Good training aids can help you become a better golfer. In this guide, I’ll show you how to use golf alignment sticks to check yourself for proper alignment and hit straighter shots on the driving range or golf course.
I’ll also show you over 10 different alignment stick drills that you can try out.
Alignment rods are a cheap and powerful golf accessory and can help you:
- Check for poor alignment
- Confirm that you have the correct address position
- Help you line up towards the intended target
- Help you practice different shot shapes
If you thought these slender sticks were useless, think again! Below, I’ll show you over 10 different alignment stick drills that you can use to improve your golf game.
What are Golf Alignment Sticks?
Golf alignment sticks are an easy golf training tool placed on the ground at your feet. They are usually about 2 feet long, but some more premium ones can stretch longer.
The purpose of golf alignment sticks is to give you a visual aid in how your body and your club face should be aligned during your golf swing. They will help ensure you are aligned to your target correctly so that the ball goes where you intend to.
One other great thing about alignment aids is they help you keep your body square and feet in position. If one foot is higher or lower than the other, it can completely throw your swing off and have you slicing or hooking the ball. Making sure your feet are square will help you hit the ball square and straight.
How to Buy the Best Golf Alignment Sticks
Want to grab a pair of sticks and improve your swing? Below are the top rated golf rods available today. If you buy your own from somewhere else, I recommend going for a three-pack to give you more flexibility.
How to Use Golf Alignment Sticks
Golf alignment sticks are very easy to use. They are short, plastic sticks that you can lay on the ground pointing in the direction you want the ball to end up. Not only will they help improve your aim and alignment in golf, but they will also help improve your swing path.
The most basic way to use them is to line one up with your ball and the other with your feet. This will help keep everything square on your takeaway and impact. If the set comes with three alignment sticks, you can use one to stick into the ground and help you during your swing path.
There are also multiple other ways to use alignment sticks, which I’ll will go over below.
Benefits of Using Golf Alignment Sticks
- They will help you square your feet with the ball to ensure you are aligned to your target correctly.
- They help improve your swing plane to ensure you aren’t swinging inside out or vice versa to cause a hook/slice.
- They can help aid in body turn during your swing and good hip rotation.
- They can aid more experienced golfers when learning to fade or draw the ball by changing feet position and swing path.
- They can aid in perfecting your putting stroke when on the putting green.
10+ Alignment Stick Drills to Improve Your Golf Swing
Normal Alignment (Train Tracks Drill)
The Train Tracks drill is the most used drill when it comes to golf alignment sticks. This alignment stick drill will help you ensure you are set up square to the ball.
- First, place your golf ball down on the ground where you usually would when hitting a golf ball.
- Once the ball is set up, take one of the alignment sticks and place it about an inch past the golf ball, lying on the ground and pointing towards your desired target.
- Take a second alignment stick and put it on the ground, pointed at your target, but closer to the tips of your toes.
When finished, your sticks will look like a train track in front of you.
This drill aims to ensure your feet and club face are square to the ball and to swing along the line of the stick closest to the golf ball. The Train Tracks drill will help train your brain to know what a square stance looks like and how you should be lining up every single shot to ensure the ball goes straight.
If the ball does not go straight, it gives you a pretty good idea that your swing or club face is not aligned.
Ball Striking Drill
The next drill I’ll go over is excellent for improving ball striking with your irons. The number one thing to remember when hitting your irons is that you want to hit downwards on the ball. Hitting down helps compress the ball with the face of the iron and launch it into the air.
If you are hitting the ground first, you are killing momentum and ball speed off the face of the iron.
To do the Ball Striking drill:
- Take an alignment stick and place it 2 inches in front of your ball, pointing towards your desired target.
- Take a second alignment stick and put it 2 inches behind your golf ball, pointing towards your target.
What this does is create a small area exactly where you want to strike the golf ball. This ensures that you are hitting the ball first and then the ground from a consistent position.
One thing to keep in mind is that these alignment sticks are not the most durable. If you hit the stick, there is a chance that it will break. Off the start, you can try moving the sticks further apart and slowly moving them closer together once you get more confident in your ball striking ability.
If you can learn how to hit a consistent ball position, then you can start to hit any type of shot!
Club Path Drill
The Club Path alignment stick drill is excellent for improving your swing path and ensuring you are swinging straight through the ball and not creating a side spin. It is similar to the train tracks drill with a slight adjustment.
- Place a golf ball down where you usually would.
- Take one alignment stick and place it about an inch past the golf ball, pointing at your desired target.
- Next, take a second alignment stick and put it about an inch below the golf ball, pointing towards your desired target.
This drill will look like a skinnier train tracks drill. This creates a narrow path for your club head to travel down.
This drill is essential because most beginner golfers have a swing path outside-in or inside-out, which will cause the ball to hook/slice with a sidespin. With this narrow path, your goal is to strike the ball pure and have your divots travel in the same direction that the alignment sticks are pointing.
If you are attacking the ball pure and your divots are going straight, you are hitting the ball straight and towards your target.
Ball Position Drill
The Ball Position drill is excellent for helping beginner golfers determine the best ball position for the different clubs they will be using. When you read tips on ball position, it is straightforward to say “put the ball forward in your stance” or “inside your front foot.” In reality, it can be pretty hard to know exactly where the best position is.
- Take one alignment rod and lay it on the ground below the ball by about 2-3 inches, pointing at your target.
- Take the other alignment stick and place it perpendicular to the other stick, almost making a “T” shape.
