Alignment sticks are useful for golfers of all skill levels. If you’ve ever tried them before you know that having a visual guide to correctly ingrain key skills has the potential to put you miles ahead of other comparable golfers. They promote precision, accuracy, power, and much, much more. Today, we’ll talk about our 10 favorite alignment stick golf drills and explain how they can help your golf game.
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1. Weight Shift Alignment Stick Drill
The main purpose of this drill is to solidify rotation. If your weight transfer and rotation is off, your whole swing falls apart.
Place an alignment stick on the ground just in front of your front hip. Hit the ball and rotate through. After the follow through, notice where your weight is. It should be on your lead leg. The goal here is to produce enough hip rotation so that your front hip crosses over the plane of the alignment rod. Use this to gauge whether you have enough hip rotation or too little. If your front hip isn’t crossing the rod, you probably don’t have enough. Be careful not to rotate your hips out of sync; if you rotate your hips too early you’ll likely hook it, if you rotate them too late you’re more likely to slice.
2. Shot Shape Alignment Stick Drill
Whether you’re a beginner or a novice, this is a great drill. Working on your shot shape using alignment can help you craft a shape that fits you and your game.
If you’re looking to hit straighter shots more consistently, set two rods up in front of you 2-3 feet apart. Go for best of 10; try to hit the ball between the poles as straight as you can. Repeat and improve.
For those who are more advanced and want to hit a draw or a fade set up one stick. The goal is to start on one side of the stick, and over the course of the shot have the ball veer from one side to the other.
3. Train Tracks Drill Alignment Stick Drill
The Train Tracks is one that we recommend if you struggle keeping your clubhead on the right path. Place 2 alignment sticks on the ground facing your target, about a foot apart.
Set the ball a few inches behind the back rod. The goal is to keep your clubhead in the lane throughout the swing. When you do this you train yourself to keep a more square clubface which makes for more accurate shots.
This drill is also especially effective for putting.
4. Sand Traps Alignment Stick Drill
Place two alignment sticks in the sand perpendicular to your target. These place the ball in the center of these lines. They should be about a meter long. Start at the end of the line, taking a step after each swing. Where is your club landing? Is it in front of the lines? Behind them? Golfers who hit in front of the lines will notice they’re chunking more sand than ball, and those who hit in front will realize they’re coming out on top. To avoid these mistakes, aim to make contact with the sand in the middle of the lines.
Depth matters. If you’re swinging too deep you risk a heavier shot or even breaking your club shaft; too shallow and you scrape the top of the ball. Repeat this drill 2-3 times.
5. Pressure Drill Alignment Stick Drill
If you watch Tiger Woods, Rory Mcllory, Phil Mickelson, or virtually anyone on the Tour, their top hand is almost always slightly ahead of the ball at contact. Take an alignment stick and set it on the ground. Align your club in the middle of it. Do your backswing. As you begin your downswing, slow it down. At contact, position your body so that your top hand is ahead of the clubface. Repeat 10 times.
6. Ball Position Alignment Stick Drill
Place the alignment stick towards your target. Using a second stick, place it where your back foot should be.
This will vary depending on what type of club you’re hitting. If you’re hitting an iron, the stick should be in the center of your stance, slightly closer to your front foot.
For a smaller iron, it will be in the dead center.
For a driver, it will be against your front heel.
This drill encourages correct ball placement depending on the type of shot you’re playing.
7. Putting Pace Alignment Stick Drill
Another drill that you can use golf alignment sticks for is to improve your putting pace on long putts. It’s so easy to overshoot or undershoot due to a lack of consistency regarding put speed.
The point of this drill is to encourage aggressive putting which helps you control your misses. It’s almost counterintuitive but overshooting by a foot or two is better than coming up 10 feet short.
8. Putting Alignment Alignment Stick Drill
This is one of the oldest drills in the book. Read the green. What’s the break like? Is it a faster green? Make a few puts before you start the drill to get familiar with the green.
Set the alignment stick where the green is breaking and use it to aid your shot.
Make sure your club is on plane. If it is, you stand a higher chance of a square clubface at impact. That reduces side spin and promotes straighter shots. Repeat this drill to improve consistency and accuracy in your putts.
9. Basic Alignment Alignment Stick Drill
Going back to the fundamentals is always a good idea. That’s why the second to last drill is your standard alignment drill.
Pick out a target and point at it with one alignment stick. You can do this at the driving range or wherever else. Next, place the stick on the ground, and ensure that it is aimed at your target. Place the ball a few inches behind the rod.
Stand with your feet parallel to your target and swing in the direction of the alignment rod to point you towards your target. Repeat every time you’re at the range.
10. Chipping Drill Alignment Stick Drill
Short play can make or ruin your game depending on how good you are at it. The biggest thing to remember about chipping is it’s not a flicking motion. While a little bit of wrist hinge is ok, you should avoid overdoing it. Too much wrist hinge limits control, especially when it comes to things like strike quality and distance.
Hold an alignment stick along with your club. As you chip, the alignment stick shouldn’t touch the left side of your body. Repeat this 50-100 times to really get it into your muscle memory.
A good set of alignment golf drills can help you take your game to the next level. Try these drills at home, at the range, and implement the techniques you learn on the course. Happy golfing!