|Golf Article - Bad Alignment
"Marc, often times when I hit the golf
ball, I jump back and my left foot isn't in the same place as when I started my
Matt Ercolano Belmar, New Jersey
Matt, I call that the "step back swing". I see
this "step back" with golfers that have bad alignment (aim). Most golfers align
themselves to far to the right (for right handers) of the target. This happens
because they are under the impression that their bodies need to be pointed
directly to the target. Have you ever seen a golfer set up to the golf ball and
lay the shaft of the club against their thighs, hips or feet to see where they
are aimed? The shaft of the club is often pointed directly at the target. This
is bad!! If your body is pointed to the target your club when put behind the
ball, will be pointed to the right of the target. This causes 1 of 2-things to
happen in your swing:
#1 - You make a good swing and hit the ball
straight to the right. The golfer considers this a bad shot because it is far
to the right of the target; it is actually a good swing! The ball went where
you were aimed. Whenever the ball ends up where you were aimed to, you've made
a great golf swing. But not realizing that you were actually aimed that far to
the right of the target; the golfer considers this to be an errant golf shot.
If this happens while I am giving a lesson, I ask my student if he/she knows
why the ball went to the right. The most common answer I receive is "I didn't
finish my swing". Well actually the golfer did finish the swing, it just
doesn't seem that way because the aim was off too much to the right. They could
not finish their swing facing the target because of that fact.
#2 - Is because you don't want to hit the ball
to the right again, so you forcefully try to turn your body to the left. When
this happens your weight gets stuck on your right foot as you swing towards the
ball. This happens because in order for you to turn to the left as much as you
need to during your swing, you have to take all of your weight off your left
foot. It would be impossible to turn that much with any weight being placed on
your left foot. With no weight remaining on the left foot, the left foot is
forced to move behind the golfer to catch the balance.
The "step back" can cause incredible
inconsistency in your golf swing. For example: I've seen golfers hit great golf
shots with the "step back". I have even seen one golfer play a stretch of 5
holes in one under par with this motion. Then the next 8 holes were played in
21 over par, causing extreme frustration and a lot of outbursts of "What
happened to my swing?"
Now, how can you correct the "step back". Start
by practicing better aim by not looking at the target when you set up. Look
about 5 yards to the left of the target instead. That should help you not aim
too much to the right. That is a very simple, but effective method to correct
alignment. Then, hit golf balls by placing the right heel in the air using your
right toe just for balance. All your weight will be on your left foot. This
practice drill works because if all your weight is on your left foot it should
take a way your urge to "step back".
Try both these practice drills for one week. If
you stick with them you will see the "step back" eliminated from your swing.
Do you have the desire to improve your golf
Marc Solomon, PGA, is the Director of The Hampton Golf
School at The Golf Club at North Hampton in Amelia Island, Florida
www.Golfmadesimple.com. He has been named as a
Top 10 Instructor in America under 40 and is regarded as the
Top Instructor in North Florida. The Hampton Golf School provides
golf instruction that is more beneficial than your ordinary golf lesson. If you
have the desire to improve, checkout his web site at www.Golfmadesimple.com.