How to Align Properly

By Steve Silverman

Your grip, your address and your alignment are three of the basics of getting started when playing golf. Alignment is usually the easiest concept of the three, but once a golfer gets a little bit of experience, he starts to wonder about changing his angle to the green or the fairway because of a hook or a slice in his swing. That's when the trouble begins.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Step 1
Walk up to the tee box and find the green or the center of the fairway if the hole has a significant bend (known in golf as a dog leg). Find the spot you want to hit the ball to.
Step 2
Move up to the ball and get yourself in the hitting position. Your left shoulder should be directly aimed at the spot you would like to hit the ball to (if you're right handed).
Step 3
Check your feet. Your left foot and your left shoulder should be in alignment. Think of it this way: If a vertical line were drawn from the outside point of your left shoulder, it should touch the outside portion of your left foot.
Step 4
Stand so your feet are the same distance from the ball. Some golfers will have their front foot a bit closer to the ball because they think this will help them get the ball in the air as they hit the ball on the upswing. This will affect the way the ball leaves the club head and it will keep you from consistently hitting the ball straight.
Step 5
Keep your head just slightly behind the back of the ball. You want to be able to see the back of the ball when your club head makes contact. If you can see the back of the ball before you begin your swing, you should theoretically be able to see it when you swing. Keeping your eye on the ball as long as possible is one of the key elements to hitting it correctly.

Tips & Warnings

Align your left shoulder (if you're a right hander) to the green or the part of the fairway you would like to hit the ball.

About The Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.

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