Home Month and Year July 2023 The Successful Golf Shot – 50% Swing, 50% Alignment

The Successful Golf Shot – 50% Swing, 50% Alignment

Scott Orban



One of the most important aspects of a playing lesson is showing golfers whether they are physically aligned to the intended target. Golfers are immediately shocked to learn where they are physically aimed in comparison to where they think they are aimed (mental alignment).

Golfers are busy working on the golf swing with this move and that move, with little to no consideration of their target. Does it make sense that if you had a perfect golf swing but are not aligned properly to the target, the ball would not fly there?

If you are working on your swing without putting in the work on alignment, you will not take your golf swing from the range to the golf course. When you work on your target alignment, you learn to coordinate your swing to fit this proper alignment. Fitting your golf swing to the physics of proper target alignment allows you to maximize your ball striking ability and become a more proficient player.

To be physically aligned, you must define a target line through the ball to the intended target, set the clubface squarely on the target line, and align your bodylines parallel to this imaginary target line. Bodyline includes the feet/stance, knees, hips, arms and shoulders, and all must be square or parallel to the target line.

The mental alignment is how you have trained your brain to accept where your golf shot will go the majority of the time. For example, most of us know our tendency to hit the ball right or left of our target. If a right-handed golfer tends to slice the ball to the right, this becomes the mental target/alignment. The physical alignment will be to the left to compensate. When this happens, the golfer will be plagued with inconsistency, while developing a poor shot shape and also a poor mental target/alignment.

A professional golfer has excellent physical alignment. They have learned and trained their swing to work in concert with this alignment, leading to coordination, familiarization and eventually confidence. This confidence soars when the mental alignment matches the physical alignment.

We want to play the same clubs as the pros! Play the same balls as the pros! So why not train like the pros?

The pro golfer is religiously training their perception of proper alignment for every shot by:

  • Defining a target line (from behind the ball to the target).
  • Setting the clubface in a square position to the target.
  • Setting the bodylines parallel to the target line.
  • Learning to swing from this position to train and coordinate themself.
  • Working toward having the physical and mental target match so as to play with confidence and conviction.
  • Understanding their ball flight shape and the influences of a lie, thus allowing for adjustments of their physical alignment to fit the situation for each shot.