Ben Throckmorton asked:
OK, we’re continuing to talk about how absolutely essential that proper alignment really is and I want you to put on your thinking cap on and answer a quick question for me.
If you are shooting a gun and you want to hit your intended target with any consistency, what is the first order of business?
You have to aim the gun at the target in order to hit it…right?
I have one more question for you.
What chance do you have of hitting the target if you don’t aim at it?
No chance is the correct answer.
Your golf swing is, in many ways, just like shooting a gun at a target. If we don’t get ourselves aimed (aligned) at the target, we’re certainly not going to hit it many times. Now having drawn this parallel, I can confidently say that nothing will destroy a good golf swing quicker than poor alignment.
Your eyes can see the target and subconsciously, you know where it is even if you’re not looking at it…i.e. when you address the ball. So, if you unknowingly aim away from the target, a good swing will produce a bad result, (a shot that doesn’t finish near the target), or even worse, you’ll try to alter your swing in some manner in an attempt to hit the target, reinforcing a bad motion (this is what my pals did all day Saturday). Either of these results produces negative feedback in your mind regarding the good swing you’re trying to cultivate. This negative feedback produces self-doubt and self-doubt almost always leads to disaster on the golf course.
On the other hand, a good swing with proper alignment is rewarded with a good result, (A shot that lands near the target), and positive feedback. This positive reinforcement can only come from hitting good shots.
When consistently fed positive feedback, your mind encourages your body to reproduce the good swing over and over again making it more and more likely that you will produce this swing even under intense pressure.
Tiger Woods will tell you, as will most top pros and low handicap amateurs, the more good shots you hit, the more successes you are able to achieve, the easier it is to hit more good shots and produce more successes even under major championship pressure.
Professional players are constantly monitoring their alignment because they know if it gets even a little bit skewed, it will adversely affect their swing and their psyche.
Golf is all about confidence and confidence is derived from producing successes.
Having said all that, IF you are going to improve your golf swing dramatically, build your confidence, and consistently shoot lower scores, it is absolutely essential that you make good alignment a GIVEN part of your set-up.
As with the other elements of the set-up, grip and posture, alignment is an element of the swing that we can and should take complete control of, making sure that we are always aligned directly at the target.
Matering this “Forgotten Fundamental” will give you the best opportunity to hit shot after shot at the target producing the positive feedback that you need in order to engrain a great golf swing and develop confidence in it.
I have sent this article to my 3 friends from Saturday.