How to Erase a Bad Ballstriking Day
Tweak your setup to get the results you expect when you make your best swings
By Scott Sackett
Top 100 Teacher
You just shot 10 strokes above your index. To make matters worse, you putted well and hit the ball solidly from tee to green all afternoon. Chalk it up to a bad day, right? Wrong. Chalk it up to bad alignment. When your swing feels solid, but the ball doesn't behave, you can bet that you're setting up for failure.
Hit the practice range and build the alignment station pictured here. The station sets you up in the ideal address position every time, helping you to get the results you expect when you make your best swings.
How To Set It Up
Pick out a target and lay two clubs on the ground about two feet apart and parallel to each other so that the lane between them points at your target. Run a third club from the inside shaft through your stance, forming a capital T. Next, place a ball against the inside shaft opposite the grip end of the third, and three consecutive balls to the left of the first so that they sit edge to edge.
TO IMPROVE CLUBFACE AIM
Point the center of your clubface down the lane created by the two shafts (i.e., at the target). The face will probably look closed to you, but it's not.
TO IMPROVE STANCE WIDTH
Set both feet the same distance from the shaft that's lying perpendicular to your aiming clubs. You can increase or decrease your stance width to match the club you're swinging as long as the shaft on the ground stays in line with your zipper.
2 of 2Angus Murray
TO IMPROVE BODY AIM
Position your feet so that your toes point straight toward the inside shaft. Use the outside shaft to check that your shoulders are parallel to your toe line. Now you're correctly aligned parallel left of your target.
TO IMPROVE BALL POSITION
Place your practice ball opposite one of the four station balls. Use the right-most practice ball for wedge shots. Move to the next ball for your short irons, then the next for your long irons and woods. When teeing your driver, position your practice ball off the left-most station ball.
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