Alignment sticks are everywhere these days, and rightly so. They’re a great piece of training equipment. I’ve heard them being called the golfer’s dumbbell, and that’s probably bang on the money.
If you don't have some, I would strongly advise talking to your local pro about getting your hands on these. Most pros sell them and they’re not that expensive either.
They have a number of uses and here is one really helpful example of what your alignment can do for your golf game.
For me, a full swing should have a complete follow-through; shoulder at target, hands behind the head and in that classic position.
Ultimately, what has happened is that you have committed yourself to fire that right side in a coordinated fashion through the golf ball. Your right side replaces your left side bit by bit. People do struggle with this and a great check is if you position an alignment stick in the ground opposite the golf ball, you will notice that, at address, the stick splits your body.
Your goal is to get your right hip, right side and right arm to be in front of the alignment stick in one smooth motion as you complete your swing.
Be determined to get better
You have probably, at one time, asked yourself the question: 'How do I become a better golfer?' I think you should look at all aspects of your game.
Bernhard Langer, who is probably the ultimate golf professional, worked that way. The stories of him knowing exact yardages on the course I always found interesting, and they were completely true. He could go through his whole bag and know his clubs inside out.
He knows he’s got his problems with his putting stroke, but he knows how to create different scenarios. He has great strength of mind. Even when he was Ryder Cup captain, he left nothing to chance. To get better, you need to reduce your margin for error.
He says he’s not worried about the putter ban coming in and that he’s going to give himself two months to sort it out. He’s not letting it faze him. He has that will and determination to think outside the box, and work on something that’s going to help him be competitive and improve. I admire that.
Scott Clark is the Director of Golf at Prestonfield Golf Club. For lessons, call Scott on 0131 667 8597. Follow him on Twitter @ScottClarkPGA.