Watching The Players at The Range: What Can We Learn From the U.S. Senior Open at Salem Country Club

If you have a chance to get to Salem Country Club this weekend, consider making the trip. You’ll see some fantastic golf displayed on the beautiful Donald Ross designed course. It’s truly a gem. You might also want to stroll down past the Media Center along the 2nd fairway to the driving range. It’s a great place to watch the experts hone their skills.

Whenever I’m at a professional tour event, I always spend some time at the driving range to watch the players practice. There’s always something to see. Now, there are a lot of different swings out there on tour, some are fast and others slow. Some swings seem to have an overzealous loop at the top while others seem to be a simple back and forth motion with no bells and whistles. While the differences in swings may vary, their practice station set ups at the range have a common theme, Alignment Rods.

Alignment rods are tools found in almost every professional golfer’s bag.  When they go to the range, they pull them out of the bag and place them on the ground like it’s a religion.  Here’s a picture I took while at the practice round this past Tuesday. Tom Kite, an accomplished tour player with 19 Tour wins in his career and clearly a player with a solid well established swing, is using an alignment rod. He wasn’t the only one, his fellow pros to his left, right and all the way down the range also had them down on the ground.

Tom Kite Range

The pros use them to help confirm their target, body line relative to target and ultimately to support their intended swing. Alignment is one of 3 Pre-Swing fundamentals that influences how a player swings the club. It’s something that I think every golfer should focus on before they make an effort to hit the ball where they want to hit it. Alignment is a huge contributing factor to the path of the swing and the club face as it relates to that path….right or wrong.

Here’s a segment I did with Damon Hack on Morning Drive on the Golf Channel this past February. It goes over the 3 Pre-Swing Basics that I believe are major factors in how we swing the golf club and alignment is the final key.


3 Keys to Pre-Swing Basics: Grip, Posture and Alignment

After you watch the segment, you’ll start to notice how the tour players take their time with the basics for each and every swing. And if you stroll down to the range at The U.S. Senior Open this weekend, you’ll see that they’re all believers in the same religion, that of ” The Alignment Rod.”




About Cathy

I am an LPGA Class A teaching professional with more than 20 years of experience. I've recently been selected as a Golf Channel Academy Coach. I have been listed as one of the best teachers in the country by Golf for Women Magazine, best teacher in state by Golf Digest and been nominated to the prestigious Top 100 Teacher list by Golf Digest. I offer whole game improvement plans and strategies that will help you achieve your goals. Whether you have a single digit handicap or you are just a beginner, I will help guide you to your success by creating a learning environment that is completely unique to you! I am one of only 30 people in the country certified by the Golf Coaches Association. I use V1, FlightScope and Boditrak technology.
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