Aim is one of the most overlooked fundamentals in golf for amateurs. Amateurs almost always go straight to “fixing their swing” before even thinking about looking at their aim and alignment. Picture this, you are a sniper where you must hit the bullseye, you have a rifle with a telescopic sight attached to it which requires the telescopic sight and rifle’s barrel to be perfectly aligned. If the telescopic sight is pointed slightly right of the barrel, no matter how straight the bullet travels, it will never hit the bullseye. In golf, your target line is your telescopic sight, while your body is the barrel. You are judged by how well you can align the two together. Studies show if you were to aim at a target one-hundred and fifty yards away and are aimed only four degrees left or right, you would miss your target by as much as thirty-two feet! That’s insane, that takes you from having a close birdie putt to now having to lag a putt close to make par and hope you don’t three putt. This is all before even combining wind, miss hits and other factors.
There are many misses a person can have just because they were not aimed properly. Those misses include hook, slice, block, pull, top, etc. I have had many lessons where the student thinks they have an over-the-top swing when they are just aimed too far right of their target, forcing them to swing over the top to get their clubface to face their target at impact.
When you set up, your clubface should be lined up to the target and your feet, knees, hips, and shoulders should be parallel to your target line.
When aiming, pick an intermediate target several feet in front of the golf ball as if you were bowling and choosing a spot to bowl over. It is much easier to aim at a target a few feet in front of you, rather than one 100 yards away.
The Drill: Place a pool noodle over an alignment stick 5-6 feet in front of the golf ball in line with your target. The goal is to hit the pool noodle. You can start off with small swings and work your way to full swings. This drill will give you immediate feedback as to rather or not you are aimed properly.
Kirsten Pike is the lead Teaching Professional at Las Colinas Country Club. To improve your scores follow her on Instagram at kirstenpike_golfinstruction and visit kpikegolf.wixsite.com