Last Updated on September 10, 2021
A golfer’s alignment is a crucial aspect of the game. One way to make sure your alignment is correct when you take your stance on the tee box or at any point during play is by using an alignment stick. The sticks are placed behind and in front of the ball so that it will be positioned directly over the target line on which you’re aiming.
These deceptively simple tools will help you line up properly before taking a shot and ensure that your clubhead meets the ball on point.
There are many variations on this basic design, including putting alignment sticks for use during putts or chipping alignment sticks for use with shorter shots around the green. In this post, I want to layout how to use them as well as a couple of ideas for drills that you can easily take advantage of. so let’s crack on.
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The Quick Answer
Golf alignment sticks are one of the most useful things that you can use when you are trying to improve your game. As for how to use the sticks there are many different ways you can do it because there are many different drills that incorporate these tools.
The most common way to use these alignment sticks is by simply laying them on the ground to see your body alignment at address and impact. Simply lay them on the ground in a straight line towards your target to align your body along that line.
After using the sticks for a while you can then remove them from your line and test whether you naturally line up to the target correctly or not.
Another common way to use the alignment sticks is to place them in the ground at certain angles to help you with your swing plane.
Now there are many ways of doing this and many different drills that this can be used for, but those are specifics that we will get into later.
Alignment sticks are helpful in this nature because even though you may be able to align your feet by laying a club on the ground, you cannot literally stick a club into the ground to help align your swing path.
Even if you found an actual stick to use, they will not grab your eye like an alignment rod or if you hit it on accident odds are that it will probably break.
For these reasons, it is helpful to purchase an alignment stick and use it to stick in the ground to help you with the alignment of your swing plane.
Where Can I Use Alignment Sticks?
Luckily for you, there are many different locations that you can use alignment sticks at and we will be walking you through all of them now.
On the Driving Range
This is by far the most popular place that you will see people using alignment sticks. For the previous uses that we have mentioned to include aligning your feet and shoulders with a target or using the sticks to align your swing plane.
There are also many different drills that you can use alignment sticks for that people use on the driving range that we have yet to discuss. It also makes sense that on the driving range is the most popular destination for alignment sticks, speaking that many people work on their game at the driving range.
What makes alignment sticks powerful is that they can be used for all different skill levels to improve your golf game. So whether you are going to your local driving range or you are going to the driving range at the Masters, you are likely to see alignment sticks to be used.
In fact nearly all professional players keep alignment sticks in their bags so whenever they go to the driving range they can readily have one in hand to use. Even if it is not laying in the ground or helping with the swing plane, some golf coaches will use it on the driving range as a pointer or extension of their hand.
Hopefully, you get the point by now, but alignment sticks are by far mostly used on the driving range, but keep in mind that this is not the only place that you will see them.
On the Practice Green
Hopefully, you never see an alignment stick sticking out of the ground on the practice green, but this does not mean that they cannot be used to help golfers with their alignment.
The alignment sticks can be used to align feet on the practice green just as they are on the driving range, but you will most often see them being used to help players align their putting stroke. One of the most important things in golf is having a smooth one-dimensional putting stroke, so alignment sticks can help keep everything on line.
Especially with how often professionals emphasize starting a putt on line, alignment sticks can be extremely useful in getting this job done.
In addition to aligning your putting stroke, you may see some golfers putting it perpendicular to their feet to help measure the angle of attack that they are striking the putt with. This is not as common, but it is something that alignment sticks can be used for on the practice green.
Without counting using alignment sticks in your backyard and other people’s homemade driving ranges, this is the second most popular place that you will see an alignment stick being used.
On the Golf Course
Now you will likely and hopefully not see golfers using an alignment stick before every shot on the course or before every putt. Even though they will not be used every shot, they can be helpful if you are trying to have an on-course lesson.
They can also be helpful if you have some extra time and nobody else behind you, so you can work on anything you want while waiting for the group in front of you to move on. So even though you will seldom see alignment sticks being used on the golf course it is still an option at the end of the day.
Golf Drills with Alignment Sticks
We have referenced this section quite a bit in the paragraphs leading up to it, so now is the moment that you have all been waiting for. We will be sharing with you three different drills that will help you improve your golf game and put your alignment sticks to use.
Alignment stick drills for over the top or Swing Plane
This drill directly involves putting the alignment stick in the ground at a forty-five-degree angle to help you align your swing plane as we discussed earlier.
Ideally, it should be about the same angle that you are holding your club at the address. Now you will want to place it a few feet behind your last toe so you do not actually hit it on your swing.
When you first start this drill you want to slowly drag your club back along the angle of this alignment stick.
This should take you along an ideal swing path plane and help you determine whether you are swinging over the top or not.
Afterward, you can begin to swing faster along this plane or remove the alignment stick altogether.
It should help you stop swinging over the top and return your swing plane back to an ideal angle.
Backswing Drill or Takeaway Drill
Many golf coaches and players agree that the takeaway is one of the most important parts of the backswing and the entire swing for that matter.
So why not use this drill to perfect maybe the most important part of your entire swing? Rather than sticking the alignment stick in the ground, you lay the alignment stick flat out directly behind the golf ball.
This will put it directly in your target line, but that is okay because it is exactly what we want. For the purposes of this drill, you want to take your club back in slow motion and low to the ground right over your alignment stick.
You want to make sure that your clubhead travels directly backward on the alignment stick because starting it offline in either direction will most likely not result in consistent shots.
From there you can remove the stick when you feel comfortable and just keep that feeling in the back of your mind as you swing.
Putting drills with alignment sticks
Again this drill as we hinted at earlier relies on laying two alignment sticks down, one on the heel and one on the toe of your putter.
Ideally, you want to find a flat and straight part of the practice green to do this drill on, or it is also an easy putting drill for the home. You simply want to bring back your putter in between these two alignment sticks and watch your golf ball roll through the two alignment sticks on its way to the hole.
It seems quite simple, but it can be really helpful and can help you recenter your putting game.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Alignment Sticks Work?
Based on the number of people that use alignment sticks, as well as the number of professional golfers that use them, it is safe to say that alignment sticks do work. I have found them very useful myself after using them on many occasions throughout my time at driving ranges around the country.
How Long Are Alignment Sticks?
Alignment sticks are pretty thin, but they are around four feet long on average or three feet if you are looking for a smaller version. This makes it easy for you to follow on your backswing drills.
Can You Carry Alignment Sticks in Your Golf Bag?
Of course! Most people carry alignment sticks in their golf bag so they can use them whenever they need and it does not count towards the number of clubs that you have in your bag.
Final thoughts on golf alignment sticks
From this article, we hope that you have learned lots of helpful information about how to use golf alignment sticks. Whether you are a beginner looking to try them out for the first time, or a professional looking to learn something new, we hope that you found this article helpful.
We discussed how to use alignment sticks by either laying them in the ground or sticking them in the ground at an angle.
Additionally, you will most often find alignment sticks on the driving range or practice green and not so often find them on the golf course during a round.
There are many different drills that you can use alignment sticks for, but we suggest the three from above the next time you work on your game.
Finally, we ended the article by answering some popular frequently asked questions that pertain to this subject. Again we hope you found this article helpful and go try out some alignment sticks today!