- Pick a club and an appropriate target, like a yardage marker.
- Lay a club on the turf pointed at the target and place a ball a few inches outside the shaft. You’ll need enough space to hit the ball without hitting the club.
- Place another club on the ground where your feet will go, parallel to the first club.
- Align your feet with the second club; your toes should touch or be very close to the shaft.
- Address the ball by using the first alignment club to aim your clubface.
- From this position, a perfectly straight shot will finish a hair right of target.
What’s the first thing to do when your golf shots start going sideways? Check your alignment, of course.
This is especially true when you’re hitting the ball straight left (a pull) or straight right (a push), with little or no curve in flight. Such shots are usually struck pretty solidly, so it’s likely that your swing is in decent shape.
Oftentimes, we think we’re pushing or pulling the ball when, in fact, we’re simply lined up poorly and hitting the ball where we’ve aimed. It’s important to find out quickly, before you begin making unconscious swing compensations or deliberately changing your swing to fix a perceived flaw.
If pushed shots are shoving around your scores, assess your alignment on the driving range thusly:
Hit several shots and track the results. If most fly straight at the target, your swing is good – alignment has been your issue. You’ll probably feel as though you’re lined up too far left when, in reality, you’re aiming properly.
It can take a fair amount of practice to instill the sense of correct alignment. When you feel you’ve got it, remove the training aids and see what happens. Odds are, your problem will be cured.