Better Golf Shots by Rosie Jones
Alignment on the Range and on the Course.
Alignment on the Range and on the Course.
One of the more important Basic Fundamentals of the Golf Game that most golfers battle from day to day is alignment. Most swing problems arise from misalignment that over time will create really bad habits in your golf swing.
Any player who thinks he is aligned with his/her target and truly is not, will create a swing path to try to swing down that intended line either coming over the shot or hanging back to achieve it.
One of the easiest ways to stay on top of your alignment would be to practice good set up techniques and routines that help your alignment stay more consistent.
Club Down on Practice Tee.
The Driving Range is a good place to practice your Alignment. Using a club or umbrella, place it on the ground just barely touching the toes so that the grip points down the toe line perpendicular to the target line. Make sure Ball line is on target by adjusting the toe line about 3- 4 yards left of target. (Right Hand Players) Use this as a guide to square up your feet, hips, and shoulders as you hit practice shots on the range. Your eyes will soon adjust to the feel of your body now square to your target.
Objects on Target Line
Another good way to check and reassure yourself of your alignment on the course is to use objects in front of the Ball on your target line. For example, on the Tee, pick your target down the fairway and bring that line up to your ball on the tee. Find something 2-3 feet in front of your ball on that line that you can use to help align your body to that target. I use broken tees, divots, anything that helps me with my eyes to align myself better giving me a better chance to make a good swing. You will be surprised how often you are not in alignment and how different your body will feel now that you are square.
You can eliminate some of those bad habits in your swing by paying a little attention to your alignment each week. Be sure to have a specific target in mind and try to align your body to that target on each shot. Better, and more consistent shots will be the result.
Good Luck and keep it in the short stuff!
Bad ol Bunker!
If you really want to be able to hit a great bunker shot with nice loft and spin, pay attention to your set up and posture. Many times golfers think in order to get the ball up quickly they have to have a steep decent in the sand behind the ball.
With this in mind we often set up with our hands too far forward and our weight too far on the back foot. This posture more often than not leads to the club to digging too deep into the sand bring up too much sand not spinning the ball, leaving the ball either in the bunker or just barely getting the ball out.
I like to set my hands back almost even or behind the ball. You may have to weaken your left hand for the grip to feel comfortable and to keep the club face square. Keep your upper body positioned forward (not tilting back) and to the ball, which is near your forward foot.
This ball position, grip and upper body posture promotes an easy hinge in your hands that gets the club up fast with out allowing the club to dig too deeply in the sand at impact. Always swing through to finish your swing to create a nice exploding bunker shot.
Hands Too Far Forward, Head Too Far Back! Better Position of Hands and Head!
From the Range to the Course
How many times have you heard that saying: If I could only take this swing from the Practice Range to the Golf Course? Now you can, but you have to let yourself play the course and not play your swing.
So many times we as players find something new and exciting in our swing that worked so well on the range, but somehow eludes us once we cross that invisible threshold on the way to the first tee. Where does that beautifully grooved swing with perfect timing and crisp impact go now that you are on the course and putting it to the test in front of your friends?
The trick is: it's still there, only now it's in practice mode, and not yet ready for playing mode. What worked on the range after making endless repetitions usually with out any obstacles or expectations is hard to copy while looking at bunkers, water and OB stakes.
So many times we take our new found swing and try too hard to manufacture it while still executing a perfect golf shot. Difference is the perfect golf shot doesn't take all the instruction that your newly molded golf swing requires.
Here's the lesson: Stick to your swing thoughts, but narrow it down and softly focus on just one key or at the most two.
Let your eyes and mind focus on the golf course and the targets that define your golf shot. Keep your attention more on the target and the desired ball flight and not on your constant need to tell yourself how to do it. Let your self play the course and not your swing.
Once you have had enough time on the range to groove the new swing thought, it will automatically find its way to the course. You just have to let it come and not force it.
Play yourself into your new swing on the course: This in itself will take time, and discipline, but will lead you toward those lower scores that have eluded you.