Golf Alignment 101: Everything Explained

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Once you’ve mastered certain golf swing fundamentals like a solid stance and grip, your subconscious often tells you when something is “off” with your swing. 

When I feel uncomfortable over the ball there’s usually only one thing I can blame: my alignment

Our breakdown will discuss why proper alignment is instrumental to a good golf swing and the step-by-step process we use to ensure our golf alignment is perfect for every shot!

Why is Alignment Crucial to Your Golf Swing? 

When considering your general golf swing setup the topic of alignment should go hand-in-hand. 

Golf alignment is a golfer’s way of describing how their body is positioned to hit the golf ball. 

Most professional golfers say they focus heavily on their setup and alignment, and the reason being that it eliminates excess variables in their golf swings.  

Your bodily alignment does a lot of the heavy lifting when aiming every shot

There are three main body parts to consider when perfecting your alignment: 

  1. Feet
  2. Hips
  3. Shoulders

These things are fairly difficult to check properly while on your own, so filming your swing or having a playing partner check these things for you can be incredibly helpful!

Feet Alignment

Besides proper clubface alignment, the first step to creating a solid stance with ideal alignment is ensuring your feet are parallel to your target line. 

For a right-handed golfer, this means your feet will create a straight line that’s parallel-left to your target line. 

We check that our feet are parallel to our target line by using an alignment stick at the driving range. 

Hips Alignment

I personally have the tendency of aligning my hips slightly “closed” to my target (meaning they point toward the right as a right-handed golfer). This setup flaw causes excess draw-spin and physically hurts my hips while playing a round!

Taking the same alignment stick we used to check our feet, place it horizontally across your waist and make sure it points parallel left to your target line or in the same direction as your feet line. 

Shoulders Alignment

After decades of experimenting and taking lessons we’ve learned where our shoulders point has a strong impact on the shape of our ball flight. 

Once again, take your alignment tool parallel across your shoulders and make sure it points where your feet and hips point. 

For the straightest golf shots, always make sure your Shoulders, Hips, and Feet align parallel with each other. 

Our Favorite Alignment & Setup Drill

When our alignment feels off, we love to practice the almighty “Head Against The Wall” drill. 

  • Step 1: Take your normal golf stance while facing a wall and position yourself so that your head naturally rests against the wall (without too much force).  
  • Step 2: From this position, look down and make sure your feet and hips are pointing in the same direction. 
  • Step 3: Complete your golf swing while keeping your head rested against the wall to train correct posture and perfect alignment simultaneously!

Summary of the Correct Golf Alignment

Achieving proper alignment in golf is vital for consistent performance. It simplifies your swing and minimizes errors. You can check alignment by using alignment sticks or by having a friend assist you. One effective practice is the “Head Against The Wall” drill, which promotes correct posture and alignment. In essence, precision in alignment is a fundamental element for reliable and successful golf shots. 

Golfers who take the time to practice their golf alignment will hit much more accurate shots right away. The hard part is realizing you’re not aligned in your golf swing, as that’s often the last thing someone checks!

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ScramblingTom is a writer for Golf Leap and has been playing golf competitively for the last 13 years. He loves to dive deep into different subjects within the game to further his knowledge and help others along the way. Currently, he is hovering around Scratch.

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