Over 95% of All “Swing Flaws” are Traceable to Your Alignment

How many times have you hit the career shot only to see it fly in a direction you never anticipated? Chances are you probably blamed the errant shot on something in your swing. However, did you ever think of accepting the fact that your swing was probably great, it was your alignment that was poor?

Alignment is arguably one of the most important parts of your basic golf set-up. Over 95% of all “swing flaws” are traceable to a set-up position. Improperly aiming to your target can cause a good majority of those flaws. Simply stated, alignment is your ability to properly place your body in a position to allow the proper movement of the club through the ball. Without proper alignment, your body receives mixed signals from your brain, in relation to your body position and your intended target.

Modern day science has developed the global positioning system, or G.P.S. This system, based on the geometric principles of triangulation, calculates your position on earth no matter where you might be. Your brain “triangulates” your position on the golf course every time you attempt a golf shot, no matter where you are on the golf course. The three points the brain references are:

  1. You, in relation to the ball and your target;
  2. The ball, in relation to your body and the target;
  3. The target, in relation to the ball and your body.

Your eyesight and your ability to use your eyesight to see and calculate this triangle can greatly affect your body’s ability to swing the club to your target. Your brain receives this calculation, or envisioned image, as a photo. Your brain consistently uses this photo to determine how your body should move, or better yet, react to where you how you have placed your body in an “aim” position. You have already told your brain, “Hit the ball to the target.” If your brain calculates you are aimed 45 degrees right of your target, the brain will tell the body to compensate for where you have aimed your body. Unless you have super powers, it is difficult, at best, to hit a shot to a target consistently with out aiming properly.

Enough with the why, now for the how.

How do you aim properly? Let’s start with your eyes. You should stand behind your ball in a direct line to your target, allowing plenty of space between you and the ball to actually envision an imaginary line from the target through your ball to you. This line, or “target line” is longest side of the triangle. Most people stand too close to the ball or astride the ball, prohibiting them from properly seeing how they have aimed to their intended target. As you see this line, you should look for a target much closer to the ball, probably within 2-4 feet of the ball that is on your target line. It is much easier to aim to something much closer to you, then to something 100 or more yards away from you. As well, this shorter target is easier to continually reference as you address the golf ball. Now that you have found your short target, place the leading edge of the golf club in a position to be perpendicular to the target line. So many golfers improperly use the top of the club rather than the bottom of the club as an aim guide. Once the club is perpendicular, you can now place your feet into the shot. This should place your feet on a “body line” that is parallel to your target line. If you are right-handed, you will feel as if your shoulders are actually aimed left of your target or “parallel left” (parallel right for the left-handed golfer). This is a proper photo for your brain to see prior to swing the golf club.  If you have never experienced this picture before, you are sure to have aimed incorrectly.

It will take a while for your brain to see things differently. However, just changing your alignment to a proper position can make drastic improvements to your ball flight, as well as your club path, club head at impact, and posture.…

Using the Internet to Supplement Your Improvement Program is Well Worth Your Computer Time

The internet is fast becoming a creative tool to help golfers improve.  There are numerous websites, software providers, and individuals who have placed their mark on technology, offering numerous choices for you to track your stats, continue your lesson plans, or just getting answers to your questions.  When it comes to improving your golf game, the internet can be an inexpensive and affective ally in your quest to improve.

Words of caution before you start downloading “free” software or paying for services on the internet.  Beware of the product or person that wants more personal information than actual data of your game.  This is a sure sign you will be getting a lot of “spam” versus instruction, as well as being a potential portal for identity theft.  Insure that you have thoroughly investigated the program and provider to prevent any nightmares you could encounter.

Internet based improvement is designed to focus on follow-up, continuing the learning curve, and offering alternative communication means for a pupil and instructor who have distance between them.  Sending videos of drills, set-up instructions, swing thoughts, sharing of statistical reporting and data, and other improvement-based ideals is the optimal way of using the internet to continue your golf improvement plan.  You can also use the internet to simulcast a practice session or set-up a follow-up lesson.

To be effective and affordable, be willing to pay a little more to an individual instructor, academy, or school that includes the price of this type communication and follow-up within its prices structure.  Chances are the people you are dealing with invested their time and financial resources to not only make this type of instruction easy for you, but easy for their various users as well.  If the cost of such follow-up is extra, or a yearly subscription fee is necessary, be inquisitive as to extras you should expect for the extra funds.  Extra fees with this type of instruction can be compared to the car insurance you continually decline at the rental counter.  Unless you feel it absolutely necessary to pay the extra fee, don’t.

©2012 Scott K. Brown Photography, Inc.

Statistic programs range from simple spreadsheet supported offerings to sophisticated and expensive choices.  At the minimum, these programs should be easy to set-up and use, as well as provide a minimal of trending information about your game.  Knowing your trends over several rounds is valuable information for you to understand your game and great information to offer your instructor.  With this information, your instructor can create an improvement plan that focuses on your true weaknesses, not your perceived shortcomings.  The more bells and whistles within the software, the more costly the software.  There are companies that offer statistical tracking as part of an overall subscription to their site or services.  It will be up to you to decide if the extra products and services offered within these subscriptions are added benefits to you, or just unused frills.

A great way to get your questions answered as well as keep up with the latest industry trends is by joining an internet community.  “Chat Rooms” are great places to interact with other golfers around the world on various subjects such as equipment, instruction, professional tours, golf travel, and course reviews.  Most are cost free and have authorities on different issues moderating and administering the content.  You will be surprised with the information you will find within these site.  Golfers are fanatical about many subjects, including issues internet instruction methods.  Chances are if you are thinking about it, so are hundreds of others.  The biggest red flag to these sites are the golfers who claim to be experts.  They probably have enough information about certain issues to be dangerous.  As with any free advice, askers beware.