Ready, Fire, Aim!

I love the way my mentor taught me to teach…he drilled it in to me that a person can only miss hit a ball 3 different ways. Too Shallow, (usually in to out) Too Steep, (usually out to in) and a missed radius. Everything in golf can be explained looking at the swing from this simple principle.

A golfer will tend to aim so that their miss finds their target, Jack Nicklaus aimed a bit left, Gary Player aimed a bit right. They did “ok” without being perfectly aligned to their target with the feet, knees, hips, shoulders, etc. etc. In fact Nicklaus wrote in his book that a straight ball is a happy accident so don’t aim where that might get you in trouble but aim so that your ball will work towards your target.
The point I want to make is that if your ball curves…you better not aim at the target, however, after awhile if a slicer continues to aim farther and farther left then their slice will get worse to the point of becoming terminally steep. (Can no longer hit a driver due to the steep nature of the bottom of the swing and loss of power with all clubs) Same for a hooker, the further and further they aim right, the worse their hook has to get until they become terminally shallow. (Can no longer get a ball off the ground due to shallow bottom of swing)

I recommend this alignment drill…”The Target Line Shaft Drill”… An easy drill to get both alignment and swing plane in line enough to play to YOUR best. Stick an alignment rod in the ground about 10 feet in front of you. Aim right at it, (here it is ok with me if you use another alignment rod on the ground to insure you are aiming right at it, although, 10 feet away is pretty easy to aim at) then alternate hitting slices and hooks around the rod. A right handed player would be looking for their slices to start left of the rod then fall right and looking for their hooks to start right of the rod and fall left. One is usually substantially easier than the other…(you’ve just discovered your swing DNA) Once you have the ball turning the correct way, turn you slice into a baby fade and the hook into a soft draw. Your aim will improve because you will be hitting the ball closer to your aim line.

We see a lot of the best players in the world with what appears to be perfect posture and alignment…thank God for players like Mathew Wolf, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson that show us that you really don’t have to aim perfectly at your target but you do need to know where your ball is going.

Lastly, once you know where your ball is going and therefore where to aim, its time to implement a simple pre-shot routine that insures that you are aiming where you think. You can do that in 5 easy steps;

1. stand with the ball directly between you and your target (keeping in mind your target line may not be at your target)
2. draw a line with your club and or eyes from the target to your ball.
3. find a spot on the ground within 12″ that you can see clearly
4. without taking your eyes of your spot, walk up and aim the club face at the spot
5. place your feet perpendicular to the club face

One last look at your target and Fire!