Posts Tagged ‘parallel to target’

You Must Put That Club Down When You Practice!

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

One of the mistakes golfers make when they are on the range is that they don’t “align” themselves correctly and get into a bad habit of aligning themselves 20 yards right or left of the target.

Believe me, I’ve played golf over 20+ years and it always comes back to that, alignment. If you can’t align yourself correctly, you can hit gazillion golf balls and never really be able to hit your golf ball on target.

Of course, there ARE exceptions but that means you are always compensating 20 yards left or 20 yards right.

I’ve been guilty myself of sometimes not putting a club down to align myself and those months, I basically waste my time trying to find my golf swing when it’s my alignment that’s at fault.

So, here’s I practice.

Whenever I am at the range, at least for the first 20-30 golf balls, I set my longest iron, 2-iron down, somewhat halfway between the ball and my feet. Now listen carefully, I set it so the club is “parallel” to my target line, the line from my golf ball to the target.

A lot of people mess this up too, they align the golf club to the target itself, which effectively means you are actually going to be aiming about 20 yards right of your target.

This is small alignment problem but when you are using your driver, that problem literally explodes exponentially and you will develop more bad swing habits to correct that error. And the #1 reason why people come over the top or do something funny to compensate for their alignment error.

Another tip (for expert golfers), you align the back of your heels, not your toes. You will have to imagine the back of your heels being parallel to the club you set. If you align the toes, you are again, aiming slightly right because you left foot is more open than the right (unless both of your feet are open at the same angle like Tiger used to do.)

These small alignment problems can become the cancer of your golf swing. They are minor problems but it can cause havoc on someone’s golf swing.

Before you take a lesson from your golf pro, the best thing you can do is learning to align correctly. From there, you can learn to swing to golf club but if you don’t know how to aim, you are like a rifle shooter who aims 20 yards of his target then compensating right before you shoot your target.

The next time you are hitting golf balls, try to set a club down, it’s probably the #1 advice teaching pros give you and you don’t want to pay them $50 an hour to tell you how to aim. My point, just put that club down so you know you are aimed correctly.

P.S. I think a lot of people don’t do it because they think it’s “silly” but next time you goto a PGA Tour event, count how many pros have a club down for alignment, probably over 75%, exactly.

Here, let Hank Haney show you how to align: