The dream of every golfer o the course is to make a hit that will materialize into a good shot. However, making the perfect hit or maintaining high-quality swings is not easy for everyone. One of the main problems many amateur and newbie players have on the course is aligning their golf clubs to improve the quality of their golf swings.
With proper alignment, you have your clubface pointing directly towards the target line with your feet standing on a line parallel to the left of the target line for the right-handed golfer and vice versa for the left-handed golfer. When the alignment is poor, the clubface points either to the left or to the right of your target line.
Proper alignment is one of the reasons to use alignment sticks. In this guide, we dive into golf alignment stick drills that will help you swing along the correct path.
What Are Golf Alignment Sticks?
Alignment sticks are thin 4-foot long fiberglass sticks with bright colors. The fiberglass material is durable and strong, enabling the sticks to take as much beating as possible without breaking or bending. The sticks are popular with amateur golfers, professional tour players, and even college and high school golfers.
Besides using them for alignment, the sticks are versatile, and golfers use them as frameworks that help to form their stances and swings. Golf alignment sticks are inexpensive, productive, and using them for practicing great swings is more cost-effective than taking actual golf swinging lessons. Moreover, they provide the players with immediate response and restrictions depending on how well they use them.
Additionally, you can use the sticks in any place of your choice, such as in your backyard, on a golf course, or the range. What is even better is that you can carry the alignment sticks alongside your golf clubs without minding about the club count in your golf bag. Furthermore, they are lightweight and do not add any extra weight that you cannot handle, and carrying them along allows you to use them any time the need for alignment arises.
The minimum alignment sticks recommended are two, but you can carry a set of three for more flexibility and the ability to work on more than two drills simultaneously.
Why Should You Use Golf Alignment Sticks?
Consistency is crucial to a round of golf, and one of the things that give you that is a good swing. However, maintaining consistent swings is not as easy as it sounds with many golfers as they struggle with alignment. When you imagine your alignment instead of actually measuring it, you might end up with inconsistent swings, mishits, and wrong stance width.
Alignment sticks help you create visual and physical lines that you feel and see in real-time to provide consistency. They perfect the swing, serve as convenient gates that you can use to hit your shots, and they help to dictate stance width.
In this next part of the article, we look at some of the best drills you can perform with golf alignment sticks to perfect your posture, stance, and swing for the perfect hit and shots.
Best Golf Alignment Sticks Drills You Can Use To Improve Your Game
The following drills are easy and even fun to perform with your alignment sticks for a great improvement of your swing and provide your shots with some much-needed shape.
Train Tracks Drill
The train tracks drill is one of the simplest tasks you can perform with your alignment sticks. The drill ensures that you are familiar with where to place your clubface and feet and where your shot will end after you take a swing. Use the following simple steps to perform the train track drill.
- Place a golf ball on the fairway or the tee
- With the alignment stick pointing directly at your target line; place it six inches away from the golf ball
- Take a second alignment stick, and ensuring that it runs parallel to the first one, position it about a foot closer to you
The two parallel alignment sticks create a train track, which is the path your golf ball should take as long as your swing is alongside the line closest to the alignment stick. The main purpose of this drill is to train your mind on how the right alignment and proper stance should appear each time you play.
Furthermore, the drill also helps to confirm if the clubface or your swing has the perfect alignments depending on whether the ball follows the direction of the train tracks or does not. If the ball fails to follow the track, you can rectify the issue easily by repeating the procedure until you perfect your swing and clubface alignment.
Hitting a Draw Drill
The hit a draw drill is a slight improvement of the train tracks drill. It helps you to shape your shots easily. Like the train tracks drill, hitting a draw drill is a simple and highly effective method that uses a set of alignment sticks and a drill any player wants to master.
- The first thing to do is ensure that your clubface is in its proper place at impact and that your swing will follow an in-out path instead of a square plane
- Ensure that the train track line that is closest to the golf ball points directly to the target
- Slightly move the end of the alignment stick closest to your feet, allowing the train tracks to converge towards the hole
- Using your feet, address the ball along the nearest track
- Address the square of the clubface to point towards the target line
The position puts you in a closed stance, and with the clubhead following the direction of your feet relative to the direction of the clubface, you will end up in an in-out swing path. The swing path will impart a spin on the golf ball that leads to a draw.
Hitting a Fade Drill
Hitting a fade drill is the opposite of hitting a draw drill. You do not need a slightly closed stance in this drill, but you make it more open. You do this by moving the alignment stick closest to your feet, ensuring that the face square points directly towards the target line.
