Click here and enter your email address to watch the full video
Tyler Ferrell is the only person in the world named to Golf Digest's list of Best Young Teachers in America AND its list of Best Golf Fitness Professionals in America. Meet your new instructor.

Subscribe now to watch the full video.

Alignment - Work From Grip Backwards

Many golfers struggle with alignment, especially on the course. When it comes time to troubleshoot though, players will often default to the old "club across the toe-line" test. Unfortunately, this method does not give us a ton of information, especially when we consider that in some cases it may be okay for a player to setup slightly open or closed, depending upon their physical make-up. As we know, some of golf's legends such as Trevino and Snead played from a stance-line that was not perfectly "square". Thus, when it comes time to diagnose a suspected alignment issue, I would advocate for the following approach:

      1. Forearms
      2. Shoulders/Scapulae
      3. Ribcage
      4. Pelvis 
      5. Feet

Tags: Fundamentals, Set Up, Concept, Intermediate

00:00:00,000 --> 00:00:05,000
This drill video is when checking alignment work from the grip backwards.

00:00:05,000 --> 00:00:09,000
So many golfers struggle with alignment, especially on the course.

00:00:09,000 --> 00:00:16,000
If you're one of these golfers who has a hard time taking their range game to the course,

00:00:16,000 --> 00:00:20,000
I'd say alignment, 50, 60, maybe even higher than that.

00:00:20,000 --> 00:00:25,000
A high percentage of the time, the alignment changes when you're on the course compared

00:00:25,000 --> 00:00:26,000
to when you're on the range.

00:00:26,000 --> 00:00:31,000
So when you're checking your alignment, I want you to work from the club backwards.

00:00:31,000 --> 00:00:36,000
So I know that the common thing to look at is you look at where the feet are aimed,

00:00:36,000 --> 00:00:41,000
and you put this down like that, and you say, okay, where am I aligned?

00:00:41,000 --> 00:00:44,000
But I actually like to work from the grip backwards.

00:00:44,000 --> 00:00:50,000
So I like to check the forearms, then I like to check the shoulders or the scapula,

00:00:50,000 --> 00:00:54,000
then I like to check the ribcage, then I check the pelvis, and then I check the feet.

00:00:54,000 --> 00:00:59,000
There are many factors as to why someone wouldn't want a perfectly square stance,

00:00:59,000 --> 00:01:05,000
especially if something was going on in the pelvis, or if you had any type of leg length

00:01:05,000 --> 00:01:07,000
issue, which is quite common.

00:01:07,000 --> 00:01:16,000
But the shoulders and the forearms have a really big impact on the overall path of the club.

00:01:16,000 --> 00:01:19,000
So I like to make sure that those aren't too out of whack.

00:01:19,000 --> 00:01:25,000
The most common ones that you'll see are either when you get set up from the down the line

00:01:25,000 --> 00:01:29,000
that right hand will be on top too much.

00:01:29,000 --> 00:01:35,000
And now if I had a line going across my forearms, which is very hard to do on my own,

00:01:35,000 --> 00:01:40,000
you would see that the forearm alignment would be way left of this stick.

00:01:40,000 --> 00:01:45,000
One trait that you'll see with most torporos is when you're looking from the down the line,

00:01:45,000 --> 00:01:52,000
if you have a reasonable camera angle, you will be able to see a little bit of the left forearm on top of the right forearm.

00:01:52,000 --> 00:01:56,000
So not this way, but a little bit that way.

00:01:56,000 --> 00:02:01,000
That comes from having the left arm a little bit straighter than the right arm,

00:02:01,000 --> 00:02:07,000
and the natural side bend in order to account for the right hand being down lower.

00:02:07,000 --> 00:02:14,000
If I was to not side bend, then I would have to get my right shoulder closer to account for

00:02:14,000 --> 00:02:19,000
the right hand being lower on the grip, and that's where a lot of golfers get off.

00:02:19,000 --> 00:02:24,000
So making sure or double checking from that down the line, camera angle, doing a bit of

00:02:24,000 --> 00:02:29,000
mirror work with a stick, and just kind of looking to make sure that the tops of my forearms

00:02:29,000 --> 00:02:36,000
there are right of or parallel to the stick, parallel at the very latest.

