All of golf’s greats have one essential skill in common. Tiger, Jack, Rory… No matter how good or bad any given round is going, they all have a proper golf alignment routine that never changes regardless of the day’s score.
Have you noticed? Next time you put your feet up on the weekend to catch a round on TV, or scroll through golf highlights on your phone, look for it. Whether it’s lining up a putt or teeing off on the first hole.
One routine. Every time they approach the ball.
And here’s why: This routine is vital to their success.
The Gift of a Great Routine
Routines are a part of our everyday lives. They help shape the heartbeat of our days.
Wake up, shower, breakfast, coffee, LOTS of coffee! The patterns of your day mold your life into what it is.
Golf is no different. Without structure in our personal lives, we float aimlessly through time without meeting goals or realizing our purpose.
Without a consistent pattern and structure, we can’t have correct alignment. And without correct alignment, it’s anybody’s guess as to where your shot is going to go!?
Alignment is defined as: Arrangement in a straight line, in correct or appropriate relative positions. A position of agreement or alliance.
The magic of proper golf alignment rests in the words: position of agreement or alliance.
In a literal sense, this tells us we need… to get parts of our body in agreement with other parts of our body, including our mind.
Enlightening, right? This will help get your focus where it needs to be. One might say “it will help align you” with what the main goal is.
Hitting straight golf shots!
Reasons For Proper Golf Alignment
#1. Lower Score.
Proper golf alignment is a weapon of high-score destruction. The same way a team stacked with players aligned to the common goal can achieve great success, a golfer whose body, mind, and club are aligned and in sync will also achieve great things.
#2. Lower Score.
The goal of proper golf alignment is consistent golf shots. Plain and simple. Consistency is how olympiads win medals. It’s how parents raise great kids. And it’s the name of the game to taking shots off that final tally.
There is only one reason to perfect proper golf alignment. It’s the only reason we learn anything about golf. To lower the score.
Proper Golf Alignment Trap (Not the kind made of sand.)
Have you ever noticed what a finicky bunch of characters golfers are?
Talking themselves out of this and that.
A proper golf alignment routine gives you back all that wasted mental energy.
The notion that you have to go through a mental checklist 1000 steps long before swinging a club is bunk. Bunk, but not much different than a bunker – as it’s a trap too!
Golf is more simple than how we make it.
Alright, let’s break this proper golf alignment routine up into a handful of chewable bites so we can gobble it up quickly and get back on the course.
5 Steps to Proper Alignment
Step one: Establish your target.
Stand behind your ball and pick out a target, such as a spot on the green or the flag. Draw an imaginary line from that target all the way back to your ball. Now, pick a spot no more than 3 inches in front of your ball.
THAT spot is your new target.
Picking out your target line is the most critical steps in this whole process.
Aiming at the wrong spot results in hazards.
Step Two: Square your club face with target.
Square your clubface with the new target you just created a couple of inches in front of your ball. The best way I found to square the clubface is to place it directly behind the ball making sure it aimed directly at the aim spot 3 inches in front of you.
Step Three: Align your feet
Next: Align your feet parallel left if you’re a right handed golfer and parallel right if you’re left-handed golfer.
Start with both of your feet together. Your front, or lead foot, should be aligned with or just a bit in front of the ball. Drop your back or trail foot (other foot) back to shoulder-width apart. This is a normal, balanced stance for most clubs. If you’re using a driver you may want a little wider stance. Same with your fairway woods.
As you club down (3,4,5,6,7,8, 9 irons, and wedges) you will move the ball back in your stance. See shorter clubs, shorter travel. You want to position your body to hit the ball as your club is just coming down on the ball.
Ball too far forward will cause you to hit the ball on your upswing. Resulting in a high ball flight or worse TOPPING the ball. Too far back will cause your club to be buried in the grass!
What does parallel left or right of your target line mean?
Imagine railroad tracks.
Railroad tracks follow each other but never cross. One side of the tracks is your target, the other side is your feet.
This is where I see golfers make the biggest mistake. They have been hitting a slice for years, so they mistakenly think they should aim left with their body so that when they slice the ball it ends up in the fairway… hopefully.
This thought process will actually cause a slice more times than not. This person is aligning his mind and body to produce a bad shot, ON PURPOSE. Inevitably resulting in, you guessed it, another bad shot.
You want to intentionally line up the right way every time, without fail.
Tip: It’s a good idea to use alignment sticks like this on the practice range. These sticks make a fantastic physical representation of the railroad tracks mentioned above and help train your brain for accuracy.
Step Four: Shoulders Next
Shoulders are part of proper golf alignment and an important part of a proper golf swing. Your lead shoulder needs to be slightly higher than your trailing shoulder. Mainly because your non-dominant arm is an extension of the golf club and you’re bringing your dominant hand over to the golf club. Therefore, it’s naturally going to create a little lean.
Shoulder alignment will help with the rotation in your swing. Not having your shoulders in proper golf alignment will cause issues with your swing plane. This step is fairly natural to most. Don’t spend too much time on it.
Step Five: Posture
Posture equates to getting balance in your feet. Your weight should be more in the front to center of your feet. Leaning back on your heels will yield poor results.
Proper Alignment Every Time
These five steps can seem like no-brainers if you’ve been golfing a while, but they are daunting to someone just picking up clubs. And most of us everyday golfers who think they’re no-brainers would be wise to revisit all the no-brainers we think we no-brain so well!
Finally, remember that although the golf-o-sphere is crowded with lessons or guides promising miraculous results with the latest and greatest device, or step after step after step; here at Parvelous, my goal is to keep it simple to make it doable.
Easy to follow instructions, real result. And all without carrying a bunch of random crap to the golf course.
Let’s golf! And remember to have a Parvelous round.
I like simple instructions, Thanks. Life is complicated enough