Never know what to do with those alignment sticks in your bag? Steve Dresser of the Steve Dresser Golf Academy at True Blue Golf Club shows you a variety of practical ways alignment sticks can be used to help your golf game!
I’m often asked what my favorite teaching aid is for helping people with their golf swings, and we’ve got all the toys here, launch monitors, video equipment, all that stuff. You know what my favorite is, though? Alignment rods, which are basically driveway markers you get at a hardware store. If I put my own decal on there and a little rubber cap, I can sell it for a few extra bucks, but we use these for all kinds of different things – in fact, so many that I once wrote a book on it with over 80 tips. I was trying to get to 101, but I went brain dead at about 82, I think.
Anyway, there’s a lot of neat little tips in here for how to use these things. I’m going to show you a couple of them right now. The most obvious is its namesake, alignment rod. You put one down on the ground, either between your feet and your golf ball, or you can put it over here beyond the golf ball if you want to.
It’s really important that you set up a straight line, or whatever you do, it’s really important that you know where you are lined up when you’re practicing. Even Jack Nicklaus, years ago, I remember he said, “Don’t mess with your golf swing until someone checks your alignment.” And statistically almost 90 percent of right-handed golfers aim to the right, so it’s a great idea to set up some kind of straight line on the ground when you’re practicing, even if it’s just laying a club on the ground.
You can also take a second one and cross this one with it, so now you can verify your ball position. If you’re playing a driver, you’re going to want that line more over here, and a wedge, probably a little bit more in the middle. When you have a nice little T on the ground like that, not the tee that holds the ball, but the T we just made on the ground, that can really help you have a much better practice station also.
Then the two other things we use these a lot for, and I could go down the line, I guess, with this one, a lot of times I’ll put one with the stick about eight, 10 inches beyond the ball, at about a 45 degree angle to the ground, and a 45 degree angle to the target line, and the idea there is to just help the player eliminate the infamous over the top move, so that they have to come in more under it. Helps them approach the ball from the inside, if not, they’re going to crash right into it.
We do get people with the opposite problem, who do actually swing too much into out, and they might actually go above the stick on that side, so sometimes we’ll put one over there, and now if they think more of following through left, through impact, they’re far less likely to get the club too deep or shallow or behind them on the downswing, leading to too much of an into out move. Come up with your own stuff. You can get really creative with these, and if you’re having trouble getting creative, look for my book online!