One of the most important and frequently overlooked swing fundamentals in golf is the set up position, in particular, a golfer's alignment to the target. It may be a surprise to hear that most golfers, approximately 70 percent, do not set up and aim where they wish to hit the golf ball. If this is the case, it becomes very difficult to consistently hit the golf ball on the correct line as there will be many compensations that have to be made to do so.
This exercise uses two tour sticks to help practice setting up and aiming correctly to the intended target. The tour sticks should be placed parallel to each other, the first pointing directly at the target. This stick should be placed just outside of where the golf ball will be hit, to help to show the direction that the club face needs to aim, and the path that the club head needs to travel to the target. The second stick is positioned near to the feet, parallel to the first stick, to help display the line that the body, the feet, knees, hips and shoulders should ideally aim down, to be able to hit a straight shot to the target.
To clearer understand where the body should aim for a straight shot, standing behind the two tour sticks will see one pointing directly at the target, and one pointing parallel to the first stick and slightly left of the target. This is for right handed golfers and is vice versa for left handed golfers. The two sticks should look like railway lines.
For right handed golfers, the club head would swing around the body and strike the ball down the right rail, on a line straight to the target, but to achieve this the body line needs to be set up on the left rail, parallel to the target.
Using these two sticks when setting up to the ball, check that the body line is aligned with the stick closest to the feet by holding the golf club across the line of the shoulders, then the hips and then the knees to make sure that they all match up with the stick on the floor. Once the body is positioned correctly, place the club behind the ball, making sure that the club face is positioned at 90 degrees, right angles, to the tour stick next to the golf ball.
This is now the perfect alignment to hit a golf ball consistently at the target. Using an exercise like this to practice not only perfects the set up but also gives the golfer feedback on the quality of his practice. If the golfer is in the correct set up position, but the ball is not travelling on line to the target, then we know that there must be a problem to address in the swing.