- Have this perpendicular alignment stick pointed at the golf ball, running through your legs.
The purpose of this drill is to help with ball placement depending on which club you are using. If you are clubbing up and need to move the ball forward in your stance, move the perpendicular alignment stick forward as well. If you need to move the ball back, move the stick back.
Hip Bump Drill
The next drill I’ll go over is called the Hip Bump drill, and it is great for helping golfers add some distance to their shots. Many beginner golfers are not rotating completely through their swing or transferring their weight correctly, which hinders the amount of power they can create.
This drill is a great reminder to move your weight through your swing.
- Take an alignment stick and stick it vertically into the ground. You want to ensure it is far enough into the ground to stand up on its own during the drill. The stick should be stuck into the ground just outside your front foot (left foot for a right-handed golfer and right foot for a left-handed golfer).
- After the stick is situated, take your golf swings as you usually would.
When you swing through impact, bump your front hip towards the stick and give it a little tap. This allows you to feel that weight transition from your back leg to your front leg at impact. Proper weight transfer will add much more power to your shot which equals more distance!
Swing Plane Drill
The swing plane drill is one of the more common and straightforward drills you can do with alignment sticks. This drill will help beginner and amateur golfers improve their swing plane.
Most beginner golfers struggle with outside-in swings and slices, so this drill will help you swing on a straight plane.
- Take one alignment stick and keep it on the ground just above your ball by 3-4 inches, pointed towards your target.
- Take the other alignment stick and stick it into the ground at an angle about 12 inches back of the stick on the ground.
If everyone is set up correctly, your golf club head should collide with the angled alignment stick halfway through your back swing, following the line up to the top of your swing.
As your club comes down, it will follow that angle of the leaning alignment stick to guide your club on a straight plane towards the ball. This gives you a better chance of squaring the ball at impact, hitting your intended target, and reducing a slice or sidespin.
Ball Flight Window Drill
The Ball Flight Window drill will help you with a few different things. It will help with your golf ball flight as well as your aiming your shots. Once you are a little more comfortable and advanced, you can also use this drill when learning to draw or fade the golf ball.
- Take both of your golf alignment rods and stick them into the ground about 5-10 feet in front of you. They can be spaced apart by a foot or two. This creates a “window” that you will be aiming to hit the ball through.
A visual aid in front of you will help get you comfortable when aiming your shot and striking the ball. On every shot, focus on hitting the ball through the sticks. Over time, you will hit straighter shots more consistently.
If you are a little more advanced and learning to fade/draw the golf ball, you can try hitting the ball on the outside or inside of each alignment stick. This will help you consistently hit different shots on the golf course.
Shot Shaping Drill
The Shot Shaping drill will help more advanced golfers practice shaping their shots and hitting draws and fades. Knowing how to hit different kinds of shots out on the golf course is essential to help you advance your own personal game.
- Take one alignment stick, place it above your golf ball by an inch or two, and have it pointed directly at your target.
- Take the other stick and place it at your feet but instead of pointing it directly at your target, point it inwards by a few inches.
- Line your feet up with the angled stick when you line up for your shot. This will close your stance and promote a right-to-left shot as a right-handed golfer and left-to-right as a left-handed golfer.
Your golf club face should stay on the ball, but your feet will close the stance, promoting an inside-out swing path. This is called a fade in golf.
To hit a draw, you need to take the alignment stick at your feet, and instead of pointing it inwards, you want to point it outwards a few inches. Lining up for your shot will open your stance, causing an outside-in swing path. This promotes the ball to go left to right as a right-handed golfer and right to left as a left-handed golfer.
These are important shots to hit in golf, but I’ll stress that you should be able to consistently hit the ball straight before moving on to perfect these other shots.
Putting Plane Drill
The Putting Plane drill will significantly improve your putting alignment and swing plane on the green. It follows the same steps as the narrow path drill when practicing with your irons, but this time on the putting green.
- Lay one alignment stick about an inch above your golf ball and point towards the hole.
- Take a second stick and place it an inch underneath your golf ball pointed towards the hole.
This drill helps to provide that narrow path that your putter head should follow on your back swing and through impact. Many beginner golfers take an arc putting stroke or have a stroke that does not follow a straight plane. This will throw off the putting line and have you hitting the ball off center.
Putting through this narrow path will help ensure your putter head is straight the entire putting stroke. It will also ensure you are striking the ball right in the center of the putter’s face.
Putting Pace Drill
The Putting Pace drill involves figuring out the correct pace of the greens. Usually, this is done on the practice green right before your round, so that you can have a good idea of how the greens will roll that day.
- Take an alignment stick and place it behind the hole by about 5 inches. The distance you place it behind the hole isn’t a huge deal, so whatever you are comfortable with.
- Next, go as far back as you want and practice hitting your putts with enough pace that it reaches the hole but does not touch the alignment stick behind.
You can do this for all kinds of putts – uphill, downhill, and straight putts. This will help you develop a good understanding of the pace of the greens.
Golf Alignment Stick Tutorial Videos
Want some visual help on how to setup and use golf alignment sticks? Check out the videos below for more help!
As you can see, alignment sticks are an awesome golf training aid that you can use in a variety of ways. Taking your practice swings with an alignment rod in the way is a good strategy to improve your swing.
Golf alignment drills can help teach you the correct alignment of your body and club and help you hit straight shots. On the green, the Putting Plane and Putting Pace drills can help ensure consistent putting.
What is your favorite golf alignment drill? Comment down below and let us know today.
Last update on 2024-02-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API