As a beginner playing golf, addressing the ball with proper alignment is something that I had struggled with for a long time, and it all comes down to perspective. When you line up to the ball and look at the flag, your mind tells you that you are aligned. The reality is that you are likely pointing left or right of the target.

Aiming a couple of degrees in the wrong direction can see you chasing your ball in the woods, or worse, in the water. Combine this with ball placement and the clubface address; things can go wrong with your golf swing very quickly. Many factors come into play with alignment, and the following steps will break these down into a few simple golf tips to perfect your golf shots.

Ball Placement

Ball placement can be tricky to perfect. You need to follow an axis; the distance between you and the ball, and the placement between your feet. You will notice that each of your clubs have a different length.

The longest club is the Driver, where the ball aligns to the inside heel of your leading foot. The wedge is one of the shortest clubs where you are aiming to place the ball in the centre between your feet. Each club in between will see a gradual placement between those two points.

The distance between you and the ball also differs between clubs. The ball will be placed further away from you for the Driver and closer for a wedge.

The illustration below shows there is a diagonal continuum. From the Wedge to Driver, the ball is positioned away from your body and closer to the leading foot. The width between your feet also become slightly wider as your progress to the higher clubs. Golf alignment sticks can help you with the right positioning.

Golf Ball Placement for Beginners.

Proper Golf Alignment to the Target

When lining up to the target, be aware that your eyes can deceive you. You can’t walk straight to your ball, look at the flag and think that you are positioned correctly. There are some simple tricks that will help get you into the correct alignment.

The Ball Line

The first tip is to imagine there is a railroad track from your ball to the target. This is the target line. The rail furthest from you directly aligns to the target. The rail closer to you follows a line from your feet to a couple of feet to the closer side of the target.

Golf Ball Alignment for Beginners

To get proper golf alignment to a target that is a couple of hundred feet away is very difficult. The second tip is to find a point in front of your ball inline with the target. To do this, stand directly behind your ball looking at the destination.

To help visualise the line, you can hold your club up and follow the shaft. Now, find a spot a foot in front of the ball. You will now use this as your target.

It is much easier to align with something directly in front of you than a hundred feet away. The spot could be an off-colour blade of grass, a leaf, a previous divot, or an old tee if you’re on the tee box. Be sure to use something that already exists. It’s against the rules to manually place a target in front of your ball.

The Feet Line

Once you have your target identified, you can additionally find two more spots to help square your feet. Stand in line where you are going to place your feet and imagine a path to a couple of feet left of the target. Try and find two spots where your feet would go in that line. It is not always possible but can be helpful if you can identify two markers.

Our objective here is to have our feet parallel to the line. This gives us a square golf stance. We are focusing only on the basics here so practice perfecting a square stance.

You can move your feet to create an open or closed stance to shape different shots. I suggest avoiding these variations until you have consistency.


Before you are ready to start swinging the club, we need to make sure we angle the clubface correctly. Like the stance, you can have an open, closed, or square angle. Let’s focus on the square angle as a beginner.

To obtain a square angle, the bottom of your club should be perpendicular to the line to the target. Find the square angle using the line on the bottom grove of your golf club.

Golf Clubface Alignment for Beginners.

Putting Proper Golf Alignment all Together

Now that you understand those basic components of proper golf alignment, we now need to put it all together. Remember, consistent golf is what we a looking for and my suggestion would be to follow the same sequence of events for each shot. Consider the following pre shot routine when setting up for alignment:

  • Stand behind the ball looking at the target
  • Identify an intermediary target one foot in front of your ball.
  • Identify two spots where your feet will go aligned just left of the target for the right-hander, and right of the target for the left-hander.
  • Position the ball in front of you based on the diagonal relative to your club selection
  • Align the bottom grove of your club perpendicular to the line to the target from your ball.

Head to the driving range and try practising this pre shot routine hitting the balls before your next golf game. When you are at the driving range, start with the high irons for your short game and progress through your clubs. It is easier to start in this order. When you feel you have some consistency, it’s time to hit the golf course.

Take a look at our article on proper golf posture next as you continue on your journey.