The five fundamentals of golf – Golf training grip, stance, posture, ball position, and alignment, are the keys to development and success in golf for players of all skill levels. It has been my experience that the most difficult of those fundamentals for students to grasp is alignment. The most common tendency for our students is to align themselves well to the right of their intended target and then to make an out-to-in or “over the top” swing as a compensation for improper aim. Poor alignment is the number one reason golfers struggle to get their club on plane in the down swing. This struggle most often results in errant shots and frustration. The question, then, is “How do I achieve proper alignment?”
Proper target visualization and choosing a “spot” to use as an intermediate target takes place behind the golf ball. Proper alignment begins from behind the ball. You must first put your body in a position, no more than ten feet behind the ball, where the ball is directly between you and your target. This is when you should positively visualize your upcoming shot. Try to imagine a pair of railroad tracks. One side of the track represents your target line. This line passes through the middle of your golf ball and extends to your target and beyond. The other side of the track is your body line. It is aligned parallel left of your target line. Once you have established a visual image of these two lines, pick out a “spot” on the ground no more than two feet in front your ball that lies directly on the target line. Your “spot” might be a dark or light blade of grass, a piece of pine straw, a divot, a broken tee, or anything else that you can easily pick out when you address the ball. The closer the “spot” is to the ball, the better. It is much easier to achieve proper alignment by moving your target from two hundred yards away to two inches in front of your ball.
Square the clubface to your “spot” (intermediate target) when addressing the ball. The leading edge of the club and your imaginary target line will be perpendicular when done correctly. Once you have established your “spot” or intermediate target in front of your ball, you must know how to use it properly. When addressing the golf ball, find your “spot” and position your clubface behind the ball square to your intermediate target. If done correctly, the leading edge of the golf club and your imaginary target line will form perpendicular lines. After correctly positioning the clubface and establishing your target line, position your feet, knees, hips, and shoulders parallel left of the target line on your body line. When you swivel your head to look at your target from the address position, your body must feel left of your target. If this is the case, you are on the way to achieving proper alignment.
Once the clubface is properly aligned, make sure your body line (feet, knees, hips, and shoulders) is parallel left of the target line. Golfers constantly strive to improve their golf swing, clubface conditions, and swing plane. To properly practice and better these areas, the player must understand that the circle their club is traveling on in their swing is a direct result of how they are aligned with the target. When hitting shots on the practice range, pick a target for each shot and use shafts to properly identify your target and body lines. Your swing will improve as your alignment improves.
The Best Place to get hands on golf tips driving is at Classic Swing, a South Carolina Golf School.