One of the more common mistakes I see from my students happens before the swing even starts: bad alignment. If you aren’t setup properly, you’re probably going to make it more difficult to hit shots straight and consistent. When I practice, I like to use a couple alignment rods on the ground to help me dial in the right setup.
First, I like to use an alignment rod to indicate the targetline, which you can see by the white rod I have laid in front of the ball. Second, I like to use my Golfer’s Toolbox (golferstoolbox.com) training aid to indicate my bodyline, which as you can see is also parallel with the targetline.
Now, where I see many amateurs make mistakes is they tend to make sure their feet are aligned properly, but they pay little attention to the rest of their body, specifically their shoulders. Squaring your shoulders to the targetline is, in my opinion, often more critical than your having proper alignment with your feet. In other words, if you align only your feet at the targetline and not your shoulders, you’ll probably hit a lot of shots off target. This alignment is sometimes okay if you want to hit a big sweeping hook or slice, but for most golfers it causes a lot of unnecessary problems during the swing.
So, make sure to align your shoulders parallel to the targetline, as you can see by the photos. Don’t just assume the feet are all you have to worry about! The next time you hit balls on the practice range, try what I’m doing here. Hold your club along your shoulders and check and see if it’s parallel to the bodyline rod or tool you have on the ground before every shot. You’ll soon see that better alignment will help you hit more consistent and straighter shots.