The Basics Part 3: Staying on Track
By Erika Larkin on 3/6/13
Before you get into the "meat and potatoes" of your 2013 season, Erika wants you to check your fundamentals. So over the next several weeks, she's going to run a five-part series about the fundamentals. If you missed part 1 or part 2, click here and here. Enjoy!
It's easy for a golfer to be misaligned and not realize it for a good reason, it "looks" correct to them! Why is this so?
We have to understand that hitting golf shots is like firing a gun with your eyes three feet left (for righties) of the barrel — we have to deal with this optical illusion.
Erika Larkin is the Director of Instruction at Larkin Golf Learning Community, at Stonewall Golf Club in Gainesville, Virginia. She was named the 2012 Middle Atlantic PGA "Teacher of the Year" and the 2011 "Top Golf Pro" by Washingtonian Magazine and she's oobgolf's newest columnist! She writes on a variety of topics including instruction, so if you have a question for her or an idea for a column, email her at ErikaLarkin@pga.com. Enjoy!
Image via Flickr, mhofstrand
[ comments ]
For the point "intermdeiary target": I've always found it helpful to find something in the distance to aling myself to, rather than right in front of me.
I find my line behind the ball. Take a step to the left, and find something to line up to- a tree, cell tower, somebody's chimney- and align myself to that as I take my stance. To me, it seems easier to find something off in the distance than to find something right in front of you.
joe jones says:
Nicklaus always lined up using a wood chip, a tuft of grass or anything he could find on the ground about 15 to 20 feet down his line of sight. He could not see things very well in the distance so he picked out a close in target.(near sighted?). He also had that swing key where he cocked his head to the right just before he initiated his back swing. It sure worked for him.
I'm finding that as my swing improves more and more of my errors are due to improper set-up, so the challenge is recognizing when the set-up is off and when it is correct before you swing. I'm also struggling with the shot routine thing - I like to take my practice swing beside the ball but feel that often this causes me to lose my line.
Tim Horan says:
My alignment woes are from the waist up. I can pretty much saunter up to address and plant my feet square to target. Placing the club behind the ball is where I get all skewed with my shoulders aiming left of target. This causes and outside takeaway and then hand/ eye takes over to recover and the result a block out to the right or if the hand get a message too early a duck hook. You would think that it would be easy to find a fix for the shoulder alignment?? I have tried placing the club with either hand and then with both all seem to have this left hand skew. I have tried not placing my feet until I am happy with my shoulders. nothing seems to work. From 150yds in my accuracy is crap.
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