Golf Swing 109. Setup: How to Set Up for the Driver


A vast amount of golf instruction has been written about how to use the driver.  Every week there are new tips, as well as recycled advice from years ago, claiming to help you hit the golf ball straighter and longer off the tee.  And yet the average amateur, despite all the advances in equipment, isn’t getting much better, while leading professionals are hitting the ball further every year.

It shouldn’t really be a surprise, therefore, to hear that much of the advice touted in books, magazines, on TV, on websites and by many teachers, is just plain wrong.  This poor advice is well intentioned, but it hasn’t worked for most golfers.  What’s worse, it leaves golfers with a complete misunderstanding of how an efficient and effective golf swing works.  Telling students a misleading half-truth might yield short-term benefit, but, until they learn how the golf swing really works, it will prevent them from becoming a really good golfer.

The aim of this article is to describe how to set up correctly in order to use the driver most effectively.  It’s impossible, however, to understand what setup changes you should make with the driver without discussing why they work, and what we are trying to achieve.

The dynamics of the golf swing are complex, and impact dynamics with the driver are particularly sophisticated.  We’ll go into a lot more detail about the mechanics of this in later articles, but we’ll touch on it here, just enough to give you a basic understanding of how it works.

The setup position we describe is based on the Swing Like a Champion system.  Unless you were part of our early trial programs, your swing probably won’t yet make maximum effective use of the setup described here, but it soon will as you work through the program.  Importantly, by setting up correctly, without allowance for the compensations and manipulations present in a less-than-perfect golf swing, you will more quickly learn how to swing the golf club more effectively.

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The exact amount of positive attack angle that you create with the max distance driver setup will vary, as will the direction of the golf ball, depending on many factors which we’ll discuss in later articles.

Once you are proficient with the Swing Like a Champion system, we recommend that you get fitted for a club shaft that matches your exact swing profile and optimises your launch angle and spin rates.  One shaft that says “S” on it is not much like another, even for shafts by the same manufacturer.  Manufacturing tolerances are wide, and shaft flex profiles vary enormously.  Club heads are mostly a matter of taste, what looks good to you behind the ball, what sounds good at impact, what inspires confidence.  But the right shaft can really help your game — once you have a great golf swing.

Happy fairways!


If you have any questions or comments about this or other articles on Golf Loopy, please send us an email.

Okay, you’re set up perfectly over the golf ball and ready to pull the trigger?  Let’s start learning how to move, with Golf Swing 201 – Takeaway: The Perfect Golf Swing Takeaway.


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