1. Aim & Align
Make sure you do this BEFORE you grip the club, it is crucial. A lot of people confuse aiming with alignment, aim is where the clubface points and alignment is your body.
First aim the club towards to the target with it resting on the ground and being held in just one hand for the moment.
Then build your stance and make sure that your alignment is NOT towards the same target as the club face BUT a parallel line, so it should point a little left of the target for a right-handed golfer! A little bit like the two lines of a train track.
Now take your hold making sure that when you do this you do not alter the aim of the clubface.
A lot of people make the mistake of taking their hold before aiming and aligning, this means that if you get the clubface wrong, your aim and alignment will be detrimentally affected before you even hit the ball.
Not in the heat term, but you can now make your swing at the ball.
It is crucial to get this order right and make it a routine because not only will it reduce shots that go offline because of poor setup but also help you determine why a shot goes offline, giving you the chance to rectify it quicker!
If you hit a ball offline after going through this setup correctly, you can instantly look at swing faults, things that are happening during the action as opposed to pre and mid-swing faults.
If you do not follow this routine it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking it is your swing hitting it offline and trying to adjust this when actually it is your aim and alignment. This can then cause serious swing fault issues due to you compensating for hitting shots in the wrong direction.
Jamie Hodges – PGA Professional