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How to Aim on the Course: The Intermediate Target - December 2006
By David La Pour

How would you like to be able to aim correctly 90% of the time when you play? And what about that nagging question after a misdirected shot, "Was I aiming there or did my swing make it go there?"

For this month's tip, I will assume that you have already practiced with an aim club on the ground (last months tip), establishing a relationship between a square clubface, square stance, target line and golf ball. With this relationship ingrained into your golf setup, we now take all this work that you've been doing and apply it to the golf course.

Starting with the tee shot, on the tee box between the tee markers, pick a spot on the ground 12 to 24 inches in front of your target line (fairway). It could be an old divot or piece of grass which we will now call our intermediate target. Take your ball and tee it up directly behind the intermediate target, making sure it is directly in line with the middle of the fairway. Also be sure to tee off behind the tee markers to avoid a two shot penalty.

Once you have aimed your ball using the intermediate spot, you are ready to plug in the club and your square set up that you have been working on. Take your club and address the ball, aiming your clubface at the intermediate target. Once the club is sitting behind the ball, adjust your set up to the club, creating a square stance. You are now aimed correctly!

It's important to note that the clubface should be aimed first, and then you can move your stance according to the club, not the other way around! It takes a little practice getting accustomed to the routine and there is not always a perfect intermediate spot 12 inches in front of your ball. If this is the case don't panic, just do the best you can.

In order to maintain some consistency when aiming on the course, you should use an intermediate spot from the first tee shot all the way to the last putt on the 18th green. Use any type of visual feedback that the golf course will give you such as divots, dirt, grass, and mower lines in order to find your best intermediate target. By doing this and using the formula mentioned above, you are giving yourself the best chance of aiming correctly and hitting the shot you have been waiting for.

Good luck with this and I'll see you on the course!

Happy Holidays!

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