A Simple Idea to Find More Fairways
By Bradley Turner MBA, PGA
Keiser University College of Golf Director of Online Golf Instruction
A common problem for the majority of amateur golfers is the inability to aim themselves properly to the target. There are a few potential causes that exacerbate this problem. Ball flight tendencies are a major source of aiming error. If a player has a chronic slice with the driver, the only way to keep the ball in the fairway is to aim to the left (for right-handed golfers) and allow the ball to slice back into the short grass. The problem with this is that the player is now rewarding a less than desirable ball flight and may never be able to get out of the slicing tendency. For those that have chronic slice or hook ball flight patterns, the solution is working with a good golf coach to correct the problem.
The other common problem is the golfer’s inability to see themselves aiming to their intended target. Since we are standing to the side of the ball, this visual picture can get distorted from the player’s perspective. This is the issue with more experienced golfers, and even tour players need to be constantly checking their aim and the alignment of their body relative to their intended target. Your eyes don’t always tell you the truth about your aim! Here is a simple idea to get your eyes and mind “aligned” with regard to improving your ability to aim properly.
During Practice Session – Use the Stripe
I am a big believer in using alignment sticks during your practice session to help you aim to the target. These alignment sticks are very inexpensive and can be found at your local Home Depot. To use these properly, simply pick a target on the practice range and align both sticks parallel to each other, and aimed at your target. Keep about a foot of space between the two sticks to give you plenty of space to strike a golf ball. This is a common practice drill for the best players in the world, so it should work well for you, too! The one problem with this drill is the inability to use the alignment sticks while playing on the golf course.
To solve this problem, I suggest using the stripe on the practice ball to aim towards the target when you start hitting the driver. When hitting drivers in practice, you will always be teeing the ball up. Simply make sure the stripe is aimed somewhere out on the range. Get behind the ball to check the direction of the stripe. When you set up to hit the golf ball, you will know exactly where on the range you should be aiming. Often, the eyes do not see the same target when over the golf ball. With practice, you will get very good at seeing the correct aim lines on the practice range.
Take it to the Course – Use the Line
The next important step is taking your practice session to the golf course. Unlike the alignment sticks that are not allowed during play, you can use the stripe on the golf ball. Most golfers who put a line on the golf ball use it only to help during putting. I advocate using the line on the golf ball 18 times during a round of golf. This will build certainty and confidence, knowing that you are aiming directly towards the intended target. As with any skill, you will only get better over time with a disciplined practice routine and using the line on every tee shot struck. Implementing this simple idea will help you find more fairways the next time you play.
If you’d like to study with Bradley Turner and other PGA Master Professionals, contact the College of Golf today.