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Golf Tip - Targeting

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Camden County Golf Academy Tip of the Week  - Targeting Success

By Bob Cardea
Head Golf Coach Rutgers University at Camden
General Manager Camden County Golf Academy

I have worked in the golf business for a long time.  My family founded the South Jersey Golf Schools in 1980, and I have been the Head Golf Coach at Rutgers University at Camden for the past 16 years.  I have worked with thousands of students over the years.  Occasionally I will see one of my former students on the practice tee, and I will stop to see how they are doing.  A lot of the time they will say, “I do well here at the range, but not so well on the golf course.”  My first question to them is, “well, where is your target?”  The answer is usually (about 70% of the time), “out there!”

Considering your hole is only 4 ¼ “in diameter, “out there” just won’t do.  It is a proven fact that in any type of target sport, the old adage is true:  Aim small, miss small!  So, for this installment of our golf tips, I wanted to give you a pre-shot alignment routine.  If you follow this, your misses
should not be as penalizing

Start about 6-8 feet directly behind the ball and use the shaft of your club to draw a line between you and your target. When you do this, try to find an object on the ground about 1-2 feet in front of the ball that is on your target line. In this picture, there just happened to be a bottle cap sitting there. Note – It is illegal to place something in front of your ball for targeting, so find something that is already there. Even if it is a blade of grass that is brown, etc.
With the club in your rear hand (the hand furthest from the target), point the club face at the small target. Doing this first gives your eyes a better perspective than if you address the ball first and then try pointing the club face to the target. If you need proof, try grabbing a basketball and taking a shot while your head is leaning slightly to the left or right. It ain’t easy.
Align your feet, knees, hips and shoulders parallel to your target line. Notice I did not say “at the target.” I use a club at my feet in the picture to show that my body is parallel left to the target line. Note – Again, you cannot use a club at your feet when playing to help with direction. The visuals I use are tools in your tool box for practice sessions.
I use the small target in front of me to help with my path. Most golfers swing across the ball, which creates a pull or slice depending on the direction of the club face. Swing out over the small target, this will help with your extension and path.

I can’t promise you will hit them all straight. However, if you follow this pre-shot routine, your shots will be straighter. For more information, come out and see one of our certified members of our Rutgers University Coaching Staff at the Camden County Golf Academy.

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