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PaddyHarrington

Alignment problems

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I am hitting my irons really well at the moment.
I am getting nice clean contact and hitting 90% of them flush,but on some iron shots I am hitting them straight as in not slicing or hooking them but they are way off target,basically i am hitting them straight left or straight right.
Just wondered if anyone had any tips on how to align myself better to the target,this doesn't happen on every shot but it is costing me strokes on the times it does.
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I am hitting my irons really well at the moment.

I think this happens to everyone from time to time. I know it happens to me! When I feel that I am getting off target I will crouch down behind my ball to get a good line and pick out something about a foot in front of my ball and just try to align my clubface to that. Not sure what else is there? I'm open to some suggestions also!!

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Not sure if this can help but I recently changed my alignment method and find it to be working quite well.

When stepping up at address I will look at my target and 'draw' a line with my eyes from the target to my ball. When drawing the line I pick a spot a few feet in front of the ball and square up my club to that point. From there I position my feet and body to be square with the club and my setup is complete. While I was first trying this out on the range I would setup at different targets and have someone tell me where I was actually setting up.

I have a friend who does the same idea but picks his spot while standing directly behind the ball. He focuses on a spot on the target line a few feet in front of the ball and while addressing the ball aligns himself to that spot.

Good luck, I have found this method has helped me be more consistent with all my shots....it has even helped putting.
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I hit my irons dead straight right on the target line with a nice trajectory 4 iron on down. However, I generally slice my woods. That could lead to such a noticable difference b/w irons and woods. The 2 things: my swing path is a bit steep or it is just a mental thing. Let me know your thoughts.
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Paddy,

Average golfers often have alignment problems because they haven't trained their eyes to see proper alignment. Here's a weblink which discusses alignment. It talks about the railroad track concept and related ideas:
http://www.basic-golf-lessons.com/golfalignment.html
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When stepping up at address I will look at my target and 'draw' a line with my eyes from the target to my ball. When drawing the line I pick a spot a few feet in front of the ball and square up my club to that point. From there I position my feet and body to be square with the club and my setup is complete. While I was first trying this out on the range I would setup at different targets and have someone tell me where I was actually setting up.

+1

Use an intermediate target a couple of feet in front of the ball, align your clubface to that and then step into your stance. If you've been aligning wrongly for some time, then being correctly aligned will suddenly feel alien to you - you'll feel too closed or too open. If you're ready to pull the trigger and you have doubts, just step back, double check your alignment and go through the process again. More often than not though, you'll find you were correctly aligned but your eyes didn't want to trust it.
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Not sure if I get what you mean, but you could try alignment sticks, like the ones you see in tour pro bags. They are called reflector sticks, and can be found in lowes (the address sign section) for about 2$.
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You could try picking a spot infront of your ball to release your club over like said earlier, or it could be that your downswing might be off? I personally have the major problem of bringing my club "over the top" which makes the ball go straight left. So what my coach told me was to feel like your pushing your club to the inside on your downswing, closer to your body, but don't overdo it or you might start pushing it straight right like you said you were doing a little. You could also be turning your shoulders through the ball too quick, which affects the the ball path a lot. Hope that helped a little.
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Paddy,

Some may be able to use only the visual of a target 200 yards away to line them up, but I would definitely not recommend it. I know I have no chance of lining myself up to a target that far away consistently. A degree or two wrong and you'll start having trouble. I would highly recommend using an intermediate target a foot or two in front of the ball. Find your target line through the ball, pick an intermediate target, align yourself to it. If it helps, you can place the club head behind the ball in a straight line through the intermediate target. This give you a three point line that can help visualize the alignment when taking your stance.

I use this for every single shot, including putts. I struggled with poor alignment earlier, but haven't had issues with it ever since. If I miss my target now, it's because of the swing, not the alignment.
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I like picking an intermediate target, something like 3-4 feet in front of me. Then i can envision a line connecting the two, to line up to. I am pretty much hit it were i aim, since i try to play a baby draw.
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Taking the method several members have recommended and refining it, I pick a spot on the ground in line with my ball and the target, and maybe a foot in front of the ball. Line up the grooves on the club square to the ball-spot line. Then step into your stance square to the grooves. Makes sense to me and lines me up just right.

I'm thinking about suggesting this method to half the members of the LPGA so they might be able to line up their own a-- for a change.
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Aligning to your clubface is not a good Idea. What happens if at impact your are open or closed to your target? At the tee box I always align my ball logo to the target and the square my body to that paralell line. A quick check is to lay the shaft of your club across your thighs or shoulders and see where it is pointing.

Also ALWAYS use an alignment aid at the range. All the pros do it and you should too. Not only will this tell you whether you are pushing, pulling, slicing, hooking, the ball rather than simply out of alignment, but you will also get used to the feeling the setting your feet up down the target line to your ball. My alignment rod has it's own slot on my bag since I don't carry 14 clubs...
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Aligning to your clubface is not a good Idea. What happens if at impact your are open or closed to your target?.

I don't get it, what has the alignment got to do with your impact position?

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How are your feet at address? If you are like most golfers you will have your lead foot splayed out to the leading direction. Nothing wrong with this but as an excercise stand tall and natural with your feet facing forward and the turn your lead foot out lilke you would during your swing. you can feel a subtle shift (in my case to the left) of the shoulders and hips. This can often lead to these types of misses that you describe as you will generally shoot in the direction your shoulders are aimed. This can lead to mishits in both directions. Mostly I have found that it would just mean a shot left of the target, but in some cases I feel that my body knows I am off and I try to compensate. Usually a push fade is the result for me. So before messing with your routines or anything like that try a simpler approach and see if you can't pinpoint where maybe you just need a little adjustment to correct it. In my case I found that by flexing the knees a little more it allows me to close my hips/shoulders back to the correct line while maintaning a balanced athletic position.
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