Get Your "Aimer" Right
One of the most basic principles of this crazy game is that you need to get your body set up in the proper posture, with a sound grip on the golf club before you attempt to execute any shot. And a huge part of the proper posture is to have your body aligned properly in relation to your target.

Sounds simple, huh? But of the hundreds of golfers I observe on the course, driving range or during demo/fitting events, most do not give more than a passing notice to this very basic fundamental.

In a golf magazine I was reading a while back, Keegan Bradley, the PGA champion, said that he never hit even one ball in practice without an alignment club or stick on the ground. That stopped me, as it made so much sense I was mad that I hadn’t thought of that before. But hitting balls on the range without such reinforcement of your alignment and aim is rather pointless. Let me explain.

When you go to the practice range, your goal is to ingrain a swing that you can count on when you are on the golf course. You pick out a target flag and begin hitting away. But if you are aligned right or left, those shots that appear to be right on are really pulls or pushes from where your body is aligned. In other words, you are practicing swings, but not hitting accurate shots to where your body is really aligned.

The odds of replicating that same amount of pull or push repeatedly throughout a round of golf, from driver to wedge, are really pretty dismal. But, if you practiced your aiming at the same time you practice your swing, you bring the two together. You will get a very clear and ingrained picture of what proper alignment looks like every time you practice a swing.

Trust me. This works. I’ve used it to discover and correct a right-erred alignment flaw in my own game which had crept in over the past month or two. My swing, therefore, had become an increasingly “pull” move to compensate for that, until it got to a point where I had no idea what I was doing.

Your eye hand coordination will force you outside the learned swing in an attempt to make the ball go where you are looking . . . NOT where you are aimed. There is a huge difference.

So, take the PGA champ’s advice and always carefully place one or two alignment clubs or sticks when you are hitting practice balls on the range or in the short game area. It will pay huge dividends in your scores.
The Wedge Guy is sponsored by SCOR Golf, where Terry Koehler is President/CEO. He encourages you to submit your questions or topics to be considered for his columns on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each submission automatically enters you to win a SCOR4161 wedge to be given away monthly. Click the button below to submit your question or topic today.


[ comments ]
mtgolfidiot says:
I used to place clubs on the ground until I once walked away and forgot my 6 iron. I went out and paid $15 for the "pro golfer alignment sticks". I never hit balls without laying down my sticks.
11/4/11
 
David Fox8 says:
The sticks are great for not only alignment, but also sticking in the ground for swing path. I picked up survey sticks (same thing as alignment sticks) at the big box hardware store for $2.44/stick. Cheap is good, esp when they're identical.
11/4/11
 
Banker85 says:
i stole some survey sticks for free! I never hit balls on the range with out them as i sometimes have alignment issues.
11/4/11
 
DoubleDingo says:
To me carrying survey lath is a bit much. 1/4" thick x 2" wide x ??' long. I would prefer to carry some 1/2" diameter x 3 to 4 feet long sticks.
11/4/11
 
FallOfTim says:
Its best to get the competition orange or lime green sticks. That way they can double to flag down the refreshment cart when your on the 13th hole.
11/4/11
 
LeeRob says:
I got 4ft long, round, bright yellow fiberglass sticks at my local Lowes. They are apparently used to mark mailboxes in snow country (even though my Lowes is in San Jose, CA).
11/4/11
 
Coach Chuck says:
Banker85 you stole them? Really! Give me your adress and I send you 5 bucks so you can give them back,so you won't have other issues with the law or the Lord Jesus Christ I seen on your profile our games are very close.best of luck on yours.
11/5/11
 
Tim Horan says:
My feet and knees have been getting progressively closed to target and my hips and shoulders are open to target. The swing path has got inside (to keep it together)and the hands when I time it right recover the shot to some degree. It is not a nice place to be with my game. Everything comes with a swinging draw bordering on solid hook. The more I tried to compensate the more accentuated the draw became. I dropped two playing strokes in the last 4 months. The last lesson was a real "light bulb" moment wearing a jacket with epaulets and placing one cane through them across the shoulders,one through my belt loops and another on the ground I have seen how far out my natural alignment has become. I am with Terry on this... make your range sessions count. Enforce and reconfirm the basics or sure as eggs is eggs errors and compensation will gradually creep in.
11/7/11
 
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Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

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