Where should you aim to hit a straight shot? And how the best strikers do it!
We know we need to aim a gun properly to hit the bull’s eye, but does that same theory work in your golf swing? Should you aim your feet, knees, hips and shoulders parallel or at your target to hit your target with the golf ball? In most cases, NO!
You see, the difference with aiming a gun vs. aiming your swing has everything to do with the circular and tilted nature of your golf swing shape.
It would seem to make sense that we can aim our body lines in one place, have the club face arrive perpendicular to our body lines and find our shots flying nicely toward our target, but I’m sorry to say, that doesn’t work.
Shots played off the ground require that the ball be struck slightly on the downswing to avoid hitting the ground prior to the ball. In this situation, the club has not yet reached the bottom of the arc and the shaft of the club is leaning forward upon impact. When the club hits the ball in this forward leaning orientation the path of the club has an “inside out” path because it is still “going down” to its lowest point. With the direction of the club head going to the right of the target line (see photo above) at the moment of the hit, the effective striker has learned how to “aim” their club path to hit straight shots.
What do they do? The top strikers do one of two things with balls played off the ground to hit a straight shot; they aim their body lines left of the target or they swing the club “left” across their target line. In both cases there is a leftward adjustment to allow for the downward and outward strike.
When can you aim at the target? Anytime you are sweeping the ball off the ground with a level strike, you can aim at your target. The level strike basically suggests that the club has reached its low point in “the circle of your swing” and is not going downward (right) or has not started going upward (left). Most top strikers still have a slight downward strike with their 3-wood and most male Tour Players have a slight downward strike with their driver as well.
What do the longest drivers do? They hit “up” on the ball, some as much as 7 degrees! If you are hitting up on the ball, conversely the club’s path is now going up and thus traveling left as it follows the circular path. These golfers who hit up on the ball have to aim to the right to offset the fact the ball will naturally go to the left at the moment of impact.
Martin Chuck is the Inventor/Instructor of the Tour Striker Training Products and Tour Striker Golf Academy. Click Here to learn more about programs with Jeff Ritter, Martin Chuck and the entire JRG/TSGA Staff at the Raven Golf Club Phoenix!