Alignment: A Key to Success

One of the key pre swing fundamentals is alignment. Preparing your body for a swing includes aiming and getting your body parallel left of your intended target line. I see a common fault of an outside-in swing path with an open club face which causes a big slice from many of my new players.

As we investigate the cause of the problem, I usually see the student setting up to the ball with their feet aiming well off to the right of the target. Their shoulders might be parallel to the target line or left. They pull across the ball causing a swing path, which is commonly called “over the top” or swinging from the right to the left (outside-in). If their club face is open, this swing path and face angle causes a large left to right slice. If their clubface is square, this swing path and face angle causes a big pull dead left.

There are two completely different ball flights but similar swing paths. Usually the student thinks they are doing two completely different swings! In actuality the students are swinging the club on the same path but at impact the club face angles are completely opposite. This problem can be solved by improving their alignment in the set up position by getting square to your target line and changing their
swing path.

1. First set up to the ball and place a club on the ground which is parallel to the target line in your practice time. Be sure to set up with your feet, hips and shoulders parallel to the club on the target line. By placing a club on the ground gives you a very good visual to make sure you are in the right position.

2. Feel as though you are swinging the club out to the right of the target line. Use your right hand to push out to the right in a drill! This will help you establish an inside out swing path. With a square club face you will be seeing the ball flight start slightly to the right with the ball moving slightly to the left and straight down toward your target.

3. You will feel like you are swinging out instead of feeling like you are pulling the ball down the line.

Remember, on the range place a club pointed at a target while you warm up and practice. Square your body, feet, hips, shoulders to that target line. Feel as though you are swinging to the right of the target. You will improve your alignment, swing path, ball flight; hit much more solid shots which give you the opportunity to lower your scores.

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