# Golf Stroke Mechanics – the pre-stroke

This article discusses what is involved during the pre-stroke, which is the time prior to the actual stroke itself, where the golfer needs to position themselves for the actual swing.

Golf stroke mechanics refers to the processes a golfer goes through when making judgements on how to make a play (swing). This consists of two parts, the pre-stroke and the actual stroke itself. During the pre-stroke the golfer decides on the stance to take, and which club to use.
Pre-Stroke Judgements
Which way to faceThe golfer stands with their non dominant side facing the hole. Therefore, if they are right handed, they would face the objective (where they wish to hit the ball) with their left side, alternatively, if left handed, they would then face the objective with their right side.
The golfer's feetHow the golfer stands is dependent on the type of club that has been chosen. If they use a short irons, they position their feet slightly less than shoulder width apart, if a medium iron is used then the feet are placed shoulder width apart, and if a long iron is used then the feet are placed slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
Positioning of the ballWhen using short irons, the ball is placed near the centre of the player's stance. When using middle and long irons the ball is placed forward of centre of the player's stance, and when using woods the ball is placed opposite the golfer's heel of the front foot.
Positioning of the golfer's weightWhen using short irons, the golfer's weight is placed on the front foot. When using middle irons, the golfer's weight is shifted between both feet during the swing, and when using long irons and woods, the golfer's weight is distributed evenly between both feet.
The golfer's gripThere are three popular types of grip that are used by golfers: Interlocking grip, Vardon Overlap, Ten finger. The Interlocking grip for right handed players, where the left hand grips the very end of the club, and the right hand grip just below the left, has the little finger of the left hand is intertwined with the index finger of the right hand, The thumb of the left hand is placed in the lifeline area of the right hand. The Vardon Overlap grip, has the little finger of the right hand placed between the left hand's middle and index fingers. Same as with the Interlocking grip, the thumb of the left hand lies within the lifeline of the right hand. Finally, the Ten finger grip requires that the little finger of the right hand is positioned next to the left hand's index finger. The thumb is placed as per the Interlocking grip and the Vardon Overlap grip.
For left handed golfers just switch left for right and right for left, in the above descriptions.

After pre-stroke ?That's the end of the pre-stroke judgements, the steps taken by the golfer during the actual stroke (swing) is discussed in another article.

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