Should You Hover the Golf Club at Setup

Table of Contents


  • Correct golf club setup plays a vital role in your overall game and shot accuracy.
  • The ongoing debate revolves around whether to hover the golf club at setup or not.
  • Professional golfers have different preferences and techniques when it comes to club setup.
  • Follow a step-by-step guide for a proper setup and practice hovering drills for improved performance.
  • Golf club setup affects your swing and can help reduce the risk of injuries.
  • Factors like playing style and personal preference should be considered when choosing golf clubs for your setup.
  • In the end, the hovering debate boils down to personal preference and finding what works best for you.


Golf club setup is a crucial aspect of the game that can greatly impact your performance on the course. One particular question that often arises in the world of golf is whether or not to hover the golf club at setup. As a retired professional golfer with years of first-hand experience, I have encountered this question numerous times. In this article, titled Should You Hover the Golf Club at Setup, I will delve into the debate and provide you with a comprehensive analysis of this technique. With a deep understanding of the game and a keen eye for detail, I will share my insights and help you navigate through this decision. So grab your favorite putter, and lets dive in!

The Basics of Golf Club Setup

Golf club setup is an integral part of the golf swing, requiring precision and accurate execution. A correct setup is fundamental to achieving a successful swing and getting the most out of your golf game.

Understanding the importance of correct golf club setup

Proper golf club setup is a critical step to a good golf swing. Your positioning can drastically affect the way you hit the ball, your swing's path, and ultimately, your scoring outcomes. Programs such as My Golf Tutor teach you the nuances of correct setup and uncover the connection between it and a successful shot.

Typical mistakes beginners make in golf club setup

When starting in golf, several common errors can hamper your club setup. Beginners tend to have inconsistent postures, inappropriate club distance, incorrect grip, or misguided alignment. Misalignment, for example, can lead to shots straying off the intended path. Websites like Golf Digest provide a rundown of these typical mistakes alongside tips on avoiding them. Remember, achieving the perfect setup comes with time and practice.

To Hover or Not: The Ongoing Debate

The hover or not to hover debate in golf circles is far from settled. Hovering refers to the clubhead position before initiating the swing. Some golfers hover the clubhead slightly above the ground at setup, while others prefer to have it resting on the ground.

The case for hovering the golf club at setup

Proponents for hovering argue that it can improve grip tension and foster a smoother takeaway. It potentially aids in cultivating a more rhythmic swing. Champions like Jack Nicklaus are known advocates for this technique and attribute their success partially to it.

The rationale against hovering at setup

In contrast, those against hovering highlight that it might lead to inconsistency. It can make perfecting your swing more challenging due to continual adjustment of clubhead height before every swing. They promote the steadiness achieved when the clubhead rests on the ground.

Note, the decision to hover or not depends on individual preference and comfort. It is recommendable to experiment and understand what works best for you.

To Hover or Not: The Ongoing Debate

In the world of golf, a persisting question among players, whether amateur or professional, involves the strategy of hovering the golf club during setup. This term refers to suspending the clubhead above the ground before initiating the swing. The hover-or-not debate holds a considerable amount of relevance due to its potential impact on the player's shots, precision, and overall performance.

The Case for Hovering the Golf Club at Setup

Proponents of hovering offer a compelling argument. They argue that hovering can establish a smoother transition into the swing, as the motion naturally promotes an increased ease in commencing the backswing. It also prevents club heads from getting stuck in the turf, especially during wet conditions or in the rough. By creating an initial momentum, hovering can help generate more power and consistency in the swing. Renowned golfer Jack Nicklaus has even voiced his support for this technique, stating that it helps him maintain fluidity and control.

The Rationale Against Hovering at Setup

On the other side, some golfers believe that placing the clubhead behind the ball at address fosters consistency. They argue against the approach of hovering as it can contribute to irregularities in alignment, swing path, and impact spot on the clubface. Critics suggest this method requires unnecessary effort and can lead to mis-hits, especially for beginners. In further testament against this technique, critics stake that it becomes harder to get a surface-level read of the lie, vital for estimating how the ball might behave upon contact.

These contrasting perspectives highlight the subjective nature of golf strategies and the need for individual players to experiment with methods that suit their game best. Ultimately, the importance lies in finding a consistent and comfortable setup that amplifies the chances of successful shots.

Insights from Professional Golfers

For every golf enthusiast, there's much to learn from the professionals. They have the experience, skills and techniques which can indeed provide valuable insights especially when it comes to golf club setup. Let's delve into the practices of these experts and the pros and cons of their favored setup.

The Golf Club Setup Techniques of Top Professional Golfers

Golf professionals like Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, or Brooke Henderson do not get to the top ranks by chance. Their success is greatly influenced by the finesse of their golf club setup. ESPN's analysis of Tiger Woods, for instance, indicates how he keeps the clubface square at setup, promoting improved control over shot direction. Typically, these golfers choose club lengths, styles, and aspects like lie angle and grip thickness that complement their individual swings.

