Golf Alignment of Your Feet

Alignment in golf requires an understanding of where your feet are actually pointing and determining what reference point to use for your alignment to the target.

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Martin L
Great refresher and something to work on over an over. I found that I needed my right foot perpendicular to the heel line so I can do the new consistency drills and role my right foot. Also just doing the first consistency drill has really improved my contact and lowered my ball flight a lot. Now I just have to get my new distances.
June 9, 2022
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Great Martin. Love hearing about the progress and understanding about you need to achieve to have better results.
June 10, 2022
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James
complex question. chuck mentions in several videos about releasing the club, which ultimately lead to a "Proper draw," --i agree. my question it with alignment in relation to the draw in the RS system. how should one set up their feet?? should one align their clubface at the target, or right of the target, assuming your going to draw. should the feet be parallel left of the target, or at the target? Most ppl's lead foot is generally turned outward, which makes sense in this video, but what about for a draw? shoudl the lead foot, be toward the ball more, and the trail foot more the opposite way to be closed, but yet have an open lead foot?? Thanks, in advance, im just confused.
July 14, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello James. Having a splay in the lead foot is fine. If you square off the front foot just know you may not be able to clear the hip as well depending on flexibility (Should Your Splay Your Feet Video). Ideally, you wouldn't align the club off target because if you miss you are stuck in the mud. The draw shouldn't be so aggressive you you have to play for it to come back into play. Everything should still be parallel left. Minor changes in face rotation and chest can easily give you a lot of curvature when needed without altering the setup a ton.
July 15, 2021
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Eric
Two questions, please: 1. I have played from an open club face at address. Fellow players have noticed it. Square never looked right to me. I can hit one square if I get the face square at impact otherwise a lot of pushes and cuts. I struggle with an open hip at address that compounds the left to right. At the range tonight I worked on a squared clubface at address. I noticed a couple things. The open clubface makes my hip open and when I square the clubface my hips naturally square. If I overly square or close the clubface my left shoulder goes closed. As a result of all this with an open clubface I get to the top in a flying elbow, not elbow down. Is there a physiological relationship between the open clubface at address and natural compensation to the hips and shoulders? 2. I read that at address the clubface shouldn’t be completely square since the club is a quarter inch behind the ball and the clubface should be a few degrees open since the face will be square at impact to the ball at impact due to the quarter inch differential. Is that right?
September 9, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Eric. Players will tend to make subconscious adjustments with the body to counter act the face. Most players will tend to miss a couple of degrees open and you can make a little bit of the argument in point number 2 relative to where you lay the club at address. If the face is a couple degrees open I rarely mention it, but closed usually opens up a whole can of worms.
September 9, 2020
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Kevin
Craig, as I do setup and backswing reps while barefoot, I'm noticing that my back foot is open. With shoes on it looks perpendicular to my line and that's what I always thought I was doing. When I adjust it to actual perpendicular while barefoot, I feel a slight difference in everything in small ways. Not necessarily a bad thing - maybe good? Should I continue to actually position my foot like I thought I was doing all along, or should I allow it to stay open as it's been in my two reviews that you did? Thanks again
June 22, 2020
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Kevin
Craig, I should say that I noticed this after focusing on laser knees and found that my slightly open back foot setup was pulling my back knee out of perpendicular position to start. when I setup with the inside of my back foot (thinking a line through big toe to inside of heel) perpendicular and my front foot naturally open slightly, my laser knees look a lot better.
June 22, 2020
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Eric
Had a miserable round of golf after a very good range session the day before. I spent about an hour at home looking at my set up. My buddies tell me I tend to line up with my feet to the right. I think I also set up with my left shoulder pointed to the right, very strong/flexed kind of glued to my left pec muscle and my left hip is open (subconscious compensation?). This all leads to a natural left side push from the shoulder, even if I try to get my right side to pull. Dreaded flying elbow. When I am on the range and I try to hit half shots straight at a target. My shoulder, hip and feet naturally line up properly? Moving the club with my weight shift and right side pull with rotation (even good natural elevation) happens almost automatically. It is kind of a beautiful feeling. I once did these half shots for about an hour before playing and it was one of the best rounds of my life. Questions: 1. Why does focusing on a intermediate target with a half swing do this versus a long term target with a full swing? 2. Should I just drill this at the range and before rounds and hope it becomes a good habit, or 3. Should I just I just trick myself by focusing on hitting it straight to an imaginary target in line with the long term target and just take a full swing. I really love the feeling of doing it from the proper alignment in the half swing, I can feel the right lat engaged and I can feel weight shift into my right hip and glute. I would like this to become part of every swing and get rid of the bad alignment, - alignment sticks, etc. Aline don’t do it. It is like my mind wants to muscle up from the left side to generate power. Help!? Thanks
May 30, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Eric. The intermediate is an easier objective to achieve. Half swing has less variables to break down and introduce during the strike. Picking an intermediate target and having the imagery of the full shot/objective is fine. Lots of pros pick closer in targets to get comfortable aiming and knowing if they hit that spot the shot will work out just fine. No need to trick. Setup. Pick a comfortable spot. Know the full objective. Execute.
May 30, 2020
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Kevin
I have a question in regards to shoulder alignment. I think a common mistake is for golfers (including me) is to point their left shoulder at the target. This consequently can make you closed to the target line. In actuality you need to align your shoulders left of the target / parallel to the target line. I understand what I need to do but I always feel open when I am aligned correctly. Curious to get some thoughts on how to go about avoiding that mistaking of aligning closed
April 15, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. Sadly it is practice. Most of my students actually setup too open to the target with their shoulders due to trail side dominance. You have to do a lot of check with club and or alignment rod across the chest.
