Director of Instruction
McCormick Ranch Golf Club
Most of my students don’t live the life of a touring professional. They work full time, have families, sports games for the kids and limited time to practice. I teach on a pubic range and am privileged to have a large sample size of data surrounding how the general golfing public practices each day. The whole goal of practice is to prepare ourselves for shooting the best possible score when we play, and in order to do that the time we do have to practice needs to be extremely specific.
The best, most possibly efficient way you can spend your practice time is to focus on target orientation. Most players make the assumption they are aligned correctly when in reality they aren’t. Then, as ball flight patterns change and evolve, alignment subconsciously shifts to counteract those ball flight changes in an attempt to send the ball to the target. This pattern of back and forth has a simple solution: Make sure you are aligned correct to the target each and every shot you hit in practice. This does much more than aide in increasing the chances your shot arrives at its destination. It trains your body and more importantly your eye, to see the target correctly.
Each time you walk into your stance with correct alignment, you further train the subconscious mind in seeing the target correctly. You can use a simple alignment stick to accomplish this. (see image)
Step 1) Select Target
Step 2) Place alignment stick and ball into hitting area
Step 3) Walk behind hitting station 8-12 paces
Step 4) Observe the ball line in relation to the target in the distance. The ball should sit directly in line with the target. As you hit balls, work directly backwards (on the yellow line in the image) with your divot pattern. This will insure perfect alignment each time.
Keep in mind, if your alignment has been off when you start this activity it could feel weird. Meaning, when you step into the shot and look at the target, the target might appear to seem well to the right or left of where your eye first looks.
I assure you, if you commit to this practice over time your alignment will improve and your practice time will become much more beneficial. Ultimately, your play will become better as a result.
Scott Sackett, GOLF Magazine Top 100 Teacher since 1999, just voted as one of Golf Digest’s Best Teacher in the State for the fifth year in a row. Also, Director of Instruction at Park Meadows CC in Park City, Utah and while in Scottsdale teaches at McCormick Ranch Golf Club. If you would like to reach Scott, contact him through his website at www.scottsackett.com.