A simple setup adjustment.

Like all things in golf and the golf swing, nothing is set in stone or correct for everyone.

That being the case, here is a setup fundamental I have found to be consistent for a great number of people.

Make sure you are not aiming too far right (for a right hander). Make sure you know where you are aimed. You are not aimed where your foot line points, you are aimed where a line parallel to your foot line on the ball (target line) aims.

I had this debate with several readers a few months ago who said these lines run parallel and are only 2-3 feet apart out to infinity. Well, put down a shaft in front of your feet and then one parallel on the ball and tell me if they aim only 2-3 feet apart. If you want to look at it that way, your target line is where you are aimed and your foot line is only 2-3 feet left of that…but I digress.

The point is you are aimed where your target line aims and many people are too far right. That promotes over the top, snatching the club with the hands, hooks, push slices, etc.

More times than not aiming too far left is easier to play from than too far right. Obviously close to square is ideal, but picking the lesser of two evils, too far left is more manageable.

If you aim too far right, make solid contact and manage the ball around the course…great, but if you are having some problems, check your alignment and make sure you are not too far right…and make sure you are checking where your target line is.

A shaft placed parallel to your foot line on the ball.

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14 Comments

  1. bob

    Monte, proper alignment has always been a fault of mine. Question for you if I may. If I stand behind the ball at address and imagine my target is left center field (as in baseball) and align myself to left center I always hit a solid straight or straight draw to left center field. However, when I align to center field I sometimes hit a ball that starts center and curves right. I can’t for the life of me understand how I can hit the ball so solidly when I set up to hit to left center but sometimes struggle with a straighter setup. Obviously I can’t play aligned to left center or I’d be playing out of the left trees all day. Oh, I’m right handed and left eye dominant. I can usually manage myself around the course by taking more time on getting aligned but I just can’t figure out this phenomenon

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      One of two things is working here.

      1. You should be hitting a cut.

      2. Your eyes are looking in the wrong place.

      #1 is a yes or no proposition and needs no further discussion.

      As for #2, are your a rifle shooter? If you are than you know you need to make adjustments to the scope to shoot straight.

      Line up to center field, then look to left center…or line up to left center and look to right center.

      Reply
      • bob

        I think you are right on both counts. My normal ball flight is actually quite straight when I align properly. I guess your previous blog about hitting draws is more relevant to my issue as I am a much better player when I hit a straight or straight cut shot. I think I’ll stick with that pattern and work my alignment and sight to fit it. Thanks.

        Reply
  2. Bob34

    Does this make sense? I visualize my shot to the target from behind and then pick a spot on the ground a few feet in front of the ball on that line. I then line my clubface up square to that spot and then line up my knees and shoulders square to the clubface. I do the same thing for puttnig. Sometimes I hit the ball exactly as I saw it when I visualized the line from behind the ball and sometimes I don’t. If I don’t go through that quick routine before I hit the shot I get all screwed up. If I wanna hit a draw or trrrry to hit a cut I do the same thing but then just move my right foot slightly back or forward. If I absolutely have to hit a cut, I’ll also open my clubface slightly.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      If this is a little obtuse, I apologize. If it works it makes sense. Actually, this may not be obtuse at all…LOL.

      Reply
  3. Bob34

    🙂 I used too many words in the 1st post. I agree that the two lines (Feet & Target)could be way off especially the further you are from the target. I saw what not to do in your post but not really how to fix it. This was my lame attempt at what to do to make sure you’re really aligned to the target and was just asking if it made sense to you or better, How do you insure you’re aimed at the target…?

    Reply
  4. Steve Bishop

    How about this one.

    Body alignment only serves a purpose for the kinetic sequence. Because of that, there is no “proper” way. :O

    Reply
    • Bob34

      Nice….

      This “Simple Setup Adjustment” just got complicated.

      “The point is you are aimed where your target line aims and many people are too far right.”

      All I’m wanting clarification of is; How do I know what my target line really is, & how do I check to see if I’m aimed right of it? I do this as I describe above and wanted to see if that’s a valid way of doing it or am I missing something? I’ll go back to my hole now….

      Reply
      • Monte Scheinblum

        Very simple Bob. Address the golf ball comfortably. Put a shaft down in front of your toes, so it is touching both toes. Then put a shaft on the outside of the ball (touching the outside of the ball) that is parallel to the one in front of your toes. That is your target line and where you are aiming.

        Reply
      • gwlee7

        Bob,

        Monte has it right. One other way to keep it simple is to pick that spot that you talked about in post # 1 that is a few feet in front of the ball and then imagine that you are using whatever club you have in your hand to putt the ball to the spot you’ve picked. You’ll be square or pretty close to square.

        Reply
      • Steve Bishop

        Bob, Greg, and Monte… it’s not that complicated really it’s just a matter of understanding that there IS NO STRAIGHT requirement in your setup. Freddie Couples aimed his body WAY to the left, but swung inside out so much that he ended up with a relatively straight path. Lee Trevino is an even more extreme example of lining up left and swinging right.

        That doesn’t mean lining up square won’t help you, but it’s no guarantee that it will either.

        Reply
      • Monte Scheinblum

        Steve. I am well aware of Couples and illustrate him to my students as an example of what I am talking about. Agree on “straight,” but as you know, everyone thinks in terms of ideal and strive for it. I am only trying to get people to avoid aiming to the right.

        Reply
      • Steve Bishop

        Totally agree Monte. I believe there is an ideal for most people as well. Just trying to make sure people also understand ideal doesn’t always equal great results with everyone. There will always be a matter of personal adjustments to compensate.

        Reply
  5. SteelyDan

    Maybe I should not open that can of worms again, but I’m still convinced that two parralel lines are parallel out to infinity. I even did the real-life test on the range, but did not come to a different conclusion 😉

    What might play a role though is the player’s perception and perspective, which might lead to a more severe misalignment.

    Reply

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