It seems I’ve been on a roll lately with some of my students. I think 4 or 5 of the last 10 people I’ve worked with have had a similar problem. Instead of wanting help so they could hit the ball longer, straighter, higher, or something, they wanted to hit the ball where they were aimed.
That’s a fair request. Doesn’t seem like it should be that tough to fix. So I watch Bill hit a few shots and I’m pleased to see he has been working on what we did the last time we were together. He was hitting a short iron and balls were consistently landing within 4 or 5 yards of his target. For a 15 handicapper from 125 yards, I like what I’m seeing.
“Bill, what the heck are you doing?” He says, “This is what I was talking about. I’m hitting the ball all over the place.“ A few minutes ago he was making a nice swing, hitting consistent shots and now he’s making swings that look a lot like a first time player.
As it turns out, it’s not that Bill wasn’t happy with his shots landing within 4-5 yards of his target. It’s that one shot was 4-5 left and the next 4-5 right! He thinks he’s spraying it all over the place. Obviously Bill, the 15 handicapper, doesn’t understand how difficult this game is!!
Bill likes the way his swing feels, solid contact, good ball flight, a lot of consistency. But, he seems to feel he should hit the ball closer to the hole than he is, even though he isn’t exactly the club champion.
Bill is fairly typical, in that he feels a good feeling swing that produces good ball flight, should also go exactly where he wants it to go…regardless of where he is aimed!
This is what I tell my students. If you like the way it feels and flies, regardless of where it goes, you are moments from greatness. DO NOT change your swing in an effort to make the ball go where you want.
If you like the feel and flight but wonder “why is it going over there”, check you alignment. Put your feet down where you started and then take your club and put it up against your heels (your heels will give a more accurate representation of your alignment than your toes).
Odds are very good your club is pointed pretty close to where your ball went, or at least where it started. If the club is pointed at your target hold it across your hips and then your shoulders to see if you are lined up properly. Alignment can be tough to check by yourself, but it can be done. Before you go and change your swing make sure you are setup properly. If you need help with your alignment, see your PGA Professional.
Kim Anders is a PGA Professional residing in Mazatlan, Sinaloa Mexico. You can reach Kim via email at email@example.com.