Alignment

Alignment

Q: What is “proper alignment” and why is it important?

When a golfer steps up to any putt, they must decide upon an intended direction of the ball (based on the slope, dryness, and grain of the green and possibly the wind). Once this intended direction (or line) is chosen, then, the golfer should align their club and their feet perpendicular (at right angles) to this line. This is an important first step so the golfer can then just concentrate on making a smooth stroke and be confident that the ball will travel straight down their chosen line in the intended direction.

Q: How can I learn good “foot and putter alignment”?

Proper set-up, meaning perfect foot and putter alignment, should just be a matter of engaging in a proper practice routine so that the set-up is perfect and consistent every time. To build up consistency it is important to have some way to check that your alignment is actually as good as what you think it is. Many an amateur “thinks” they are lined-up correctly — when in fact they are not! The Pros, of course, have personal coaches and numerous onlookers who help them correct any alignment issues.

Q: What is the “critical hitting zone” and why is it important?

The “critical hitting zone” is the small area behind and in front of the ball (approximately 10cm or 4 inches on either side of the ball) where it is critical for a golfer to make the putting stroke “on-line” through, if they want the ball to roll in the intended direction that they aligned themselves to at the beginning of their stroke. If the putter does not pass through the “critical hitting zone” squarely, then the ball will not roll on the intended path, and it may have unwanted spin put on it. Inconsistency and irregularity will result.

Q: How can I groove a good on-line stroke in the  “critical hitting zone”?

In order to groove a good on-line stoke in the”critical hitting zone” it is very helpful to have some type of method to check that your stroke is indeed on-line in this area. Slow motion video is one method, but using a clear, bright, and easily to see visual aid can yield good results also, especially because the real-time feedback can help you make necessary adjustments.

Q: What is “swing balance” and why is it important?

“Swing balance” means that the length of the follow through is the same, or balanced, with the length of the backswing. This is especially important in the putting stroke, and has been well documented by putting guru Marius Filmalter, who  studied over 55,000 putting strokes and discovered that…

“96% of Pro Golfers, but only 20% of amateurs, have a balanced putting swing that is the same length on both sides of the ball.”

Marius Filmalter, August 2011 edition of Golf Magazine

Q: How can you practice and develop good “swing balance”?

To develop good “swing balance” you must simply check that the length of your follow through is the same, or balanced, with the length of your backswing. In order to do this it is helpful to have a clear, bright, and easily to see visual aid to help you to check.

 

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