Stance & Alignment is Key to Golf Swing

Many golfers possess better swings than they think and are capable of hitting better shots than they give themselves credit for. Unfortunately, though this may be true, there are lots of golfers who struggle to hit the ball at their target and play slices and hooks.

Many times when I see a golfer with a bad slice or hook the fix is much simpler than they think. There may be a swing fault to correct, but often the swing fault has developed from the player having poor alignment. Visualize for a minute a right handed player who has a bad slice. Where would they generally be aiming to avoid the big banana ball? They aim left. All this does for the player is cause them to address the ball with an open stance. Their shoulders, feet and club are all pointed left to compensate for the shot, which only produces a bigger slice. The further left they feel they have to aim to put the ball in play, the more open they stand and the more they slice the ball. This occurs because an open stance tends to produce an “outside to in” swing path which is cutting across the face of the golf ball and producing that dreaded slice spin.

The same holds true for a golfer who plays a hook. Quite often you can look at their stance and see that they tend to aim to the right of their target in order to play the hook. By aiming right, the golfers feet, shoulders and club are all in a closed position which usually tends to produce an “inside to out” swing path that imparts hook spin on the ball.

When you head to the practice range don’t be afraid to put a couple of golf clubs on the ground to aid with your alignment. Place one club parallel to your target a few inches back of where the ball is and the other parallel along the line of your feet. Think of this as setting up the railroad tracks and swing down the line of the tracks. It sounds simple and it is.

When on the golf course, a great tip to help with alignment is to pick an intermediate target between you and your desired location about two or three feet ahead of the ball. It could be a divot, a broken tee, a discoloration in the grass, anything that is on the same line that you want to hit your shot. Then make sure to line your clubface up to this spot and then step into your stance. This will help you to become more consistent with your alignment while training your eyes to know when you are actually standing square to your target.

If your are a constant hooker or slicer of the golf ball, check your alignment first. Proper alignment is critical to a good golf swing and is often overlooked as the main culprit behind a wide range of swing faults. A golfers stance and alignment must be sound in order to develop a good golf swing. Aim straight and hit straight!

Golfers often think that there is so much wrong with their swing and that they are in need of a complete overhaul to play good golf when actually most swing faults have simple explanations and are small fixes.

Jay Barrett
Head Professional
Devon Golf and CC
(780) 987-3569
Devon, Alberta

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