My Golf Instructor

Alignment: Dial In On Your Target
How To Aim Yourself Properly

Aim yourself properly to eliminate issuesAlign your Feet and Body Properly

Alignment is every golf teacher's meal ticket. It may truly be the most common error that keeps us in business. One can have the world's most perfect golf swing, but if they are mis-aligned the swing will surely start to break down. More often than you would believe, a student will come to the lesson tee complaining of pushing or pulling their shots only to find out within the first 5 minutes that they're aimed exactly where their ball was going. What's even more common though, is the golfer who had a great swing, but do to poor alignment has gotten into some "not so ideal" positions. The more athletic the player the more likely this is to happen. A person with strong athleticism and coordination will subconsciously do what they can to make the ball go to their target. If they happen to be lined up 10 yards to the right of their target, but are unaware that they are, they will start coming over the top of their swing plane to pull the ball back on-line.

Rarely will you go to a tour event and see professionals hitting on the range without alignment sticks on the ground. Tour players are as anal and picky about their alignment as the Soup Nazi was about ordering procedure. I myself can probably count the number of times I have hit balls at the driving range without alignment sticks on one hand. When competing, you learn early on how easily alignment can change from one day to the next. What most don't realize however is how their swing will start to change right along with it. Swing plane, path, angle of attack and weight transfer are some of the factors that we see change with poor alignment.

Practice Proper Alignment and Build Good Habits

If you are consistent with practicing alignment and establish good practice habits with alignment sticks on the ground you will surely see a quick improvement with consistency. A common question from players is: "How do I replicate what I am doing at the range out on the course without putting sticks down?" A simple answer is that good alignment becomes a habit when practiced regularly. Your eyes, just like any other muscle in your body adjust to new situations. When you practice 100% of the time being aligned to your target perfectly, your eyes start to know what being square to your target looks like. If you then step out onto the course and line up incorrectly, it will look and feel wrong.

Good alignment is the starting point for building a good swing. Keep it consistent and you will have to endure fewer swing changes and flaws.

The Situation:

You want to learn to line up squarely to your target.

The Solution:

Practice with alignment sticks set up like railroad tracks. The far track represents the ball and the near track is your stance. Set your ball just inside the far track and your feet just inside the near track. Practice setting up with your feet, knees, hips, forearms, shoulders and eyes all running parallel to the tracks.

Maria Palozola

Maria Palozola is a member of the LPGA and has participated in multiple LPGA Tour events. She has provided instruction to thousands of students in the past 20+ years and has won multiple teaching awards from the LPGA, Golf Digest, and Golf Magazine including being ranked as one of the top 50 female instructors in the world.

Who is Maria Palozola?
- Top 50 LPGA Instructors in the World
- A Golf Digest Top 10 Teacher in Illinois
- A Golf Magazine Top Teacher in the Midwest
- More about Maria
- Golf Questions
Golf instruction made simple
Golf Overview
Overall Game
- Getting Started
- Equipment
- Golf Fitness
- Junior Golf
- Mental Game
- Practice
- Rules of Golf
Short Game
- Bunkers
- Chipping
- Pitching
- Putting
Full Swing
- Pre-Swing Fundamentals
- Shot Making
- Diagnosing Problems
- Driving
- Hybrids and Woods
- Irons
Playing Golf
Ball Striking
- Fitness (78)
Basics
- Course Management (82)
- Getting Started in Golf (75)
- Practice (66)
Course Management
- Club Selection (66)
- Equipment (107)
Driving
- Driving (68)
Putting
- Putting (127)
Rules
- Golf Rules (69)
Short Game
- Bump and Run (72)
- Chipping (82)
Problems
Ball Striking
- Chunking (79)
- Distance Control (86)
- Fat Shots (92)
- Flipping (48)
- Poor Accuracy (118)
- Slicing (48)
- Thin Shots (85)
- Topped Shots (52)
Distance
- Lack of Distance (108)
Putting
- Putting Accuracy (72)
Swing Plane
- Blocking (50)
- Inside Out (56)
- Outside In (59)
- Over the Top (49)
- Pulling (54)
- Pushing (66)
- Releasing Early (47)
The Swing
Grip
- Grip (65)
Setup
- Alignment (55)
- Balance (50)
- Ball Position (80)
- Posture (77)
- Setup (117)
Swing Plane
- Backswing (84)
- Controlling Trajectory (47)
- Divot (48)
- Downswing (67)
- Impact (103)
- On Plane (85)
- Path (84)
- Power (71)
- Shaft Plane (63)
- Swing Plane (112)
- Weight Shift (79)