These Simple Adjustments Will Improve Your Game
After a few missed fairway or shots that have traveled off the beaten path, golfers typically make alignment adjustments. With these adjustments or compensations the golfer intends to steer or guide the ball to the target. (The alignment of your feet and body in relation to your target-line). If you play like an insider, someone who understands and practices the fundamentals of a sound golf swing, you too will find yourself hitting those targets.
Chances are good that you’ve often felt like an outsider to the game of golf, as if you’re trying to play and comprehend the game from the outside-in—as in aiming your habitually slicing drives at or into a line of trees, or out over the rough, or sometimes even out-of-bounds, in hopes of curving or steering your spinning ball back into the fairway—or in regularly trying to swing or steer your slicing drives away from the direction in which you commonly hit them (away from the right if you play right-handed), by aligning your feet, hips, and shoulders well outside the optimal target-line. If you do these things, you are indeed playing the game from the outside-in—and in an exaggerated manner—because in trying to compensate for the effects of your habitual outside-in swing, you are actually exacerbating them.
By setting yourself up well outside the optimal target-line, you cause the club to be taken back further outside the correct swing-plane than it would otherwise be, and you increase (rather than decrease) the chances that the club will cut across the ball, and slice it. Your instinct is to swing your arms away from the slicing direction in which you normally hit the ball; but the logic of golf is counter-instinctual if, like most golfers, you are already swinging the club from the outside-in.
Your stance should be such that you align your feet and body as the logic and physics of good golf demand, by adjusting your stance as if you are going to hit the ball “straight down the middle,” as Bing Crosby once sang—or even by aligning yourself slightly to the right of your target line, as if you mean to draw the ball from right to left—and then by swinging from the inside-out, by taking the club back inside your target-line as you start your backswing, and by following the same inside-out plane on your downswing.
This type of practice, golfers of all skill sets can benefit from. These simple adjustments will automatically improve your results and it doesn’t hurt to have a trained and watchful eye to ensure you are properly aligned.
By: Bob Burns
PGA Master Professional
2007 WI Section PGA Teacher of the Year
Top 50 Instructor and inventor of the No Bananas driver