It just so happened that on the way to the golf course this Sunday, I drove past an Open House sign in front of this charming old Victorian. It’s rich blue exterior with white-painted shutters and well manicured lawn practically beckoned passers-by to stop in for a stroll. Not unlike the way beautiful fairways and greens cast their spell on unsuspecting golfers as they drive by on a beautiful spring day. The car almost always pulls toward the course entrance, and with the clubs in the trunk… Hmm, why not stop in for a quick nine and a nice stroll! Well in the case of the open house, the car drifted to the side of the road, we parked in front of the house next door and out of the car we hopped, up the stairs we bounded and into the house we went! Now from the outside, this house looked perfect! It was well established and looked solid as a rock. Once inside however, we noticed something a bit peculiar. As we walked from the front of the house to the back of the house, we noticed a distinct down hill-right to left break starting at the living room just off the entry way. If you were to make a putt from just in front of the couch to the back dining room window, with the cup located just below the center of the sill, you’d have to play it out to the right about 10 inches and hope it didn’t pick up too much speed as it passed the TV! I commented on the right to left break, the real estate agent overheard my remark and reassured everyone within earshot that the owners had it inspected, and said the foundation was solid. Oh, and they didn’t THINK it would shift anymore. So, up to the second floor we went. As soon as we arrived on the landing, we could feel that the floors in each room had what one could only describe as a “multi-tiered” floor complex. The break got worse the higher we went. Now, on the second floor, you had a double breaker from back to front that ran through all the bedrooms. I was starting to get queasy. I couldn’t go up any higher. Down we went to the wonderfully level pavement of the street. Once the vertigo subsided, I thought to myself…this is EXACTLY what happens to people when their swing foundation and alignment is off. It gets worse from the bottom to the top! If it’s a little bit off with the stance, by the time you get to the shoulders, it can be WAY off and when you swing, the ball can go anywhere. You start correcting with your hands through impact and end up with missed shots, thin shots, fat shots…the works!
Create a solid base with your feet shoulder width apart and aligned parallel to the target line. Now you can flex your knees slightly, bend over from the hips and add a bit of weight toward the balls of the feet. Get athletic in your stance and feel solid. With the feet aligned correctly, your knees will flex and they too will be correctly aligned as will your hips and shoulders. Remember, if you start off with your feet pointing somewhere else, the rest of your body will get a bit twisted and continue to be misaligned from bottom to top.
Build your stance like a house…from the bottom to the top and be sure that the bottom is correctly aligned to your target line. This will produce more consistent ball contact and better overall shot making. And here’s the good news….it won’t induce vertigo!