Head to any range in the country and you’ll see one thing. Well, okay, you’ll see a lot of things, like 90% of people hitting off their right foot, slicing, and firing balls one after the other as if they go bad when exposed to sunlight.
But the thing I’m talking about is actually something you won’t see: alignment sticks. Station after station, golfer after golfer, and not a single alignment stick to be found.
Walk around the range at a PGA Tour event and you can’t get away from the darn things.
Everyone wants to be like a PGA Tour pro, but very few people practice like one. Here are a couple of photos from The Memorial and the Bridgestone Invitational showing pros – and their training aids – on the range.
Ryo Ishikawa has one of the more expensive training aids out there: a real live human being in the form of renowned instructor Jim Flick.
Then there’s the always popular “hold this club against my head” trick:
Vijay Singh, as you might guess, combines the “hold this club against my hip” with an umbrella barely to the right of his target line, a glove under his left arm, the eyes of two trained individuals, and an alignment stick on the ground. I’m probably missing something else, too.
At the Bridgestone, Trackman launch monitors were used in a fairly heavy rotation by pros – like Mike Weir – looking to fine-tune their launch conditions.
Cameras are a big hit on the Tour as well.
But, naturally, the easiest and most readily available training aid are the $2 sticks from Lowe’s or Home Depot. If a pro doesn’t happen to have a stick, a spare club will often do the trick.
Paul Casey switched to a rope…
… after he whacked one of his sticks with his 3-wood:
And finally, proof that Tiger Woods was fibbing when he told us he draws the lines on his golf balls freehand.