- Point the alignment stick and clubface nearest to the ball directly at the target line
- Position your feet slightly facing towards the left of the target line
The above position, which also goes by the name open stance, helps create an out-to-in swing path that imparts a slight clockwise spin on the ball, allowing it to fly straight before moving to the right gradually. Furthermore, it helps to fine-tune just right and too open swings.
Ball Position Drill
Every player carries different types of golf clubs in their bag. Each of the clubs requires a golf ball in a position specifically suited for the specifications and purposes of the golf club. If you are trying to hit the golf ball for the optimal launch, use the longer golf clubs that help you to hit down just inside the front foot.
If you are hitting the ball towards the back, ensure that you hit down on the irons and wedges for the perfect launch. You can use alignment sticks as rotation aids to help form a 90-degree T or crosshair. The crosshair provides you with a visual cue that helps to develop consistency for each specific club you use for practice.
Practicing with the alignment sticks perfects your skill that you soon start to set the ball in the same position of your stance without their help every time you play.
Club Path Drill
The positioning of your feet and the direction they face when you are taking a shot influence the golf ball’s flight but not as much as where the clubhead goes. You will notice when your club path is not going where you need it to go if your shots start creating a shape even with the feet pointing towards the target.
Using alignment sticks helps you to create a swing path that is both consistent and repeatable. You can also use the narrow channel drill to position the golf ball in between two alignment sticks to enable the clubhead to cut in between for straighter shot hits.
- Position the alignment sticks wide
- Make the channel between the two alignment sticks narrower as garner more consistency
The club path drill using alignment sticks is one of the best methods to use for training accuracy in hitting the golf ball from the golf club’s center.
Swing Plane Connecting Drill
The moment you move your club backward, you start a swing. One of the questions you should ask yourself when you make a backward movement with the club is whether the swing plane feels too steep. Unfortunately, most golfers cannot tell when their swing plane is steep.
However, using alignment sticks is a conventional way to connect with a swing plane and find out if it is steep or not after you move it backward.
- Place an alignment on the ground and ensure that it points towards you at an angle the same way your club shaft does while at address
- When playing the ball, ensure that it is a few inches closer to you
If you feel the need to maneuver your hands to hit the ball, your swing is too steep.
- Use two alignment sticks to correct this by using one rod to help with the alignment and the other positioned on the ground at an angle
- Position the golf ball under the rod, helping with the alignment and from above cut it in half visually
If the whole ball is visible to you during the chipping movement, then your sway is overboard, and you will end up with a steep swing
Hip Rotation Drill
Body rotation, especially the hips and shoulders, is another important factor to consider when taking a swing to get the distance. Maintaining the right body rotation means turning your hips and shoulders in the right way without losing your focus on the ball. The trick is not to think much about the movements of your body if you want your swing to be as natural as possible.
The big muscles around the core of the hips play a huge role in contributing to real clubhead speed generating. Using alignment sticks can help you to determine if your hips are turning or not.
Take a few light swings with a single alignment stick inserted through the belt loops. If the stick stays pointed at where it should, it means your hips are not turning well enough to give you the distance. If the stick draws a wide arc, it means that your hip rotation during the swing is decent enough to give you the distance.
FAQs about Alignment Sticks
What Factors Should You Look For When Buying Alignment Sticks?
The factors to consider before purchasing alignment sticks are
- Other extra such as rubber caps and storage tube
What Are Some Of The Best Golf Alignment Sticks?
Alignment sticks come in many brands that make choosing the best among the hundreds of them challenging. However, we reviewed three of the best and came up with the following list.
SKLZ Golf Alignment Sticks
- A durable set of three
- Lightweight fiberglass construction
- Features nine rings on each rod to help with consistency and ball position
- They come with safety caps
- The safety caps tend to come off when the sticks are in the golf bag
Callaway Alignment Sticks
- Collapsible to a maximum length of 48″ and a minimum of 19″
- UV-Coated to prevent fading
- They come with ease of storage
- Durable and come with safety rubber caps
- They slightly tend to bend when using them
Elixir Golf Alignment Sticks
- Set of two fiberglass sticks with clear tube casings
- Suitable for different drills
- They come with connectors that make it easier to set up ball position and target line
- They fit perfectly in the golf bag
- The manufacturer could have done better with the quality
Wrapping it up
Using golf alignment stick drills is one of the simplest solutions to improving your swing and creating distance. They are cost-effective, lightweight, easy to use, and they make you realize how the simple things are the ones that go a long way in making golf as interesting as it is. Investing in alignment sticks is the surest way of getting returns on your investment, especially if you are an amateur trying to get to the league only associated with pro golfers.