The Best Drill to Hit Straight Golf Shots

By Nick Heidelberger

Divot pattern on a driving range

Every golfer wants to hit the ball straighter, but hitting it straight with any sort of consistency is one of the most difficult aspects of golf. Here’s an easy drill from GOLFTEC’s Erik Wait that will train you to start your ball online and hit straighter shots.

The Cause of Offline Shots

Let’s face it, if there were only one cause of stray golf shots, it would be much simpler to solve. With that said, there’s no denying that fixing a poor transition into the downswing leads to much more consistency and straighter shots. 

Too many golfers ruin a quality backswing by turning their upper body too much to start the downswing, which moves the arms too far out. This move can actually cause slices and hooks, but unfortunately rarely leads to straight shots, and certainly doesn’t promote consistency.

Instead, an ideal downswing should begin with the arms and the butt of the club moving down toward the ground.

So, how do you train yourself to start the downswing properly? Try this easy drill, which requires only one alignment stick.

RELATED: How Golf Alignment Sticks Can Advance Your Skills

Alignment Stick Drill For Straighter Shots

How to set up this easy drill for straight shots

Nail this and you’ll notice an improvement in hitting your target line, resulting in straighter shots. To set up the drill, stick an alignment stick in the ground so it is:

  1. Two feet behind your ball
  2. Six inches outside of your ball
  3. Parallel to your shaft at address

Start by making slow swings with no ball, training your hands to keep the club inside the alignment stick through the downswing. If you’ve been starting your downswing with too much body turn, you’ll quickly feel the difference when you start lowering the arms and keeping the club on the proper plane.

Once you’re comfortable making half-speed practice swings with the alignment stick, build up to three-quarter and full swings.

Next, add a ball and begin hitting half, then three-quarter, then full shots with the alignment stick in the ground.

Straight Talk

When you can consistently hit the ball without hitting the stick, you’ll notice shots that start, and finish, much closer to your target line than before. Even after you have this move down consistently, keep this drill in your practice routine every week or two. Keeping your swing plane sharp is a great way to build consistency into your game all season long.

About the Author

Nick Heidelberger is the Editor of GolfLink and an active member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA). He covers all things golf, from the professional tours to rules, equipment, style, and golf history. In the years prior to joining GolfLink, he worked for the New England Section of the PGA of America. Nick has a degree in journalism from the University of Idaho and has been an avid golfer for more than 10 years.