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Question
Posted by: Misaligned | 2005/07/27

Lining up incorrectly

My problem is that when I address the ball, in my mind I am going straight, yet everybody tells me that I am aiming in totally the wrong direction. Most times though I do end up in the direction where I want to be. Obviously I am losing power and distance by being incorrectly aligned. I have been to a pro, and on the driving range using a club or string to line me up is fine, but what do I do on the golf course. I can't put down a club to give me direction everytime I want to hit the ball. Does anyone have any tips for me, because as I say, in my mind I am aiming correctly (much to the annoyance of the people I play with).
Thanks

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Our expert says:
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Hi - alignment is very important

Your pre-shot alignment to the target involves a lot of feel. It can be one of the most difficult components of a good golf swing on a shot to shot basis.

Unless you can develop a routine for proper alignment, assuming you are trying to execute a straight shot, getting it right every time will be nothing more than chance.

When getting into position for the shot, you are forced to see the target basically out of one eye, looking to the left of the line, causing a distorted view. This makes lining up square to the target even more critical.

"The only way to ensure a proper aim is by aligning your body around the position of the clubface." What is meant by that is assuming the leading edge of the clubface is 90 degrees to the target, you must allow everything else to follow its lead.

Feet, knees and hips should be parallel to the target line while the shoulders should be slightly open ( just left of the target line ).

"Make sure that your head, although somewhat tilted to the right, allows your eyes to be parallel to the target line." If your sightline is not parallel to the intended flight path of the ball, your perception of the line will be distorted which usually causes the swing path of the club to be out of whack.

You'll often see the pros stand directly behind their ball before the next shot. This is often to choose a reference point such as a divot or faded piece of turf or whatever is recognizable in the line of the target within a few yards of the ball. This allows the player to set his alignment within his immediate sight line without too much turning of the head.

Alternately, I've seen this done by a few of my playing partners in practice.

Lay a club pointing straight from the ball to the target. Place a second club parallel to that one a few inches outside the ball. Then place a third club along the line of your toes, again parallel to the others.

Now align your clubface at right angle (90 degrees) to the target line created by the placed clubs. Then align your lower body parallel to the club closest to you. This will guarantee you are lined up square to the target line.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Nick du Plessis | 2005/08/30

Maybe you should give up playing golf, and rather try something like snooker. You will be able to align yourself much easier than in golf.
Some people just shouln't play golf, or any sports fot that matter.

Reply to Nick du Plessis
Posted by: GP | 2005/08/18

Hi,

The biggest problem to overcome with alignment is that most of the time you are aming at a target more than a hundred metres away.

You have to develop a pre-shot routine where you pick your target and then draw an imagenary line towards the ball. Pick a spot on this line that is about five metres away. Aiming at that spot is a lot easier than at the original target.

Ready, aim, fire...

Reply to GP

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