Video Series

Video Transcript

Now it sounds quite obvious that golf is a target oriented game. We take a ball, we aim for a target, and we try and hit it as close to that target. Now in any other target game, be it rifle shooting or archery or anything like that, aiming is really important, and likewise in golf, we have to aim in the right position. So let’s consider what we need to aim. When you turn the club face, we’ll talk about that more later.

Now we’re going to talk about body alignment. Now body alignment, a lot of people think about getting their feet right. Aiming the feet in the right direction sounds quite obvious. We want to point the feet at our target. Well, to be really precise, we want to aim our feet that distance to the side of the target, because the ball needs to aim at the target, so my feet would aim 2, 2 and a half feet left of my target. Now, if that’s 300 yards away, it’s not a big deal. But if it was a hole that was just here, and I was putting, I clearly wouldn’t point my feet at the target, but point my feet parallel to the target line.

So I have sort of almost 2 train tracks, my ball is on one train track, my body is on the other train track. So once I've got my feet in the right direction, and it’s quite important to check that, easiest way is lay a club down across your toes, stand back, and have a look at it. So, standing down here, I can see my target line is as I suggested it would be, straight at the target, which is good. It’s quite important that I see a lot of golfers, they stand there, they drop the club down, and they don’t move. They stand right on top and go, “Yeah that looks okay.” That’s very difficult to check, it’s almost impossible to see here whether that is correct or not. So, get off the mat, get up behind the golf ball, and have a look down your target.

The next thing to consider with your alignment is your body alignment. And possibly as, if not more, important than your feet, is your shoulder alignment. Now it’s important to get your shoulder alignment right, because that will have a massive influence on your swing path, which is the direction the club will travel in to the back of the golf ball. So if I’ve got my feet pointing in the right direction, I now need to get my shoulders square, over my hips, my knees and my feet.

The easiest way to check your shoulder alignment, I feel, is to hold a golf club over the top of your shoulders here, tilt your golf position, and then look where the handle points. And if the handle points at my flag or just left of my flag, then I'm doing okay. If you got a twist in your body, you might start to see that there, when you’re looking down the shoulder alignment. It’s particularly noticeable and particularly relevant, when you take a driver.

Let me just explain why that is. If I take a pitching wedge, and I've got the ball in the center of my feet, and my body is nicely all lined up and stacked, it stands to reason my shoulders should be quite level, quite square at the target. As I take my grip, my right hand will slip lower than my left as a right handed golfer. So my right hand goes lower than my left, so my shoulders will tilt. My left shoulder will be up, my right shoulder will be down, that’s fine, my shoulders still point straight. But if I now consider how about changes if I was to take a driver, here with the driver, the ball position is forwards, just on the inside of my left foot. So my set up here would be right shoulder down, that’s fine.

Now watch what happens as I move this club forwards. There’s often a chance my shoulders would turn. Watch my shoulders, they turn. So if I have this, my hands are in the center of my body, turn my shoulders to get my hands near to my left side, my shoulders have opened. From this angle, the club is pointing down to the camera lens, but now I turn to face my ball at my front foot like a drive, my shoulders open up. That would often cause the swing path to open up. My swing would now appear to be out to in, producing a ball that flies from the left to right, if the club face is square to the target.

So if I have an open shoulder path, I can often cause myself a slice because of that. So it’s quite important, that as you go from ball position centrally with a pitching wedge, to a ball position forwards for your driver, that you’re careful your shoulders don’t open, but they tilt more, so I can have this position. Quite a big dip, between my right and left shoulder, my left shoulder is very high, my ball position is a long way forwards. But if I check my shoulder alignment there, crucially that still points straight at my target, parallel with my feet, perpendicular, oh sorry, parallel with the golf ball target line as well. So just be careful that your shoulder alignment should match your feet alignment right the way through the back, putting, chipping, driving and iron shots as well. And just making sure that when you switch to your driver and your ball position goes forward, don’t let your shoulders open up too much like this. And hopefully that will help you get more consistent and straighter golf shots, by getting good body alignment.