Practice is an essential part of the game of golf. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, having an extra edge and stability in your game is critical. Frequent and proper golf practice gives you the extra advantage. One of the key areas of practice is alignment.
There are many ways of working towards improving your alignment. One of the most common ways for beginners and pros alike is the use of alignment sticks. You may have seen pro players putting sticks in front of their feet during driving range practice. These sticks are called golf alignment sticks and come in various different lengths and colors.
Golf alignment sticks are cheap, easy to carry and light, but are they really useful? The answer is a BIG yes.
Golf alignment sticks improve your alignment to your target, and can help with your posture during practice which is essential for achieving a perfect and steady golf swing. Scroll down to learn more.
How do alignment sticks help with your alignment?
Golf is all about aiming. You cannot get a perfect shot if your aiming technique is off. This is why golfers should spend some time practicing their aiming technique. Aiming is improved by working on alignment on the driving range. To perfect the art, alignment rods are essential, and it can be quite an advantage to have access to a mirror. This way you can overlook your alignment easier when adressing the ball.
During alignment, the clubface and your body have to be perpendicular to eachother. People waste a lot of time working on their swings, but get this right and you’re off to a good start. Making a swing without alignment like this can make the ball move more than 50 yards off target.
You have to establish a target line before making a swing. One of the best ways to establish a target line during practice and imprint it in your muscle memory, is through the use of these sticks.
The alignment sticks are used differently depending on the player, but they are all lead to the same thing. The sticks guide your swing towards the target, whether placed in front of your feet or parallel with the ball. Another option is to place them in a cross, to check how your ball is positioned relative to your stance.
If the art is mastered during practice, but you can efficiently execute it in an actual game if it’s something you put some effort into. Alignment sticks are only allowed during practice but not during a round of golf. You should take full advantage during practice to learn all the techniques. You can learn how to use the sticks by watching some videos on the subject. See an example below with the lovely Paige Spiranac. You can also try and engage with other golfers using them on the range, or ask your PGA trainer, whether it would be a good match for you.
How to use alignment sticks for beginners
A popular way to use alignment sticks is the following: The first step is to set your target. You can set the target as far as you want. However, you should set a realistic target that you can reach with a single swing. You should set the ball to the ground and line up to ensure that you are facing the direction of your target point. Place one stick next to the ball. The stick should also face the direction of the target point. There should be enough space between the ball and the stick to allow you to make a hit.
The next stick should be placed parallel to the first one. Once you complete the set-up, go behind the ball and see whether your sticks accurately face the target. The next step is making a swing where a perfect hit is made when looking through the sticks rather than the target. The position of the alignment sticks should control your toes and the body position.
The technicality behind alignment rods
The sticks act as a gate that directs your swing. The gate dictates whether your swing should be more on the left or the right. As a beginner, if you look at the target when doing the followthrough, there is a high chance of hitting the wrong target. Your eyes should be on the sticks since they guide you on where the golf ball should go through.
Some golfers put the sticks vertically to create a gate-like set-up. When making a swing, they ensure that the golf ball goes in between the vertical sticks. This technique ensures that you do not make a swing more to your target’s right or the left. Practicing with the alignment rods perfects your alignment technique with time. It can be a real eye-opener if you think your swing is following a specific plane. Sometimes you won’t be as accurate as you feel.
There are also many ways in which alignment sticks are used depending on target distance, experience, and landscape. If the target is few meters away, you can place the sticks on each side of the ball facing the target and make a simple shottowards the target. Pro golf players also have their techniques which are more complex and extensively rehearsed. But some of them also use simple techniques and the alignment sticks are really for everyone to use.
Do pro players ever use alignment sticks?
As stated a bit above, the answer is yes. If you watch the warm-up round, you will notice that almost all goffers have these sticks with them on the range. Like amateur golfers prefer different training aids, so do pro golfers. But the alignment sticks have been around for so long, and prove such an effective tool, that it may well be one of the most used training aids on tour too.
What are some of the pros of using the above sticks?
- They enable you to make the correct body alignment parallel to your target point.
- You can suddenly be made aware of swing faults that you wouldn’t discover any other way.
- They guide your club swing towards the right direction or plane during both the down and backswing.
- Alignment sticks enable you to make the right body and hip turning when making a swing.
- A combination of the above factors leads to a more stable aiming technique.
Alignment sticks are inexpensive and readily available. Get a couple and start the journey of becoming a more stable golf player. We encourage you to research more on the various drills that can perfect the art of alignment using these amazing sticks.