Hints and tips - AIM & ALIGNMENT
For the purpose of this post, I am writing about my experience on how to aim the club to the target. This being the TARGET LINE and then the best way to stand parallel to the target line with your feet, knees, hips, & shoulders. Therefore creating the right set up positions to help with our golf swing.
There is probably nothing more frustrating than striking the ball beautifully, only to see it shoot off in the wrong direction. It is very easy to slip into bad habits and start to aim the shot too casually, although you may be convinced you are aiming in the right direction.
Generally speaking to compensate for bad aim / alignment a swing fault in incorporated into the swing to try to get things back on track.
However by following a Pre shot routine / Set up routine you can improve this area of your game very easily. Particulary with the amount of Alignment Sticks that are on sale now (or even a couple of old golf shafts)
THE INTERMEDIATE TARGET
Watch great players suck as Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, and many more and they adopt a simple routine in that rather than aiming vaguely into the distance they select an Intermediate target over which to aim. This intermediate target is normally aprrox 1 yard ahead of the ball on the BALL to TARGET LINE.
Once you have the club pointing down the BALL to TARGET LINE it is then important to imagine a line drawn across your toes that is parallel to the BALL TO TARGET LINE.
Once this is done it is important to set your knees, hips & shoulders along this parallel line. (This moves me on to the Railway Track that can be created with Alignment Rods / Shafts)
THE RAILWAY TRACK
This method has been going for many many years but is still a firm favourite of mine and is certainly not re-inventing the wheel.
You need to Imagine a set of railway lines. The Ball and Club head are on the far track and you as the player will stand on the nearer track. This way your whole body will be parallel to the intended line of flight.
Many golfers think that their body aims at he target, but this is not he case as if you did and then had the Ball to target line parallel to your body aim, the ball would start right of the target. REMEMBER that the body is aligned Parallel left of the target. If you placed a club across your shoulders they would not point at the target but they would point parallel left.
The Best way to practice this is to place 2 x Alignment Rods on the ground to represent the railway lines. See Diagram Below.
No matter if you are a seasoned player or new to the game, your alignment must be monitored and checked / practised at every session/ opportunity.
If you have been aiming in a wayward direction then this change will feel strange to start with but Practice makes Permanent and this is what we are striving for.
It is very important to monitor and ensure you have the correct ball position as this too can having a bearing on your Shoulder alignment and then in turn causing an incorrect swing path and in some cases you as a golfer will create a compensation in your swing.
In Fig 1:
When the ball is positioned too far forward, the shoulders are pulled OPEN (Aiming to the left) causing the ball to start left of the target line
In Fig 2:
When the ball is positioned too far back in the stance, the shoulders are moved in to a CLOSED position (Aiming to the Right) causing the ball to start Right of the target line
I apologise to all Left hand golfers but this is written in the text of a right hand golfer and only needs to be reversed