I am often asked about the things that the majority of golfers have a problem with in their golf game. Although Putting and Course Management are big faults, I find that alignment is the one that gets most people in trouble. The reason that alignment is a huge issue is that most people don’t think about “Set-up” when they are practicing and playing. If they mis-hit, their thoughts are always centered around what they did wrong with the “swing”. I am here to tell you that the swing is probably the least of your worries. If a player can set-up properly and be aligned to their intended target they have a great chance of getting the ball to go there. You must let you body and brain take over and do its job. Poor alignment leads to poor swing mechanics and that can lead to many inconsistencies in ball flight patterns.
Alignment is very easy to understand but hard for most people to repeat. You must trust your instincts. Here are a few key points about alignment:
- The “Target Line” is referred to as an imaginary line between your ball and the intended target.
- Your Body MUST be parallel to the target & target line and NOT aimed at the them . This is probably one of the biggest mistakes in golf
- Your clubface (think of the grooves on the club) must be perpendicular to the target line and be what is deemed as a “square” clubface
If you do not aim properly then there is a really good chance the ball won’t start out and go where you want it to plus your body will start to learn bad swing habits in order to try to get it going the right way.
For a Right-Handed golfer, it may seem at first that you are aimed far left of your intended target but it only looks this way because you’re standing parallel to the target line and not directly on the line. This is something you must get comfortable with.
- Lay a club or stick directly in front of your ball on the ground 2-3 feet and in line with a certain target you have chosen.
- Now, put another club 2-3 feet behind the ball on the ground on the same line as the one in front
- Finally, place a club about a foot in side of those clubs and parallel left of the intended target line
What you have now done is set-up a station so you can be sure you’re aimed properly to an intended target. When you are standing over the ball you can now look at the target and although it may seem as if you’re aimed incorrectly, you can confirm you are in fact at the target and properly aligned.
By practicing this and understanding how to properly align, you can start to make repeatable swings where your body and brain can confirm you are aimed properly. This will lead to a more “natural” swing motion where your body does not have to continue to make adjustments day in and day out.