Lining up confidently seems to be a recurring issue facing golfers on the golf course. Part of this problem is that we don’t practice lining up on the driving range as we normally let the mat do it for us. The other big problem is that many don’t understand how the brain and eyes work the best when trying to aim and align the body. Most golfers I meet with have the correct intentions but then no idea on how to ensure they do what they intend to do. Not physically aligning yourself with your intended target has catastrophic consequences with your swing as it has to adjust and compensate to try and send the ball where up you intended. So we have to find out how to align ourselves the best possible way. It is also worth noting that all of our eyes are different and we all perceive things differently so we will always have a habit and tendency to some extent. The key is to give ourselves the best chance of correct alignment having the smallest margins of error.
Firstly it’s been proven that the eyes work best by having 3 points of reference for aiming. The first one of course is the actual target, coming into the green this is most likely the flag or from the tee a specific patch of grass on the fairway. The second reference point is one initially in front of the ball a maximum of 6 inch’s away. This point will be a mark on the ground in between the ball and intended actual target.
The third reference point is extremely important and often overlooked, a distant reference point. This reference point is past the intended target and is normally big (like a tree or pillion). Your eyes and brain work the best with these three reference points as it can create a stronger and more accurate image of the task at hand.
Once you’ve created these three reference points it will now all come down to the direction you approach the ball. We as humans have eyes in the front of our heads and not on the side. This means we see best when looking straight in front of us and not from side on. By looking straight in front of ourselves we can see without a warped perspective. So putting this information into a golf sense we should really only approach the ball looking from behind and not from the side like so many people do. That’s why I suggest to golfers to take their practice swings from behind so that they are encouraged to approach the ball from behind and never from the side. This will have a huge impact on your ability to align yourself to the desired target. A better alignment, one that matches more with your intentions, will produce straighter and more consistent golf shots.
Enjoy the ‘new approach’ to lining up.