How Do I Hit My Golf Ball to a Target?

By Robert Preston
Take some extra time on the range to become used to finding short and intermediate targets to improve your alignment.
Take some extra time on the range to become used to finding short and intermediate targets to improve your alignment.

Failing to pick a specific target when hitting a golf shot is a simple oversight many beginners make, costing themselves strokes that could have been saved with the right procedure. When standing over the ball, your perspective of your alignment can become skewed, making it difficult to properly line up a shot at the flag several hundred yards away. Instead, pick an intermediate target and aim at that to more accurately make your shot.

Stand behind the ball along your target line. If you play a straight shot, the ball will be directly between you and the target. If you're playing a draw or fade or accounting for wind and there will be bend in the ball's flight path, the line from you through the ball will be pointed right or left of the target.

Hold your club in front of you so the shaft is traveling down the target line and through the center of the ball.

Locate a target along the line that is 1 to 2 feet in front of the ball. The target can be anything from a pebble to a blade of grass, as long as you don't lose sight of it when you approach your ball. The target must be there naturally; placing any kind of item is against the rules.

Keep your eye on the intermediary target as you approach the ball so you don't lose track of it. This is more important when using something like a piece of grass, which is surrounded by similar shapes, than it is for a divot or other target that might be the only such shape in the area.

Place the clubface behind the ball so it's perpendicular to the line running from the ball to the intermediary target. Do not be concerned if you no longer seem to have the face pointed at actual target, as long as it's pointed at the intermediate.

Grip the club, and assume your natural swing position, with your body's alignment adjusted to match the alignment dictated by placing the club face.

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