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Now let’s look at Fred Couples. He’s certainly one of my most favorite American players. He’s been a major player on the scene for years, plays such an elegant style of golf, used to be one of the biggest hitters back in the day and now obviously as he gets older and the younger guys come up, he still gets it out there and he’s still able compete at essentially the highest level. And, brilliant looking golf swing, really silky smooth and looks beautiful, but when we analyze his golf swing and break it down into a little bit more detail, we can actually start to see a few things that maybe we’ve got to be careful of copying.

Certainly copying his rhythm and his fluidity is a great part of his technique, but maybe not his alignment. He has a tendency to aim quite a long way down the left hand side. So Fred Couples would often stand open to the golf ball, and that for most people would result in a fade or a slice coming back left to right to the fairway. But actually Couples is the opposite way. He actually draws the golf ball from an open stance.

It’s quite a strange move, he brings the golf club a long way down from the inside behind him, hits very much in to out, past his right hip and really throws the club from the right hand side and draws the ball back in. But again, not something I would encourage you to do, not something I would encourage you to copy. So, let’s check that your alignment is okay and then make sure that if there’s a problem, we can correct that for you.

If we take the golf ball, I’m just going to turn around some facing from this angle, if we take the golf ball on the tee, or in a fixed position and have it outside there with a club and down here with a club, these two clubs should be parallel pointing down your target line, so then you’ve got a ball to target line here and a foot alignment golf club here. We want to make sure that everything’s nice and squared up.

Now for example in this position, Couples would be very open, he’d be pointing this way with his body, then his shoulders would be pointing left as well, we expect from most golfers, would hit along that line, their feet and their shoulders would dictate the line of a swing path. Fred Couples, quite opposite, reverses that line so his shoulders aren’t very open but then he drops the golf club aggressively from the inside, hits from in to out and explodes down the right hand side this way and then spins his hands to actually draw the golf ball back in.

Be very, very aware if you’re trying to do that. It’s a very strange move to get the shoulders and the feet aiming one way and the swing path going the opposite direction. So I think it’s well worth checking that you’re not aiming left to produce a slice shot, but actually you’ve got your feet and your shoulders really lined up dead square, your club lined up square as well and then try as much as you can to hit along that target line.

Now if you’ve aimed left for any length of time, when you’re aiming straight like this, it will feel strange. It won’t feel good when you look up at your target. You may even feel like you’re actually aiming right off target because you’ve aimed left for so long. It might also produce some balls that slice even further. But trust me, stick with good alignment, then let’s make sure we know what your actual, real natural golf swing looks like, because aiming left is purely a compensation for a fault.

So aim straight, work out what your natural swing looks like and then go and correct that fault as well, but don’t compensate by aiming less, it’s only a short-term solution. So try and avoid copying Fred Couples for his alignment, copy Fred Couples for his rhythm instead.