Get in Alignment
By Tom Ellis
Picture your parallel lines
To properly align yourself to your target, you should always see four parallel lines from your address position. The first two are relatively simple. These are found by envisioning a set of railroad tracks.
- The outer rail, the one furthest from your body should start with your clubface and extend through the ball to your target.
- The inner rail would be parallel to the outer rail and be set to your feet or stance.
- The third line, which should be parallel to your stance (inner rail), will be your hips.
- And, the fourth line will be your upper body or shoulder line. This line will be parallel to your hips as well as to your stance (inner rail).
All lines, with the exception of the outer rail, should be leading left of your target. The only line that should be going to your intended target is the outer rail, the line that starts at your clubface and extends through the ball.
The opposite would be true for a left-handed player. I see too many golfers setting their bodies up to their target. In other words, they're setting their feet or stance line, hips, and shoulders to their intended target. When they do this, they then set their target line (outer rail) well right of their intended target.
Set up for a putt
The best way to simplify and understand this on a much smaller scale is to set up for a three-foot putt. Once you take your address position over the ball, look and see where your target line (outer rail) is going. I bet it's going at the hole. Then, look at your stance (inner rail), hips and shoulders. They will be pointing left of the hole. Poor alignment is one of the major causes of off-line shots.
Working on your alignment will only help your game as you will notice more shots closer to your intended target. Golfers usually take their alignment and other basic fundamentals for granted. Whether you're a beginner or an advanced player, the basic fundamentals of the game should never go overlooked or unpracticed.