May 29, 2008

Aim correctly -- not right

On-line shots start with proper alignment

To keep from aiming too far right (red line, below), lay two clubs on the ground -- one outside the ball to represent your starting line, the other parallel at your toes.

To keep from aiming too far right (red line, below), lay two clubs on the ground -- one outside the ball to represent your starting line, the other parallel at your toes.

Most right-handed amateurs aim too far to the right. Then, when they swing through, they come across their bodies to get the ball on line, which aggravates their slices, among other problems. Also, if you align your body to the right, you aim the clubface right, too.

To fix these faults, aim the face on the shot's starting line. If you curve the ball, allow for that. Most of the time you will not be aiming at your end target. Then align your body parallel to that starting line.

Check your alignment by placing two clubs on the ground when you practice, the way the pros do. Put one club outside the ball, parallel to your starting line. Put the other club parallel to the first club, but in front of your toes (right).

Better alignment habits will help straighten your ball flight. You have to get this part of the game right.



THOUGHTS FROM TOM

When Andy North and I won the Legends of Golf better-ball event this spring, we wanted the straighter driver teeing off second to lessen the pressure on the player who drove first. Andy is longer than I am off the tee but doesn't hit as many fairways. But his ability to read greens gave me extra confidence in my putting.

Watson is the golf professional emeritus at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. Click here for more tips from Watson.