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Alignment - What's Your Target?

Poll Results: How do you align yourself for each shot?

 
  • 20% (6)
    Long range target only (flag, part of fairway, etc)
  • 17% (5)
    Intermediate target only (something in your peripheral vision at setup)
  • 62% (18)
    Both long and intermediate (like Jack)
29 Total Votes  
post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

We've all heard the tips about choosing a spot a few feet in front of your ball as an "intermediate" target when lining up a shot.  And, although I don't know if the idea originated with him or not, I know I first heard it from Jack Nicklaus.  At this point, I think it's fairly common amongst a lot of players.  I've watched old video of Jack, and his routine seemed to be one of 'look at ball, then intermediate target, then landing area target, then intermediate, then landing area, and back and forth a couple of times.'

 

I never used to do this but am trying to start incorporating it in my routine nowadays.  Today at the range I even went a step further, and once I picked my intermediate target, I never bothered with the flag anymore after that.  It seemed to work quite well.  I'm considering staying with this and am wondering if it will turn out to be an even more accurate routine.

 

Now, this would probably only work for full shots, because if you're playing any kind of shot that involves feel, then you're probably gonna want to have your final target in your head.  But any shot where you know you're taking a full swing, why not do it this way??

 

My idea comes from being a bowler.  Bowlers never look at the pins ... only the target (most use the 15' arrows, others use dots), so why not incorporate that idea in golf?

 

What do you all think?

post #2 of 24

Hmmmm...never thought to try that.  Usually I pick my intermediate target, align to that, and then take a final look at the pin.  I may have to give it a shot at the range this week - I like the thought process behind it.  Plus, it's probably never a bad thing to get the "attack the flag" mindset changed up a little.

post #3 of 24

I usually pick an intermediate target about a foot in front of the ball that lines up to a target in the distance. I use the intermediate target mostly to line myself up in my stance and then once comfortably set, just focus at the target in the distance and the landing area. I do this for full shots and putting as well. 

post #4 of 24

On full shots that won't reach the green - once I'm happy with my choice in intermediate target I focus entirely on that. Too much back and forth between intermediate target and final target just creates doubt in my mind.

 

On wedges, or any partial shot that is intended to hit the green I kind of do a bit of both and then when I'm sure I'm lined up as perfectly as possible I pull it 10 yards left of the green and go look for it.

post #5 of 24
Long targets. I tried the intermediate target thing for a bit, but it always messed me up.

Sometime I'll make a video where I set up facing a flag and seeing if I'm actually lined up correctly.
post #6 of 24
This is something I have been really working on this week, particularly with shots that will (or should) reach the green. I had been picking an intermediate target 2 to 6 feet out and just focusing on it, but found myself pushing a lot of shots. Well, not sure pushing is even the right word, hitting a lot of shots right if the intended line to be specific. I have started using the intermediate now for initial club and shoulder alignment and then focusing on my actual target as I set my feet and do final alignment.

It is all about feel I think, but right now that seems to be putting me much more dead on target.
post #7 of 24

I started doing this when I was younger and have basically stayed with it.  Easier to aim the club head at a spot 3ft in front of me than 150 yards away.  It makes sense anyway because we should be more concerned with the start line rather than the pin ;-) 

post #8 of 24

I use long target only. Probably one of the reasons I'm not very good at this game...

post #9 of 24
I've never had any luck using a near or intermediate target for anything other than putts. If I miss my near target 3 feet away by an inch, that error becomes a big miss 175 yards down range. I keep focused on the final target.
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post
 

I started doing this when I was younger and have basically stayed with it.  Easier to aim the club head at a spot 3ft in front of me than 150 yards away.  It makes sense anyway because we should be more concerned with the start line rather than the pin ;-) 

Phew...I thought I was alone on this.

post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

I've never had any luck using a near or intermediate target for anything other than putts. If I miss my near target 3 feet away by an inch, that error becomes a big miss 175 yards down range. I keep focused on the final target.

