4. Incorrect Aim
Aiming incorrectly simply means that the golfer is not aiming where he/she wants the ball to go.
This could be on any shot, be it a full swing or a putt and believe it or not approximately 80% of golfers stand to the golf ball aiming somewhere other than where they want the ball to go.
As a general rule most golfers will aim to the right of target if they are right handed and likewise way left if they are left handed. The next time you are out on the course stand behind a fellow golfer and check out their aim, you may be surprised!!
In an ideal world a golfer would aim the body (Feet, Knees, Hips and shoulders) on a line that is parallel to the line that the ball needs to take to the target. This is where the idea of a railway track is promoted. For a right handed golfer the body would be positioned on the left hand rail while the ball travels down the right hand rail. Therefore, the golfers body actually should aim anywhere between 2-8 yards left of the target for right handers and vice versa for lefties.
To check your aim simply set yourself to a golf ball as normal and while keeping your feet still put the golf club on the floor touching the toes of each shoe. Then stand well back and have a look at where the club is pointing.
With an incorrect aim it is never as simple as the ball just travelling where you are aiming. What happens is that the brain and body then have to start compensating with the swing to try and get the ball going to the target. This is often the start point for an out to in swing path (see Out to In
article). Imagine a right handed golfer aiming to the right. Unwittingly then he/she will try to swing across the ball to the left to try to get the ball going to the target. Over time the problem then can escalate and the golfer ends up hitting all manner of shots. Why?
You may think it easy to aim in the right direction. Why is this issue so prevalent then? There is no proven evidence to suggest why golfers struggle to aim in the correct direction as there could be many reasons for this but the most likely two suggestions are:
1. When we are setting up to strike a golf ball we will always turn and look towards the target to set our sights. As we are doing this side on we have to move our shoulders to an ‘open’ position (to the left for right handers) to look properly. This can give us the impression that we are aiming left and so we shuffle more to the right. Obviously reverse for left handers.
2. Our dominant eye. As we have two eyes, one tends to be more used and so more dominant than the other. For a right handed person, those of us who have dominant right eyes tend to turn more to look at the target and thus tend to aim more to the right. Golfers who are left eye dominant tend to be straighter or even aim slightly left. To check which eye is most dominant extend both arms in front of your body and place the hands together so as to make a small triangle between your thumbs and the first knuckle. With both of your eyes open, look through the triangle and focus on a specific small object. Close your left eye. If the object remains in view, you are right eye dominant. If your hands appear to move off the object and move to the left, then you are left eye dominant.Corrections
Aiming correctly at a target requires a good routine. This is covered in my Pre Shot Routine