Free Golf Tip For Your Irons & Setup

This is the Back to Basics Irons Setup Lesson. This golf tip is designed to help you setup the same way every time. It is true that there are slight variations with your setup depending on which club you are using. However, we can make a simple routine that will get you in the right position every time.

The club itself will automatically make the slight changes for you. That way you don’t have to consciously think about the changes. You can stick to the routine and be confident that you have a great setup.

The setup or address position is another important piece to the golf puzzle. So many errant shots could be avoided well before the you ever start your swing. Many times it is a poor setup position that leads to poor contact and bad shots.

We spend a lot of time trying to fix the movement in our swings but we don’t focus any attention on our setup. It is much easier to fix your setup position. So…let’s build a solid setup position routine to give you the best opportunity to hit great shots.


Irons Golf Tip #1 : Club Down First

Always put your club down first aiming at your target. This is a critical step in a good setup. Aiming your club first ensures that you are aiming your club at your target. Please see the Back to Basics Alignment Lesson for more details.

Irons Golf Tip #2 : Feet Together

  • Start with your feet together. This will help you focus on your alignment.
  • Your ball should line up between your toes.

Irons Golf Tip #3 : Move Your Left Foot

  • Start by moving your left foot so that the inside of your left foot lines up with your left armpit.
  • This is an important move because we vary the width of our stance when we use different clubs. The longer the club the wider the stance.
  • The most consistent way to do this is to move your left foot a few inches to the left every time. Then move your right foot depending on which club you are using.

Irons Golf Tip #4 : Move Your Right Foot

  • If you are using a short iron such as an 8 iron, then move your right foot so that it matches your left. Your right instep should be in line with your right armpit. This will give you great balance and will allow the club to travel on the proper path to strike down on your golf ball. The narrower your stance is the more upright your swing becomes. This is good for a short iron because we want to hit down on the ball to make it go up in the air. Crazy concept I know…but this is a bit of a crazy game!
  • Great balance helps make great contact. By following this routine, your will automatically have great ball position for each club. Please see the Back to Basics Ball Position Lesson for more details.

Irons Golf Tip #5 :
Good Spacing Equals Good Knee Flex

  • After spreading your feet, make sure to keep your club behind the ball.
  • Now let go of your right hand and see if it will fit between your butt end of your club and your body. If it just fits then your the correct distance away from your golf ball. The true benefit to being the proper distance is that you will automatically have the right knee flex.
  • If there is a lot of extra room it means that you are standing too far away from the ball which will cause you to bend your knees too much. Likewise, if you can’t fit your hand in between it means you are standing too close to the ball which will cause your legs to be too straight and not have enough knee flex.
  • If you are still unsure if you have the right amount of knee flex…try this little test. Stand straight up with your legs and back completely straight. Bend your knees and without bending from your hips, look straight down. Your knees should cover your golf shoe laces. If you can see the knots on your shoes then you don’t have enough knee flex. It you can’t see your toes then your are bending too much.
  • Good knee flex helps you stay balanced through your swing, and helps avoid any up and down movements. Moving up and down creates a lot of timing issues and makes it very hard to be consistent.

Irons Golf Tip #6 : Push Your Butt Backwards

  • Now that you have checked your spacing which gives you great knee flex, push your butt backwards.
  • Pushing your butt backwards does a couple of things for your setup. One, it spreads your weight evenly over your feet. Most sports are played on the balls of your feet…but not golf. Golf we want to keep the weight even. No more on the toes than on the heels. This will help give you great balance through your swing. Two, it keeps your back straight. A straight back is much easier to turn during your swing than a rounded back. This will help you be more consistent with your ball striking.
  • See how your sharp the angles in your body become when you push your butt backwards. Sharp angles leads to great shots.

Irons Golf Tip #7 : Left Forearm Trick

  • From this view your should see my left forearm slightly in front of my right. This is a little trick to help make sure my shoulders are square.
  • If my left forearm was hidden then that would open up my shoulders which in turn would encourage a slice. To correct this I tuck my right elbow into my body. This helps square off my shoulders so that I can make my back swing along the proper path.

Irons Golf Tip #8 : The Full Setup

  • The last step in this routine is for your hand position. This position should be the same for every shot you hit (except for sand and putting).
  • If you were to let go of your club, the butt end should hit the inside of your left leg.
  • So…for an 8 iron it puts your hands slightly ahead of the ball, but for your driver your hands are slightly behind. This is caused by the different stance widths we must use, but it is perfect hand position for each club.
  • The reference to the inside of your leg never changes, and it automatically puts you hands in the right place for all your clubs.

Thank you for taking the Back to Basics Full Swing Irons Setup Lesson. This is a very important routine to master so that you can have a strong and consistent setup. The better your setup is the more likely you will hit a great shot. The reality is that you could have a swing of a tour pro, but if you don’t have a great setup you will not shoot great scores.

Good luck with your practicing and playing. May you ‘Play Your Golf Dreams’ with the help of