Golf and the Target Line
New golfers need to know how to use the target line effectively, even more experienced golfers don't consider the target line enough. They fail to realize that the target line can be used for more than just lining up your shot.
Most new golfers stand behind the golf ball and line up the direction they want the ball to go, if this is on the tee, then it is usually in a very general way and direction. They aim for the direction of the flag and fail to pick out the exact spot on the fairway that they want the ball to land. I will get more into picking a specific target later, for now I'll concentrate on the various ways that the target line can be used to help the new golfer.
How to pick a target lineThe target line in golf is an imaginary line drawn through the golf ball all the way to the target, on the tee this becomes a very long line. When you are addressing the golf ball, the target line relies on your peripheral vision to be able to concentrate on it and line up your stance and shot effectively. The way round this is to pick out a spot that is on the target line but much closer to you, this can be anything, from a leaf to a dark spot on the grass, anything at all, it does not matter as long as you pick out something.
Now that you have your spot picked out, at address, you will be able to be more aware of it while you are looking at the golf ball. Because you can now visualize the target line easier, you can use it in various ways and new golfers can learn how to use the target line effectively.
Lining up your stanceYou want to line your body up parallel to the target line, however, most golf instruction seems to be that you line your feet up parallel to the target line, and miss the most important bit of all. New golfers take note, it is your shoulders that are important to line up with the target line, not your feet, concentrate much more on your shoulders. Have a look at How To Hit The Golf Ball Straight for a deeper explanation.
The golf club faceWhile at address, you can use the target line to make sure that the face of the golf club is square to this line, unless the club face is square to this line at impact, the golf ball will not fly in a straight line.
Straight golf shot
You can use the target line to ensure that your golf swing is going to give you a straight shot, and it is simply this. if, during the downswing, the club head crosses over the target line, you will not get a straight shot. If the club head crosses over the line before impact, you will get a fade or golf slice. If, on the other hand, the club head crosses over the target line after impact you will get a draw or golf hook. This, of course, is presuming that the club head is square to the target line at impact.
Specific targetsThe need to pick out a specific target to aim for, especially on the tee box, seems to be ignored and badly understood by new golfers. If you just pick out a general direction that you want the golf ball to travel, you severely restrict how much progress you will make at the game of golf.
The more precise you are when choosing a target to aim for, the less room for error you are allowing yourself. The advantages are that you will be less likely to have wayward shots if you are aiming for a smaller target, your mind concentrates more and your subconscious is more likely to ignore any hazards that would normally put you off. By being more precise, you also become more accurate overall in your golf shots, you will be more critical of yourself when you miss your target. Your drive may very well be straight, but if it lands 30 yards longer or shorter than the target you were aiming for, then you will be less likely to accept it as being a good shot.
If you are trying to correct a golf slice, then learn to use the target line effectively.
To sum up, new golfers need to learn how to use the target line effectively and to be more precise when choosing where they want their golf ball to land.