Yeah, this is the reason why I don't use the line on my ball to line up putts.  The line is an inch or so long, so if I'm off by the tiniest fraction when I set the ball down, then I've basically gauranteed a miss (unless I misread the putt too ... sometimes two wrongs DO make a right ;))

 

But for some reason, I'm thinking that maybe I could get this to work for full swings.  Time will tell, I guess. ;)

post #12 of 24

I personally use and intermediate point that is a few inches in front of the ball, and one in the distance complete my picture.  The flag is irrelevant to me as the only time that it is in the picture is on the rare occasion that I intend to hit the shot straight. Otherwise my secondary target will be right or left of target depending on whether I'm playing a draw or a fade. The same is true on chip and putts also as the only time I am aimed at the club is on straight putts.

post #13 of 24

my intermediate target is part/side of the ball. I look at my long range target then look at my IT then set up my IT but still swing towards my long term target

I have occasionally used a secondary target when Im trying a special type shot , where Im see my long range target then use a target line /scoreline/spot/to focus on as a secondary target and then forget about my long term target and procedure to stroke/strike  my ball to my secondary target knowing it will spin or roll to my primary target after it hits the secondary target

post #14 of 24

Hi all,

 

I have always struggled with using an intermediate target when it comes to aligning my stance because I tend to “lose” the line while actually setting my feet. I still end up having to judge when I am more or less parallel. Now I only use an intermediate target to align the club face. When that is done I look down and set my feet/shoulders squarely “across” the club face line.

 

This way I am setting my stance according to something straight in front of me (the club face), which remains centered in my vision throughout the setup and stroke.

 

If you search Youtube for “Steve Bann alignment” he gives a brief but excellent explanation of this method and why it works well.

 

post #15 of 24

Pretty much always done it a la Nicklaus. Sometimes will do a Justin Rose and, while behind ball, use the club shaft with one eye closed to get a good fix on a near/intermediate target that's on my chosen line.

post #16 of 24

Long range target only. I've tried an intermediate target, but it kind of messes with my swing. I tend to steer the ball or "hit at" it when my target is nearby. Having a target in the distance encourages me to take a full swing and focus on hitting through the ball. It's a mental thing, but it works for me.

post #17 of 24
Quote:

Originally Posted by deekay View Post
 

Now I only use an intermediate target to align the club face. When that is done I look down and set my feet/shoulders squarely “across” the club face line.

^^^ this

 

 

Full swings, I normally pick a rather close target (within 4 or 5 feet) to line up the club head to.  (Like putting, I'll pick one a foot out)

Then I set my stance relative to club head making sure the club head doesn't shift (parallel lines and all that).  Once my stance is set, the club head kind of takes care of itself then.

Then, I look at my actual target - which messes me up and convinces me that I shifted my line.

:-PThen I step back, do it all again, and figure out that I was right in the first setup.  :-P

 

 

 

 

Eventually my eyeballs will interpret that distance picture better - right now if I just use what feels/looks right from the long distance picture, I usually end up lined up quite a bit to the right. 

 

(One thing that is really neat, is that the putter I just switched to actually appears (to my eyes) to line up to where I'm actually pointing it at - I don't get any parallax or offset visuals for some reason.  It's very reassuring)

 

 

Using the close in target and taking care to ensure my club face is square to that on setup has IMMENSELY improved my accuracy in full shots - (and drives, and chips, and pitches, and putts....)

imagine that, aiming is important in golf - what a concept.

post #18 of 24

Another reason why this works for me is because I find that (for me) ball position plays a major part in hitting the ball towards my target. Too far back and I'll push it to the right. Too far forward and the club only reaches the ball when it's already exiting the arc to the left.

 

Setting my alignment by the club face means I am looking down at it all the time and can both align myself and ensure that the club face is centered in my stance at the same time, without shifting my focus. The centered club face means that my ball is now slightly forward of center, which is perfect for me.

 

So the club face sets both ball position and alignment.

 

I always found that after I had set my alignment using an intermediate target, I would then have to shift my focus to set ball position, during which time my alignment would go out (or I would think it's out, as per the post above)  and I would either re-align, compounding the error, or continue my swing with a nagging feeling something is wrong. Disaster follows!

 

Now I only need to focus one one thing, the club face, which is right in front of my eyes. Alignment done, ball position done. All done!

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