April 15, 2020
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Steven
So far, loving your insight... Answering many questions - which I had on the tip of tongue. Unfortunately, I found this Setup advice a little difficult to follow... I see the logic behind it - but the practice of lining up from the back of your feet does not seem practical - when playing without a stick... How would you actually used this advice when playing ?
May 29, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Steven. Sadly, there isn't a trick. You have to practice it. You need to take some sticks out to the course are start practicing you lines. You will start to reach a comfort zone knowing you are lined properly. Like normal setup when you are changing out of a bad habit. You go through your checklist, but eventually becomes quicker and second nature to do it correctly every time.
May 29, 2019
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Steven
Craig - thanks replying.... Maybe I was not specific enough... Right now - lining up from my toes I imagine the rail track - one line from the ball to target and another along top of my feet. Both of these lines are in front of me... How do I line up an imaginary line behind my feet and stay in sync with the line from the ball to the target ? That would be a useful video - does it exist ? (without sticks as you would on the course).
May 30, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Steven. Take a look at How to Align Your Body for Straight Golf Shots. Chuck mentions the back heel, but shows more of the visual you see. It takes awareness. If you practice knowing your toe line may not be exact. You should be able to see through your feet if you heels are not closely aligned. Thanks for the suggestion. I will recommend it to the team.
May 30, 2019
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Steven
Thanks Craig... I check out the video and give the technique a try..
May 30, 2019
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Claude
Hi, I am new to the forum and so far, after viewing some videos and getting started with the drills at home in front of a mirror, I feel motivated and confident the results will follow when the Montreal winter ends and I can get out there to hit balls. I have good swing speed, but my finish has always been incomplete with the left knee still slightly bent at impact. I understand the need for me to sequence the core rotation and full weight transfer to my left side...( right side dominent past history) but I wonder if not splaying out the left foot will help me get there more naturally. Narrowing my stance and having a constant ball position will also make a big difference as explained my Chuck in the setup videos. Loving it.Thanks!
January 13, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Claude. Welcome to the forum! Glad you are enjoying the video presentations so far. The splay is typically for players with limited internal hip mobility. If you have plenty of hip mobility. The splay is unnecessary and staying squarer with the foot may help with the excessive flexion/external rotation of the lead knee.
January 14, 2019
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Theunie
Agree with earlier comments that this is great advice. I have clearly been lining up too left because of slayed left foot. Thanks so much
January 11, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Theunie. Glad you liked. Our pleasure.
January 11, 2019
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Miroslav
Love this video, you can’t go wrong with two 2x4 such a basic thing that makes sense.
June 15, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Miroslav. Awesome. Thanks for the post.
June 15, 2018
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Dan
I came across this alignment aid that helps position feet and ball based on club selected. Can you take a look and give your opinion on the potential value or flaws? https://us.wellputt.com/en/wellstance/14-wellstance-rh-3760228350321.html
April 5, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dan. Your stance shouldn't vary that much between irons and wedges. The stance only changes when you start doing short game, or max driver launch. I think the aid would be confusing with all the options presented.
April 5, 2018
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Dan
Hi Craig. First of all, I want to thank you for the great setup review you just did for me. I had no idea I was bending my knees so much and forcing my right hand edge out past my chin. I went to the practice range and worked on the instruction you gave me and it corrected a lot of my setup faults. The one thing I'm still a bit confused about is the splaying out of my left foot. I do not have limited internal hip mobility, but past instructors have all said it is better to splay the foot out to facilitate hip rotation. When I look at Chuck in the above video, he suggests turning the left foot out and indicates a lot of tour players do as well. In you critique of my setup you seemed to infer that I should only turn my left foot out if I had mobility issues. I don't mind keeping my feet parallel at setup, but I am confused if I should or shouldn't and what would be the practical reason for keeping my feet parallel.
April 3, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dan. Thanks very much. Appreciate the post about my review. Take a look at Should You Splay Your Feet At Setup. Chuck goes more in depth about the reasons for and against the splay. If you prefer a slight splay I won't yell at you much. I will start pointing out issues though if posting up and hip turn start to falter due to excessive openness. The practical reason would be it's just unnecessary if you don't require it. However, for others it is even mind freeing seeing a slight splay even though they gain no physical advantage.
April 3, 2018
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Christoph
HI thx for all the great stuff,... For myself I just keep both feet parallel during alignment and open my left foot just at address..... At least for me it works ....
January 7, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Christoph. Thanks for the info and post for our members.
January 7, 2018
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Brad
You are so clear about the basics. Great job explaining something that is so fundamental but often misunderstood. Until now!
December 28, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brad. Thanks for the post and compliments.
December 29, 2017
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Don
This looks great but not usable on the course. Does placing a club across the front of your thighs make a reasonably accurate method to double check your alignment on the course. (I can not seem to view Video #20 and don"t know it's content.)
December 28, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Don. Reasonably accurate if your shoulders are aligned with your hips. But, it is easy to have the hips open/closed with the feet/shoulders crossing or mixed up. Alignment is something that seems simple that a lot of people mess up. That's why you will see a lot of pros constantly working with alignment rods and having their caddies check them.
December 28, 2017
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Thomas
Does this video conflict with video #20 How to Align Your Body for Straight Golf Shots? Thanks, Tom
December 18, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Thomas. Video 20 is another perspective of how to aim. But, the same core principles of what alignment is and where it comes from remains.
December 18, 2017

