Alignment is the most important yet an overlooked fundamental of golf. Without a proper club & body alignment, even a perfect swing can be wasted.
In golf terminology, alignment refers to the angle of both your club and your feet aiming towards your target line. Correct alignment will have your club face pointed directly down the target line, with your feet placed parallel to your ball path. Poor alignment can make you hit a shot 50 Yards left or right of your target.
Although, golfers spend days working on their swing and not consider if they are aiming in the right direction, but by using alignment sticks during practice, one can improve their game by correctly aligning themselves to the target line; giving their four-ball a run for the money.
How to use Alignment Sticks?
Now that you have understood alignment and why it is important, it's time to understand how can you use Alignment Sticks to your advantage and increasing accuracy. You can a buy a pair of alignment sticks from here and start the drills mentioned below.
The most common way to use alignment sticks is by placing them parallel on the ground aiming towards your target line– one next to your ball, and the other along your toe line. By simply doing this you will be able to get the feel of what your proper alignment should be.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="480"] Credit: INTHEHOLEGOLF.COM[/caption]
The Basic Drill
The following steps outline the basic drill to follow to effectively use your alignment sticks.
Pick out a target in the range which is approximately as far as you can hit a 7 Iron.
Place a golf ball on the ground and set one alignment stick next to the ball aiming in the direction of your target. Just place the stick giving you enough room to cleanly hit the ball without touching the stick.
Place the second stick parallel to the first one, so you can set up your toes according to it. You will need to stand in the address position to judge how far would you need to place the alignment stick.
With the setup complete, stand behind the ball to judge if the sticks are properly aligned towards the target. Then walk up to the shot, take your stance and place the club behind the ball. Use the alignment sticks to properly line yourself up and don't be tempted to correct your aim once your are above the ball. Just hit a shot along the guided path.
Watch the result and make corrections to your target line accordingly.
One important thing to note is that, over some time your swing may have naturally compensated for the lack of proper alignment and you might have developed a draw or a fade swing. So aiming more directly at the target might take some time to get used to, but trust us, this is the right step towards an improved and more consistent game.
Here we have another advacned training drill by Ted Norby; that you can follow by using your alignment sticks
Where to buy Alignment Sticks from?
Here is a list of trusted golf shops you can buy the golf alignment sticks