If you've ever taken a ride in a car with poor alignment, then you know how detrimental it can be. The steering wheel vibrates uncontrollably, the dash clatters, and the entire vehicle feels as if it's about to shake, rattle, and roll right into the nearest ditch.
Having poor club alignment can be just as harmful to a golfer's game. Failing to line up correctly when swinging golf clubs can cause sliced drives, shanked fairway shots, and missed short putts that are sure to send your scorecard flying into triple-digit territory.
Luckily, having poor golf alignment isn't as hard to fix as one might think. There are simple alignment aids available today that can drastically improve a golfer's game, simply by helping them line up their shots correctly. It's like taking your swing to the dealership for a tune-up, only a heck of a lot cheaper.
Golf Alignment Sticks
Forget gimmicky contraptions, harnesses, and pulley systems made for anxious golfers searching for answers to their swinging woes; golf alignment sticks are a simple and effective way to get your golf game back in line. Golf alignment sticks are types of alignment aids that usually consist of plastic or fiberglass. They are durable and lightweight tools designed to help your every swing, from your full-swing drive down to your soft-stroke putt.
How to Use Golf Alignment Sticks
Golf alignment sticks aren't just great for one swing problem; they're great for all of them. Let's see how using these tools for alignment can make rock-solid improvements to a full range of golf swings.
- Full-swing fixes. Most people that have trouble with a full swing have what is called an outside-to-inside swing path. This swing path can result in pulled shots or slices, and can be hard to diagnose without a proper swing reference aid. That's where golf alignment sticks come in. Using two of these can help players understand how important having an inside-to-outside swing path is.
First, set up a golf alignment stick in the ground and at a slight angle in front of you, with the tip rising about a club grip off the ground. Next, place a golf ball directly under the tip of the stick. With a second stick lined up with your toes to make sure you're parallel with the ball, you're ready to take a swing. If you swing outside-to-in, your club will hit the angled stick every time. This golf training aid is a simple way to help you adapt to the right full swing.
- Keeping the clubhead at bay. A common problem with players hitting irons and wedges is allowing the wrists to break, resulting in a clubhead that's in front of the hands at impact. To avoid this, try holding a golf alignment stick along with your golf grip, like a long extension of your golf club. When you practice your swing with your new extension, the alignment stick will hit your side if your wrists break, and will leave your lateral muscles alone if they don't.
- Improving your short game. If you're missing those easy putts, then you're simply not lining your shots up correctly. That's what makes golf alignment sticks such valuable putt-training tools. Try laying two of these rods parallel from one another just a few feet from the hole. They should act as a guide for your putter, leading your club along the proper path to the hole. This is a great drill for perfecting those pesky three-to-four footers that end up costing players numerous strokes on the greens.
Other Golf Alignment Aids
Golf alignment sticks are great practice tools, but they aren't the only training aids available. A breaking wrist is a bad habit that can be hard to correct in a few practice rounds, so if you're still having trouble with your clubhead beating your hands to the ball, consider a wrist trainer aid. Wrist trainer aids wrap around your problem wrist during your round, keeping your lead wrist flat while ensuring proper swing mechanics that will lead to better form.
Other great practice gear includes ball alignment tools, which allow players to mark both sides of a golf ball for practice purposes. Golfballs.com offers ID-Align golf balls, which help players line up their shots with a clear point of reference, right there on the ball.
There are a variety of golf training aids available today that can work wonders for any level of golfer's swing. Whether you're looking to hone your short-game skills for better chips and putts, or are tired of shanking your drives into the woods, these golf alignment aids can help ensure that when you're swinging for the greens, your shots don't end up in the ditch.