How To Line Up a Golf Shot - Clarkes Golf

How To Line Up a Golf Shot

We’ve all been there.


We’ve set up on the tee or the fairway, taken dead aim at the flag in front of us, made the best connection with the club, and watched as the ball flies 30 feet to the left or right of the thing we were looking at.


The shot was perfect, the aim wasn’t.


Where the ball ultimately lands will have much to do with the quality of a golfer’s swing.


But many amateur golfers (particularly those new to the sport) give themselves no chance of hitting the target because they line up their shots incorrectly.


In this blog, we go through the main things to look for and explain how to line up a golf shot to improve your accuracy.


Stand behind the ball and choose your target

One of the biggest mistakes new golfers make when trying to line up a golf shot is they simply walk up to their ball, get in their stance, take a look at the target, and swing.


This is a sure way to aim off target.


Rather than setting up and then trying to line your ball and shoulders up with the target, stand behind the ball (a good six to ten feet behind) and draw an imaginary line from the ball to the target.


This line will help you set up properly in the next stages of aiming your golf shot.


Choose a target past the pin

Another issue we see with many golfers when they come to us is they think they should be aiming directly at the pin.


Aiming for the pin is fine if you’re within 100 yards and are hitting a wedge shot.


But in reality, even professional golfers rarely make the pin their target unless they’re in an aggressive attack mode.


Rather than aiming directly for the pin, look beyond it to a target further back and to the left or right based on the layout of the green or approaching fairway.


Choose a target just in front of you

Once you’ve picked your long-distance target (still standing behind the ball) pick another spot on your imaginary line about a foot in front of the ball.


You’ll use this to square your club face and shoulders up in your stance.


You want to pick a target closer to you (but still on the same line) because it’s extremely difficult to judge aim over a longer distance.


Remember, any misalignment you make close to the ball will be amplified as the ball travels, so a centimetre out at the start could end up being 20 feet either side of the target.


Once you’ve picked your closer target, you can approach the ball, but keep your eye on the spot you’ve chosen just ahead of the ball.


Lining up the club face


Your club face should be square to the target just ahead of the ball.


There are still many things that can lead to a miss-hit, but with your club square to your target you’ve put yourself in a better position.

Lining up your stance


Once your club face is square to the target just in front of you, set up in your stance with your shoulders square to the ball (don’t look at the long-distance target yet).


Once you’re comfortable in your stance, now follow the imaginary line back to the target until you’re looking at your target in the distance.


Following these steps, your shoulders and the club face should be facing the target.


Now, all that’s left to do is make any adjustments to your foot position and weight distribution, and swing.


Use some training tools on the range


Like everything in sport, practice is the only way to improve your aim and accuracy on the course.


This means making the most of your time on the range, doing the work, and making adjustments rather than hitting 100 balls as quickly as possible.


How you aim should form part of your pre-shot routine, and you should follow the same steps before every shot (including those at the driving range)


Over time, you’ll develop better habits, and how you aim correctly will become second nature.


If you want to speed up the process, there are plenty of training tools you can use to help.


Alignment sticks are a simple and effective option for improving your aim.


Simply place one stick in front of the ball pointing towards your target, place another stick parallel and square to it to use as a guide for your feet, and swing your club using the path of the sticks as a guide.


Over time you’ll develop the muscle memory needed to aim and square up to the ball properly.


If you don’t want to buy alignment sticks, you could always just use two clubs instead.


Improve your golf game with Clarke’s Golf Centre

If you want to improve your golf game and lower your scores, we can help.


Our dedicated golf centre includes a 27-bay driving range with various targets you can use to improve your aim.


If you’re serious about taking your game up a level, book a lesson with one of our experienced pros, who’ll be able to show you where you’re going wrong with your aim and swing so you can start to enjoy your weekend rounds, rather than pulling your hair out searching the trees for lost balls.


We also stock an extensive range of golf clubs, balls, trolleys, clothes and other golf equipment and accessories to help you enjoy the joys of golf that bit more.


Browse and buy online or visit us at our Golf Centre in St Helens, just off the Rainford Bypass.