Golf Tip

There are eight steps to taking it to the course, and steps one through four (the cue, visualize your shot, make practice swing and pick an intermediate target) were printed last week. Here are steps five through eight to help you polish your game of golf.

Step Five – Walk in on an angle to the ball

Walk in at an angle with your body open to the target line by standing with your back foot closer to the ball than the front foot. From this position you can see the intermediate target better and will be less likely to end up aligning closed to your target line.

Step Six – Aim the clubface at your intermediate target

Standing open to the target line, aim the clubface at the intermediate target. It is much easer to aim correctly if you aim at a close object rather than one far away. To be aligned correctly, your clubface must be square as you take your stance.

Step Seven – Take a parallel left stance

From this position set your front foot in position, then your back foot the same distance from the target line as you stand over the ball, checking your body alignment. Make sure that your body lines up left of your intermediate target (imagine a railroad track, with your feet on the inside rail and your ball on the outside rail) and you will be parallel. Referencing your body alignment to the intermediate target is much easier than lining up to a distant target.

Step Eight – Stay in motion and stare at the target

Once you are over the ball, it is imperative that you stay relaxed and focus on the target. Waggle the club to keep the arms and wrists flexible and move your weight back and forth from one foot to other. These movements will help maintain a smooth swing pace, improve balance and help create more clubhead speed.

If you stand stationary and stare at the ball instead of the target, you will become more rigid and lose focus. Glance briefly at the ball and stare at the target during this portion of the routine. Your swing thoughts must be minimal at this state. Simply remember the feel of your practice swings and repeat that feeling when hitting the ball.

Todd Sinclair is the Director of Instruction at First Coast Golf Academy. Sinclair gives lessons at both The Orchards at Egg Harbor and Meadow Ridge Lodge at Cherry Hills in Sturgeon Bay. He can be reached at 904.338.7107 or at