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Ken Tannar, PGI Creator


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September PGI Contest

Congratulations to Harald Wibye of Fredrikstad, Norway for winning July/August's contest worth $50.

To register for Sept/Oct's contest worth $50, all you need to do is visit this page and enter your name and email. Refer friends to my newsletter, and you'll be entered as many times as the number of friends you refer.

Just submit the name(s) of your friend(s) on the registration page.

Download any of my PGI Golf Tips or Reports. Buy a copy of the CD, Hit Down Dammit!, the new BreakMaster for measuring green break, Swing Machine Golf, or Swing Speed Detector or anything else, and you'll be entered once for every dollar value of your purchase.

You owe it to your game to make the best of your abilities; become " Master of Your Own Game". Stand out and improve, even without hitting any balls!!

Here's to a long lasting life of great golf!

A Brief Message  Aug 18/05

  • Congratulations to Olin Browne for winning the Deutsche Bank Championship. I'm excited as I'll be attending the Canadian Open at Shaughnessy Golf & CC in Vancouver this week.
  • My last newsletter took a look at hitting uphill and downhill shots with the short game and the effects on how the ball lands. View the previous newsletter here.
  • This newsletter will highlight the importance of alignment in golf as well as a few methods that can be used to align properly.
  • An excellent golf book that I've promoted on my site for over a year is "Swing Machine Golf." Click here to take a peak. It's a beautiful book to have.
    It's highlighted in George Peper's new book, "Search for the Secret of Golf." George is a long-time editor of Golf Digest. His book is highlighted in the Sept issue of Golf Digest. You can order George's book from Amazon here. I think I'll get 2 bits if you do.

    View the left hand side of this page for some other great golf gift ideas. Get some great golf books from amazon.com. View my recommended golf science books.

  • If you haven't signed up for your 15 day free trial Putting Analysis, do so now. Click here.

    Read your putts more accurately by measuring the slope of the green using "BreakMaster", a digital slope reader.

    Check out my latest calculator. It calculates your handicap index. You can use it whenever you like ensure you're using the right index. Click here.

Golf Game Management X:  Misalignment & It's Pitfalls

Read other Parts from the Technology & Distance series, Short Game series and Off Season Golf series here, Archives.

Check out my new Golf Handicap Calculator

Send me any suggestions you have for the next or future newsletters. Just submit your ideas using this simple form. Now on to this week's topic.

X. Do you have problems with alignment? Yes, if you're like most.

    The topic of this this series is Golf Game Management. Can you shoot lower scores without physical improvement? The answer is a resounding, YES! Not that I'm advocating not improving your ball striking and short game skill level.

     I played golf today with a 3 friends. One of them, a 16 handicap, did the following on 5 separate holes. He'd hit his tee shot way left, and then hit his provisional way right. Each time, he hit the ball solidly and got very good distance. The problem, was he was in the bush.

     My friend, Gord, asked me, "Do you know what I'm doing wrong in my swing?" It told him his initial swing each time was fine. Since he hit the ball solidly with good distance, he must have misaligned.  Gord doesn't have an alignment procedure he follows. He just step up to the ball and take a peak. 9 times out of 10, he's aiming way left of his target (he's a lefty).

     Most golfers misalign. Right handed golfers usually misalign too far right and left handed golfers usually misalign too far left. In so doing, if they put a good swing on the ball, the ball flies off the intended line. Many golfers, Gord included, compensate in their swings to avoid gross errors. Gord tends to aim too far left and in his downswing, he comes over top of the ball to so it goes right of where he is aiming.

     Golfers tend to misalign on short shots as well, even putting. Misalignment is one of the major causes of shots going offline and one of the major causes for poor swing habits. It's important that you, the golfer, develop a method of alignment for all shot so that you can successfully align as often as possible. If you're properly aligned, then you'll know that an errant shot is due to an improper swing and not an improper alignment. It's very important that you and your body get proper feedback from you shots.

     So, how can a golfer successfully align on his shots. Well, I'll advocate two methods which I use very successfully. You'll see many pros use them as well.

Method #1: Pick a Spot on Your Target Line

Stand behind the ball. Visualize a target line connecting your ball to your target. Pick a spot about 3 feet or so out in front of your ball that is on your target line (a leaf, tee, blemish of grass, ball mark). This spot is your intermediate target. You will now align yourself to this intermediate target and thus at the same time will be aligned to your primary target.

