Align yourself Accurately for Every Golf Shot by Doing This&

By: Nick Bayley

The way you align yourself for every golf shot has a huge affect on whether each shot is going to be a success or not.

Now there is a sure-fire way of improving your alignment and consequently this improves your chances of success for each golf shot. To do this here is what you need to do.

Before each and every golf shot you play I suggest you pick an intermediate target and the importance of doing this should never, ever be underestimated. A while back I read an interesting story about the late, Payne Stewart and what happened just before he won the 1999 U.S. Open. This story relates to alignment so please read it carefully.

During our Tuesday practice round, Dr. Richard Coop, a sports psychologist who has worked with Payne for a number of years, walked with us. As he watched Payne play the course, he noticed something vital. "When are you picking your spots?" he asked.

They had been working on a way to improve Payne's set-up and alignment. Payne would pick a spot in front of the ball and align the club and his body to that spot. Apparently, he was neglecting this important part of his pre-shot routine.

"That's right, Coop," Payne shot back. "Always analyzing, aren't you?"

"I'm just asking," Dr. Coop replied. "When are you picking your spots?"

Payne said nothing -- but he went back to picking his spots. If you look at a tape of Payne's win, you'll see him doing this before each shot. It was a point well taken.

So to improve your lining up I suggest you pick intermediate targets before every shot as well. Make this a part of your pre-shot routine.

To do this, simply stand behind your ball and imagine a line from the ball to your target. Then along this line pick out an easily identifiable object about 2-3 feet in front of your ball. And this identifiable object can be anything that you can easily identify, like a divot, a leaf, a dark colored piece of grass, anything that can be easily identified and used.

Then when youre setting up to your ball use this identifiable object in front of your ball to line up your clubface and then line your body up with the clubface. After you've made this a habit you'll find that you are more consistent from one game to the next, and that's got to help your enjoyment. Try it, it works, as the late great Payne Stewart showed in his 1999 U.S. Open win.

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