Alignment - The Fundamental of Fundamentals - Part 2 or 2
PART 2 of 2
In my last blog post, I talked about how important it is to properly align yourself to the target and how to do so. First, we pick a target. Next, we aim the clubface at the target (creating a target line). Last, we have to align our feet, hips, and shoulders parallel to the target line. If you haven’t read that blog yet, go ahead and do so now. It will give you an appreciation for just how hard it can be to align yourself properly and how quickly you can become 5, 10, 15 yards, or more offline.
Poor alignment causes a myriad of issues during the golf swing. It can affect swing plane, angle of attack, the release of the club, the weight shift, and others. Practicing proper alignment on the range is the first step towards improving these issues. Below is a step by step example of how to set up for your next practice session (focusing on alignment). The only training aids we will use are alignment sticks. If you do not have a set already, you can use a couple of your irons instead.
1- Place an alignment stick on the ground pointing directly at your intended target. This will be your target line and the line that you will hit golf balls from.
2- Place a tee in the ground right along the alignment stick to mark the line you will hit balls from. The tee should be placed towards the target end of the stick.
3- Place another alignment stick about 3 inches to the right of the target line (and make sure it is perfectly parallel).
4- Move the first alignment stick off of the target line and 12 to 18 inches to the left (and make sure it is perfectly parallel to the other alignment stick). This line will point to the left of the target. Never towards it. Your feet should be left of this stick and parallel to it at all times.
5- Hit your first golf ball off of the original target line (where the tee was placed).
6- Hit each golf ball behind the divot of the previous shot (if one is made). By working away from the target with each shot, you will maximize the turf you can use.
7- After you have worked all the way towards the back of the alignment sticks, it is time to start a new row of divots and to move those sticks.
Note – Your goal while practicing your alignment on the range is to train your eyes to see your body in relation to the target correctly. You must learn what it looks like to look past your lead shoulder in order to see the target.
Taking your game from the driving range to the course is hard. However bad your alignment is on the range, it will be twice as bad on the course once there are trees and hazards to navigate. Do your best to master your alignment and I guarantee you will see some lower scores!