You then address the ball, aiming at the  intermediate target. What I do is visualize the target line between my ball and the intermediate target. I place my club down on the target line behind the ball such that the clubface crosses the target line in a perpendicular fashion. The leading edge of the clubface and the target line form the letter, T, with the clubface being the top of the T (the T is actually laying on its side). This process is called squaring the clubface to the target line.

Click here for a photo of target line and a line parallel to the target line.

Once the clubface is correctly in face, I then align the rest of my body so that my feet, knees, hips and shoulders are parallel to the target line, and thus perpendicular to the clubface. This process is called squaring your body to the clubface.

Of course, there is error in the intermediate target you pick (not being exactly on the target line), error in squaring your clubface to the target line and error in squaring your body to the clubface. But, as you practice and perform the procedure, you'll get quite proficient at it.

Method #2: Swivel Your Head & View theTarget

This second method requires you to be wearing a hat, preferably a standard golf hat that has a protruding rim. I use this second method as a double check of Method #1. Method #2 is based more on feel and can be prone to more error.

If you address the ball properly and are correctly aligned, and then swivel your head (rotate it by turning the neck only, without bending the neck), the target will always appear in the same portion of your eye's view. If you're wearing a hat, the target will always be in the same position relative to the corner of the hat's brim.

When I used to wear glasses, I would merely swivel my head and the target would appear in the upper left hand corner of my left glass lens (I'm right handed).

To help, you can place something at the corner of the brim of you hat like a paper clip or money clip (some ball mark repair tools have a clip). The difficult part of this process is identifying the correct position relative to the brim of your hat. Follow this process to make sure you're properly aligned.

*In front of your ball, place a club so that the shaft lies along the target line towards the target.

*Place another club parallel to the first in a position close to where your feet will be when you address the ball.

*Address the ball ensuring the your feet and body are aligned parallel the clubs.

*Now, swivel your head so that you can view the target. Take note of where the target is relative to your brim.

When you go to play a shot, place your club behind the ball, swivel your head and adjust your stance so that the target is in the correct position.

I find this second method works great for all of my shots except putting and chipping (because they are to short). And, I use this second method as a check to the first, which is more accurate, I find.

That's it!! Give it a try and let me know how it works for you. You might want to try attaching something to your brim to make it easier to view your target.



Learn your perfect swing while attached to the "Dream Swing."
Learn when your swing goes off plane and correct it.

Click here for your Dream Swing.

   As I also recommend in my "Longest Golf Ball" study, a golfer should play a golf ball that feels good to him/her. One golf ball doesn't go significantly farther than any other (even though ball manufacturers would lead you to believe otherwise). The most important quality of a golf ball is its feel for the short game, which is where golfers use the most of their shots. If your budget permits you, you should use a ball like the Titleist Pro V1 because it is soft which means you can judge short shots (putting and chips) better and it provides more backspin, while at the same time provideing the same distance as a hard ball.

   In my opinion, playing a Titleist Pro V1 that you found (as long as it looks relatively new and has likely been recently lost) is better than a new hard golf ball, like a Top-Flite.

   The wind changes the distance the ball flies more when hitting into the wind than with the wind. How much more? I have calculated that with my computer projectile model and reveal the amount in my paper on Wind Speed Effects. You can purchase your copy for only $5.99. Click here.

Order your "Altitude Club Print" now and have greater confidence in your club selection when you travel to different courses. The cost is only $9.99, less than a sleeve of golf balls.

Get more info here.

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A list of resources that have been used to produce this newsletter can be found on my web site here.

The focus of my site is to utilize science and math to lower your score. New technology is one way to achieve this, but to be honest, the technology is one small piece of the puzzle.

To actually improve significantly, we all need to:

1. Improve our swings using CD Interactive, Hit Down Dammit!

2. Learn how to swing simpler like the Iron Byron with the great coffee table book, Swing Machine Golf!

3. Improve our physical fitness and strength.
The Golf Trainer Power Performance Programô
and Ultimate Golf Fitness Ebook

4. Improve our mental games. Golf Mind Software

5. Improve our Probable Golf games. Learn how to make better choices on the course through knowing how shot patterns and reading the elements and course better.

Click on the links above to take a look at ways that I personally use myself and recommend you try as well.

Hope I provided some useful ways for to become better prepared for you best golf season ever.

Ken Tannar

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