425-533-4711 or visit his website

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