Alignment


Traditional alignment theories for golf place the body parallel to a ball-target-line (the ball-target-line is an imaginary line that runs through the ball to the target). The body - including the heels, knees, hips, shoulders, forearms - are all parallel to this target-line. While this is all good advise and we certainly advocate its intent, it does not guarantee results...

There is a much easier way to align properly in golf that directly controls ball-flight. Unfortulately, it is vastly overlooked. Futhermore, most golfer's think they are aligning well, but fail in execution and understanding. Why?

Number one
Addressing the golf ball places your body lateral (left) of the target-line, and visa-versa for lefties. For starters, this dramatically distorts your perception. Consider aiming a pistol or a gun. It is fairly easy to aim a pistol or gun with your eye running down the barrel. It is much more difficult to aim that same pistol while holding it at arms length in front of you while shooting it lateral your body alignment. This is the equivalent of aligning in golf.

Number two
In addition to this distortion, you're not hitting the ball with your body. The hitting motion in the golf swing is done with the club. Since we are hitting the golf ball with the club, It is far more critical to align the hub or center of where the clubhead is swinging rather than the just the feet, knees, or rest of the body (the hub or center axis of the golf swing is about the center point of the chest cavity). The feet are the furthest distance away from this hub so they are the least influential. Your eyes are nearest this hub and thus most important. Without a doubt, the most influential piece of alignment is the eyes.

Sure, pro's keep their feet aligned parallel the target. They do this not because it is the most influential aligning tool. They do so because it is visibly unacceptable not to. In other words, It just looks bad to keep your feet aligned somewhere else... How many times have you hit shots that ended somewhere rather than where you intended. You may have even put a shaft on the ground after a misguided shot, just to find that your feet were aimed precisely at the target. Frustrating, right?

Unlike your feet, if your eye-line shifts during the swing motion, you are almost always guaranteed of swinging in that direction. Think of your eye-line as similar to the barrel of the gun. Where they are aimed at impact controls the flight of the ball, just like the barrel controls the flight of the bullet.

Try this Drill

Hold a shaft with your right hand about 6 inches away from your eyes. Keep the shaft running parallel to your eyes (see photo). Next, begin making swings. Aim the shaft in different directions keeping the eyes parallel to it. Notice how your swing is influenced into the same direction. Pay close attention to the eye-line position especially during the downswing. Soon, you should be able to hit shots in the same direction you are aimed, an obvious advantage in playing consistent golf.