Alignment and Body Swing Ready at Address!

by Max on Monday, May 17th, 2010

So, I will be honest.

I played 3 rounds this year, first time playing golf in 2 years.  (I hit a lot of balls here and there but never played much, maybe 1 round a year)

The first time out, I played a pretty tough course (6900 yard from blues, 72.5 slope rating) in my flip flops!  Yes, I shot 85 in my flip flops but my foot hurt bad real bad.

Second time out the next week, I broke 80 by shooting a 79.   It was an easy course though but still, I am slowly coming back.

Last saturday I shot another 79, 1-over 37 on front and 6-over 42 on the back.  I hit like every fairway, hit the driver great but missed like 75% of my  approach shots from the fairway.

Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you, I haven’t worn golf shoes on the course yet, I wore my “slippery-on-the-grass” skateboard sneakers the last two times I shot 79s.  So next time I want to see what I shoot with golf shoes on.  (I did this on purpose to improve my balance and indeed, my balance has been improving well, I will have a blog post about that too.)

Worst of all, my short game was good on the front nine (where I had kick-in givemes) but on the back nine, I left myself like 5-footers all the time and I missed like ALL of them.

Anyways, I have yet to break par this year but I am pretty satisfied with where my game is going.  It shouldn’t be too long though so long as I keep playing.

One of the players that I played with the other day, on the 18th hole, hit it dead straight but his aim was toward the trees on the right.  Of course, he hit the trees.

I told him he hit the ball super straight but he was aimed like 40-yards right of the fairway.

A lot of times in golf, alignment and aim is everything.

If you are even aligned 10-yards slightly left or right, that can make  your natural instincts take over and try to manipulate the club so your golf ball goes toward the target.

Now, if this manipulations works well, you are fine but a lot of times, you will get bunch of duck hooks or banana slices in these situations. (Or, you hit it dead straight towards where you are aimed.)

If you want to be a great player, you might want to think about putting a club down between your ball and stance “parallel” to your target when you practice.

I know, it’s cumbersome but this simple act of alignment and aim can make you hit 14 out of 14 fairways or 0 out of 14 fairways.

The other day I hit 13 out of 14 fairways, that’s after I fixed my alignment and aim.

If you ever get a chance to watch the PGA tour guys practice on the tee, you will notice that a lot of them will put a club down during practice.   It’s not really a secret but yes, it’s like cheating in golf.    You should always put a club down parallel to your golf ball if you have never done it before.  I bet you, you are either aiming way left or right of your target.

Alignment is like 90% of making the golf ball where you want it to go.

On another note, during today’s practice, I realized another cool image (swing thought) that helped me make a more consistent swing.

That is to really “feel” your whole body being “together” at address before you start that swing.   What this does is gets you ready for the actual swing and by the time you start swinging, you move everything together, your hands, arms, shoulders, and belly in sync.

Anyways, my next goal is to break 75 next weekend.   Don’t shoot me for  that.  Even for me, after a 2 year layoff from golf play, it takes me about 5-6 rounds before I can break par again.

But I am getting there, I feel like I want to really push myself hard so I can make the PGA Tour next couple years.  First I will have to shoot up some lower numbers though like 65, 66, and whatnot.

Wish me luck!  And oh yeah, you can always find me practicing at Cypress Golf course in Colma or San Bruno range if you are in the bay area.

P.S. One more tip, how to really force yourself to hit great driver shots, use a hundred dollar bill as a tee.

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