Golf Alignment Tip from David Leadbetter
In his book, The Golf Swing, David Leadbetter discusses the importance of alignment on page 34. He says, “Generally, it is true to say too, that the worse one is swinging then the worse one’s alignment is. Alignment, as with the ball position, very often tends to compensate for the way in which the club is being swung. For example, a player swinging too much from in-to-out instinctively places the ball back in-stance to accommodate his or her swing path--one fault leads to another.”
One method of remedying poor golf swing alignment is to place gold clubs on the ground during a practice setup in order to help the golfer align with the target. Leadbetter details how to place clubs on the ground on page 36. He writes, ”Lay a club on the ground pointing straight out from the ball to the target. Place another on the far side of the ball, parallel to the first. Then lay a third club along the line of your toes, again parallel to the others. That way, when the middle club is removed, there is no doubt that the remaining two are aligned parallel to your ball-target line. Now simply place your clubface at right angles to the target line. Align your lower body parallel to the club closest to you. No matter what your eyes say, trust it--you are lined up square.”
Simple stuff, right? Next time you're out on at the driving range, be sure to give Leadbetter's alignment suggestion a try. You might be amazed at the results you have. This swing alignment is actually so well proven that there is a multitude of "alignment rods" out there in the marketplace now. If you feel too silly laying down your golf clubs, then pick up a set of these swing alignment sticks.
Judy Rankin Weighs in on Swing Alignment Issues
In A Woman's Guide to Better Golf, Judy Rankin also discusses the problems golfers have with alignment. On page 33 she writes, ”One of the most common mistakes made in golf is aiming to the right of the target. Our eyes are anywhere from six inches to a foot behind the ball, and it’s a natural tendency. Ninety percent of all who aim poorly, aim to the right. Aiming too far right encourages everything bad in a golf swing. It makes us pull the ball or come over the top--Swinging down and across the ball rather than through it. It causes slices. The better player who sets up a little bit to the right can draw the ball back into play. But the poorer player invariably tries to pull the ball back to the target.” She continues on page 35, “The position of your feet and shoulders at address will generally dictate your shot shape. In a nice square address position, your shoulders are ever so slightly open to the intended target line, simply because your left hand is higher on the club than your right. The tendency will be in your hands to return the club head along the target line through impact. It’s best to align yourself so that your feet, legs, and hips are all pointing in the same direction.”
A Dynamic Golf Teaching Duo Provides Swing Alignment Insight
The Game for a Lifetime, by Harvey Penick and Bud Shrake has many golf lessons and stories. On page 125 the authors discuss alignment. They write, “With all the possible faults a golfer could have, Harvey Penick believed that aiming to the right was one of the three most common faults among golfers. Not only do mid-and high-handicappers aim right of their target, but so do many lower handicap players as well. Although usually thought to be due to an inside-to-outside swing path, an open clubface or weak grip, most often the root cause is the player’s alignment.
"To properly line up a shot, Harvey suggests you stand a few paces behind the ball and imagine a line drawn from you, through the ball and ending at your target. Then approach your ball and place your clubhead behind the ball so that it rests naturally on the ground. Prior to taking your stance, pick out a distinct target and focus only on that target as you take your stance.
"The clubface should be perpendicular to the target line, and should not be closed nor open. Place yourself in the address position with your feet aligned so that the tips of your toes form an imaginary line which runs parallel to your target line and continues to a point just left of the target.”
As stated above, alignment is very difficult with many golfers lining up and hitting too far to the right of the target. However, with focus and persistence, you too can get the same swing alignment the pros have.