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Amen Corner: The little things in a golf swing can mean a lot

  • Minor alignment tweaks may be all a golfer needs to get a swing in order at the outset of the season. (Courtesy photograph)

Special to the Valley News
Published: 5/15/2019 8:46:16 PM
Modified: 5/15/2019 8:46:07 PM

At the start of the golf season, it’s wise to check some of your fundamentals. Before you go on a big remodel of your swing, it could be the little things that get you to strike the ball more solidly and flying at your intended target.

A good place to start is making sure the alignment of your eyes, shoulders, hips and feet are all parallel to the target line. These four segments can have a big impact on how you deliver the golf club.

Here are some examples that it may just be you:

Most of us weekend golfers aim our feet too far right and leave our shoulders open to our feet and hips.

If your shoulders are open or pointing left of the target line, your arms and club will likely travel on that same leftward path, causing the dreaded slice and robbing you of precious power.

If your hips are open or pointed left of your shoulders, your whole swing sequence can get out of whack with the hips and lower body firing too soon, leaving the clubface open and resulting in a high, weak push shot to the right. No good.

How about your eyes? When they and your head are tilted too much away from your target, the low point of your swing is likely behind the ball, causing both fat and thin shots. If you are unsure about your eyes, just stand up and look straight ahead and your body’s sensor will likely level you out. Then tilt forward

The best way to align yourself consistently is to first aim the clubface in the direction you want the ball to start. Align your feet and hips parallel to the target line, then finally shimmy your shoulders so they are parallel with your hips.

How you hold the club automatically opens your shoulders, because your right hand is holding the club below your left. That opens the shoulders. Work your shoulders square with your hips and feet and parallel to the target line, and you will be golden.

Get the golf club aimed and your body aligned parallel to target line. If you get this straight, you’ll hit the ball straight.

Peter Harris is the director of Golf at the Fore-U Golf Center in West Lebanon. His column appears weekly in the Recreation page during the golf season.

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