Alignment is one of the most important and simultaneously under practiced of golf’s fundamentals.
Without a correct alignment, left handed golfers are relying on swing corrections and luck to find their target. Think of it this way, like all target driven sports, a correct aim will greatly increase a player’s chances of finding their mark. Imagine a marksman picking their target and only too loosely aiming in its general direction, you’d think them mad. But this is a common sight across the world in golf; players loosely aiming in the general direction of the target.
Correct alignment is important because it allows a player to swing freely along the target line without making any adjustments in their swing to compensate for poor aim. Many swing faults can be traced back to bad alignment so it’s vital left handed golfers take the necessary time to practice and appropriate time to aim on the course. To make sure your aim is correct, follow this routine and practice it at the range.
- Start from behind the ball and pick out your target (such as the flag or part of the fairway where you want the ball to land).
- Trace a line from the target back to the ball. This line is known as the ball-to-target line and is what the club face aims at.
- Pick out something on the ground just in front of the ball which sits on the ball-to-target line such as a mark on the grass or point on the range mat.
- Move into a set up position and aim the club face at the near target sitting on the ball-to-target line.
- After the club face has been correctly aimed, the toes, knees, hips and shoulders should be set at right angles to the ball-to-target line.
- If everything is completed correctly, the golfer will be aligned correctly to their target.
The only thing which becomes confusing about alignment is that although the club face aims down the ball-to-target line and therefore the target, the body aims parallel and to the right. The easiest mental image to use is that of train track. The outer rail runs in a straight line to the target with the feet standing on the inner rail.
Many golfers fall into the trap of aiming the club and body towards the target. This would cause the alignment to ‘derail’ crossing the tracks and causing swing problems. Golfers must remember the body sits parallel and right of the target line and doesn’t aim towards the target.
By using the above routine and correctly aligning the body left handed golfers can begin to hit more consistent shots.