00:02:36,000 --> 00:02:41,000
This is a good checkpoint for when you're looking at your impact position as well, that

00:02:41,000 --> 00:02:46,000
left arm isn't too far on top of the right, and that's still in good alignment.

00:02:46,000 --> 00:02:52,000
So then the next point would be looking at the shoulders or shoulder blades, and they're going

00:02:52,000 --> 00:02:58,000
to be closer to square, but usually slightly left, just slightly left.

00:02:58,000 --> 00:03:04,000
Golfers get in trouble, will either be way left, like that right shoulder will be very high,

00:03:04,000 --> 00:03:10,000
kind of like this, or potentially they can get their shoulders pointing too far

00:03:10,000 --> 00:03:16,000
to the right, especially if the forearms are out of alignment because of the shoulder movement.

00:03:16,000 --> 00:03:21,000
So if I'm getting really on top of it with my arm action, if I'm getting really steep

00:03:21,000 --> 00:03:27,000
with my arm action, I'll typically try to balance that out by getting my body pointing more

00:03:27,000 --> 00:03:32,000
off to the right. So a good secondary check is all come up and I'll hold the if the forearms

00:03:32,000 --> 00:03:37,000
look decent, sometimes the shoulders will be a little bit off one way or the other, and I'll

00:03:37,000 --> 00:03:43,000
double check that. The next piece I'll look at is the rib cage, and this is often one of the

00:03:43,000 --> 00:03:49,000
causes for the shoulders being off because the shoulder blades sit on the rib cage. So some golfers

00:03:49,000 --> 00:03:54,000
will get set up with their rib cage kind of pointing forward to help avoid hitting it fat,

00:03:54,000 --> 00:04:00,000
and some golfers will get set up with their rib cage pointing way behind the ball to help

00:04:00,000 --> 00:04:09,000
adjust for a really steep swing path. So double checking rib cage and where that is compared to the

00:04:09,000 --> 00:04:16,000
yellow stick, and then looking at the pelvis. So is the pelvis more or less close-ish to the stick.

00:04:16,000 --> 00:04:24,000
This is where I start to get a little bit more lenient. So if the pelvis or the feet are off by

00:04:24,000 --> 00:04:28,000
you know five, ten degrees, I'm not too worried about it. It's really only if I'm off by

00:04:29,000 --> 00:04:35,000
a significant amount, 20, 30, 40 degrees, which often on the course you will see that happen.

00:04:35,000 --> 00:04:40,000
So it's very important to have a good alignment process and to practice it enough on the range

00:04:40,000 --> 00:04:45,000
so that you feel very comfortable on the course. For everything but the forearms,

00:04:45,000 --> 00:04:51,000
one of the most common little drills that I'll give my students is to pretend you were playing

00:04:51,000 --> 00:04:55,000
defense to the target line. So usually what I'll do is if they've got to stick down like this and

00:04:55,000 --> 00:05:00,000
they're still having trouble and they're maybe just a little bit left like this,

00:05:00,000 --> 00:05:05,000
I'll come in and all stand parallel to the target line I say if we were playing defense,

00:05:05,000 --> 00:05:09,000
would you feel like you're ready to guard me and they'll say no I'm kind of aimed this way.

00:05:09,000 --> 00:05:15,000
And that gives you a good sense of by correcting it and pretending that there's a defender right

00:05:15,000 --> 00:05:19,000
there, parallel to the target line. If you stand up a little taller it allows you to kind of

00:05:19,000 --> 00:05:23,000
orient yourself to this space and I find that that helps a lot of golfers

00:05:24,000 --> 00:05:30,000
get their general orientation down and then it's just a matter of training where those

00:05:30,000 --> 00:05:35,000
forearm alignment, where that is straight because a lot of golfers again are just used to

00:05:36,000 --> 00:05:40,000
a little bit more left shoulder from that right arm being a little bit more on top.

00:05:41,000 --> 00:05:47,000
So if you find that you have a hard time taking your range game to the course double check your

00:05:47,000 --> 00:05:53,000
alignment or if you're just working on one of the one of your kind of fine tuning mechanisms

00:05:53,000 --> 00:05:57,000
if you're working on setup this is a good little process or checklist to run through to make

00:05:57,000 --> 00:06:11,000
sure that you're close to aligned to get ready for your stock swing. Pretty good setup there.

00:06:17,000 --> 00:06:19,000

Subscribe now for full access to our video library.