Editor's note: Each week, Megan Padua, a teaching professional at Maidstone Club (East Hampton, N.Y.) and Belfair Plantation (Bluffton, S.C.), and one of Golf Digest's Best Young Teachers, offers tips and advice for women golfers.
By Megan Padua
There are a couple small setup adjustments that can have a big impact your golf swing. Here are two things everyone should do when setting up with a driver:
Spine tilt: Make sure your spine is tilted away from the golf ball (i.e. your head is behind the ball). This will allow you to make an ascending swing. The common setup fault is when your right hip is higher than your left (for a right-handed golfer). With your right hand positioned lower on the club, it's natural for your body to tilt to the right (see photo, above). If you set up with spine tilt, your lower body will be in a powerful position to unwind, create leverage and transfer energy to the shot.
Foot flare: Angle your lead foot toward the target about 30 degrees (please see the picture). This angle allows you to get a head start on your turn and will let your body release to the target with ease. A square lead foot is often the cause of injury to the forward knee as you restrict the motion in the follow through.
These two setup positions will help you hit powerfully from behind the golf ball, avoid common injuries and allow you to finish in a more effective position.