Illustrated Definitions

Review the section below for golf terms that relate to the golf setup.

Setup | Aim | Alignment | Line | Target Line


Various components in a golf setupThe combination of all aspects related to the way the golfer’s body is positioned relative to the ball, to the club in hand, and to the target before the beginning of a swing. It refers to the golfer’s posture, feet and ball positions as well as the grip of the club, amongst many other things.

Sentence: After deciding on a target line and on a club Jim proceeded with setting up for the upcoming shot.

Swing Setup Components

Back Tilt

Back position in a golf setupWhile a golfer will indeed be standing up in order to hit a golf shot he will not be standing perfectly straight. Rather, his back will be tilted forward towards the ball, allowing for the shoulders to rotate, freely moving the arms and hands that hold the club.

More on: How to set your spine at address

Knee Flex

Knee flex position in a golf setupSimilarly to other sports, golfers adopt an active stance when preparing to execute a shot. As such, the golfer’s knees will not be locked but will instead be flexed to a degree, steadying the golfer for the upcoming rotating motions of the hips and shoulders.

More on: How to set your knees at address

Arms and Hands Positions

Arms and hands position in a golf setupThe golfer’s arms will normally be perpendicular to the ground, hanging freely down from the shoulders. For most types of shot, the hands will usually be slightly in front of the clubhead.

More onShaft lean tweaks and their effects

Feet Position

Feet position in a golf setupAccording to the type of shot to be executed, a golfer will be careful in positioning his feet in relation to each other and in relation to the ball. For example, a golfer will position his feet wider apart when setting up for a drive than he will for a short pitch shot using a wedge.

More on:


Grip position in a golf setupA key component of a golfer’s swing setup is how he’ll actually hold the club in his hands, accomplished through his grip. For clubs other than the putter, there are three main finger placements as well as three categories of grip strengths.

More on:

Ball Position

Ball position in a golf setupFinally, a golfer will be careful to position the ball in relation to both his feet in accordance to the club he is holding, the type of shot he is about to execute and the lie he is facing. For example, for a drive the ball should be located towards the forward foot whereas for an approach using a wedge the ball should be located in the middle of both feet.

More on:


Golfer aiming at his target on the greenAim refers to the direction a golfer wants his ball to go, towards the intended target. Before setting up for a shot, a golfer will normally stand behind the ball and analyze the hole ahead and take into account its characteristics and challenges. Based on the club he is holding and the desired landing area he will then choose a target, which he will aim for. In the bestseller “Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book”, the author advises golfers to take dead aim before executing a shot.

Sentence: Rather than aiming for the pin Jim set his aim to the right half of the green in order to avoid the bunker and water hazards to the left of the green.


Alignment in golfThe way a golfer will set up in order for the ball to fly towards the target. For a straight shot, the body – feet, hips, shoulder – will be positioned on a line parallel to that of the target line that is formed by the ball and the target.

Sentence: On the tee box Jim was especially careful in his alignment as he wanted his ball to fly just to the right of that tall tree by the fairway.

More on: How to align yourself at address


Line a ball takes in golfLine refers to the path that the ball takes between the moment it is hit and the moment it comes to rest.

Sentence: Jim’s ball took an aggressive line around the tree but ended up in the middle of the fairway on this dogleg par-4.

Target Line

Target line in golfThe target line refers to the imaginary line that is formed between the ball and the target.

Sentence: Despite crossing a water hazard Jim remained confident with his chosen target line from the tee box.

More on: Proper Golf Setup

Swing Tips for the Setup & Address Position

Back to: Golf TermsGolf Terms

swing tips navigation swing errors navigation shot tips navigation shot errors navigation golf tweaks navigation swing thoughts navigation golf drills navigation golf terms navigation
Visit our Channel