What are the most basic elements of the golf swing is alignment and alignment is another one of those things that typical golf instruction seems to tell you, it doesn't really matter where you're pointed as long as you know, where the ball is going to a degree. That's true, especially if you're in the middle of a round of golf and you're just kind of not sure. And your feet setting up your feet and club face are kind of throwing you off as long as you know, where the ball is going. That's great, but that's a pretty unreliable mechanism because every day, what you think you're lined up at is going to change a little bit. Your body feels different, your brain, and I see things a little bit differently. So at the end of the day, one of the most basic things that you'll always see to UPROSE working on is alignment. So I've got a couple of sticks set up here to make this really obvious and easy to see because alignment, when you're working on it can lead you to a really closed set up without you catching on to what's happening here because your feet, the way that you're measuring it can be very tricky to your eyes. And so here's what I want to show you with this. I'm going to put my feet in here.

And what you'll notice is that these two sticks, even though they're lined up exactly on my feet and touching my feet, my heels and my toes, they're not parallel. In fact, they're quite a bit skewed. So what I see most of the times that people set up to practice on the range and they set the club down, they said, Hey, clubbed down on their toes. And they're using that as an alignment guide. Well, now I know where I'm actually going to hit this ball is actually off of this line because my feet are, my club face is square to my right foot, which is perpendicular to this shaft of the stick. So now I know that this in relationship to the atoll line stick is actually looks really open. If you look at most tour players at a dress, if you get a chance to play or excuse me, you know, go to a round of golf where you can walk up really close to them.

You'll notice that most of the time their club faces look really open. It's actually not open it's square in relationship to their body. Not their feet. Your feet will trick you. How come simple. If I set up with my feet perfectly square, then you could put that this toe shaft along that line, it'd be great. But most all of us open our foot a little bit. This makes it a little bit easier and puts less strain on the hip to have your foot open. Cause you're not rotating on that hip socket internally as much. So this is perfectly fine to have your feet open. But as I opened my feet, that's what makes this align change. If I opened them or a lot, now this is going to be 20, 30 degrees left of the target. So what I see happen all the time is people set up, they have their feet open, but they're putting the shaft down.

So now what I'm actually doing is making myself kind of want to open my shoulders so that it matches this line. So now from down the line, it looks like I'm actually set up this way because I'm paying attention to where the tow line is pointing. This doesn't matter. This is what matters. So your heels, your knees, your hips, your shoulders and club face should match up to your heel line, not your toe line because your foot is going to be open. So when you're practicing, you may feel when you splay your foot open and you get all of this set up correctly, you'll just need two shafts on the ground or to clubs on the ground and start getting comfortable with this setup that you're going to feel a little bit more open, but that's actually truly square because now all of your body aligned your joints apart from where your foot's angled out are square. So when you practice until you get comfortable, put two shafts down, one on your toe and one on your heel and use this as your guide, you can set it up on your heel first and then set this one up, parallel to it as well. And now you've got a nice square visual of these two shafts being parallel. Now the club face is going to be perpendicular to that. And if I put all this together, get a nice straight shot exactly on my line. And that is how you're going to work on your alignment.

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