Aim and Alignment
We have all heard it. When getting information about aim and alignment, we often hear to “finish facing your target”. Don’t do it…you will likely hit a shot that will not end up on line!
Good instruction in this important pre-swing principle indicates the following:
- First, place your hands on the grip, keeping the clubface square.
- Then, aim the square clubface to the target on the line you established from behind the ball. The leading edge of your golf club will be at a right angle to the target line.
- Next, align your body (checking feet, thighs, hips, and shoulders) parallel and left of the target line, addressing the golf ball. If you feel as if you are really left of your target, you will be aligned correctly. Do not align your body to the target…aim your club at the target and align your body left of the target! (For left-handers – right of the target)
- Last, with confidence, trust your aim and alignment and make your best effort to create the shot. Even if you do not hit it perfectly, it will likely be on line, heading towards the intended target—a great miss!
Complete Your Swing
This is accurate information: Left is ‘Right’ (correct) at address. However, finishing with your belt buckle facing the target line is stopping short of the full completion of the swing circle. When you finish a good golf swing, your belt buckle will actually be facing LEFT of your target if you have completed the swing circle. The ball will track towards the target on the line you established in your pre-shot routine, but your body will not finish facing the target. If it does, it could result in a shot that leaks to the right of the intended target.
Think in terms of the two lines at address that might help you understand this critical piece of information relating to the completion of your golf swing motion. Imagine that the target line is the “ball target” and the parallel line you have lined up your body on is the “body target”. The two lines are parallel at address and remain so during the swing motion, but it is just the golf ball that (hopefully) ends up on the “ball target” line you established. Ideally, you will end up in a balanced finish position, facing the “body target” line you set at address, clearly left of the ball target line. The swing circle motion has been completed, allowing both the operator and the equipment to hit a shot “on line” to the target!
Understanding this very thing has been instrumental for improved aim, alignment, and result with my students. See if this perception change alters the directional reality of your golf shots!
And as my students and I often say, about these actions that improve your motion and game, “If you can, you MUST!” 🙂
LPGA Master Professional Deb Vangellow teaches at Riverbend Country Club in Houston, Texas. She is the 2012 LPGA National Teacher Of The Year, an LPGA and Golf Digest Woman’s “Top 50” Teacher, a Golf Digest and GOLF Magazine “Top Regional Teacher”, a US KIDS GOLF “Top 50 Master Kids Teacher” and a GRAA “Top 50 Growth Of The Game Professional”.
Deb serves as the President of the LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals Membership and is a longtime lead instructor in the LPGA Global Education Program. An educator/coach who offers wellness based developmental programming integrated into her “student centered” philosophy, Deb can be reached at 281-277-4653 or followed online at www.debvangellowgolf.com, and on Facebook and Twitter.