Pros and Cons of Hovering Drawn from Professional Experiences

Several professional golfers hover the club before swinging. Jack Nicklaus, one of the greatest golfers of all time, is a firm propagator of this method. It can reduce tension and help achieve a smoother takeaway. Yet, not all golfers agree. Some believe keeping the club stationary at setup offers more control. The Golf Channel's expert discussions give a well-rounded view of the issue. The key takeaway here is that the hovering debate is often a matter of personal preference and comfort.

Personal Advice and Tips from a Professional's Perspective

While it's crucial to learn from the best, what works for professionals may not necessarily work for beginners or amateurs. However, there are universal principles to adhere to. For beginners, I recommend consistent practice in club alignment, positioning, and grip. As your skills advance, you can experiment with aspects like hovering to see if it suits your style. Remember, the ultimate goal of the golf club setup is to ensure a fluent swing and a well-directed ball flight.

Practical Tips for Perfecting Your Golf Club Setup

The golf club setup is a fundamental aspect of the game that is often neglected even though it deeply influences the outcome of every shot. Getting the golf club setup right is an uphill task, particularly for novice players, but with the right guidance and enough practice, this can become a routine. Following the right procedure when setting up your club will enhance your game, reduce the risk of injuries, and overall, make your golfing experience much more enjoyable and rewarding.

Step-by-step Guide to Proper Golf Club Setup

Setting up your golf club correctly does not need to be a tedious process. It all boils down to proper positioning of both your body and the club. Here is a simplified process on how you can ensure a correct setup:

  1. Stand slightly behind the ball with your feet shoulder-width apart
  2. Place the club behind the ball with the clubhead facing the direction you want the ball to move
  3. Bend your knees slightly and lean forward from the waist until your club touches the ground, then adjust your grip
  4. Align your shoulders to your target while keeping your feet parallel to the target line

Take the time to practice frequently and take note of the improvements in your swing and shot accuracy. For a more in-depth guide on golf setup, Golf Practice Guides provides extensive tips and drills.

Hovering Practice Drills for Improved Performance

Some golfers choose to hover the club slightly above the ground before their swing. Although this is a personal preference, some drills can help you improve performance if you choose to hover. One such drill is to set up as you would for a normal swing, hover the club a little, and without any hesitation, start your swing.

Hovering helps some players by creating a fluid, uninterrupted swing from start to finish, which can translate to better shots. However, it requires some practice to master, so it’s important to slow down, be patient, and pay attention to how the club feels when you hover it. As this Golf Monthly guide explains, the goal here is to feel more in control and achieve a smoother swing. Keep in mind that hovering is not suitable for everyone. It is advisable to try both techniques and see which one works best for you.

Choosing the Right Golf Club for Your Setup

Selecting the right golf club is a crucial part of enhancing your performance in golf. It goes beyond simply picking any club; your choice must be tailored to your unique setup and swing mechanics. This section will guide you through the factors to consider when selecting a golf club, including a few recommendations suited for different setups and playing styles.

Factors to Consider When Selecting Golf Clubs

Choosing the right golf club isn't a one-size-fits-all process. It involves consideration of several key factors to ensure the club complements your setup and swing mechanics. The length of the golf club, for instance, should match your height and arm length to ensure comfort and increased accuracy during shots. Another essential factor is the club's loft angle, which directly influences the trajectory and distance of the ball, thus requiring careful consideration. Additionally, the shaft flex and the type of clubhead also play vital roles in matching the club to your swing speed and style. For more detailed information on these factors, you may find Golf Digest's guide on how to choose a golf club useful.

Your golf club selection should ideally reflect your playing style and setup. For those with a square setup and a slower swing speed, consider a club with a flexible shaft and a lofted face to promote distance and trajectory. For golfers with a strong grip and quicker swing speed, a stiff shaft with a less lofted face will likely be more beneficial.

If you prefer hovering the club at setup, a lightweight club can help maintain balance and control. On the other hand, for those who prefer grounding the club, a club with a heavier head may be preferable to keep the club stable during setup. For more tailored club recommendations, PGA Tour's guide offers valuable insights into the clubs preferred by professional golfers with various playing styles.

Conclusion: The debate whether to hover the golf club at setup or not remains a personal preference, with strong cases laid out for both sides. The key lies in understanding the intricacies of golf club setup and how it influences your swing, shot accuracy, and overall game. Drawing insights from professional golfers can guide your decision, but remember that the best golf club setup ultimately caters to your specific playing style. Practice drills can be a game-changer for those willing to hover, while the right golf club selection plays a pivotal role in a steadfast setup. Always remember, a correct setup can also aid in minimizing golf-related injuries. So, equip yourself with knowledge, thoroughly practice your chosen setup, and ultimately, enjoy the game – because that's what it's all about. Continue to visit our blog to stay updated and deepen your understanding of golf club setup and other golf-related topics. The green is yours to conquer!

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