Body Alignment: Use Toe Line or Heel Line?

Sat, 04/03/2010 - 13:00 -- Don Trahan

I was walking past the living room to go to the kitchen and I heard the Shell Houston Open on TV. My wife was watching it, keeping up with DJ to see if he was going to make the cut today. I heard an announcement about a lesson with the pros and that Stuart Appleby was going to talk about alignment. That really caught my attention. I stepped into the living room to see what he had to say.

But before I talk about Stuart'€™s alignment lesson, I want to give a great round of applause to DJ on his round of golf today. Yesterday, Thursday, he shot one of his worst rounds ever in all his years as a professional, shooting 78, six bogeys, no birdies. But he came back today and just played an awesome round of golf. He had six birdies with one bogey for a round of 66. There were only two other 66'€™s shot today. Both of those guys are in the top five and one is leading the tournament.

DJ ended up with the 6 under, not only making the cut, but making it by two shots because the cut actually went up two strokes, from one over to two over. So DJ played a great round. Congratulations to him. We'€™re going to get to see him on the weekend and hopefully two more of those and he'€™d have a good chance of getting a top 10.

Back to Stuart'€™s alignment lesson. The first thing I was impressed about how he stressed the importance of good alignment to hitting good golf shots. He got into what he does in terms of alignment. He talked about using clubs or sticks or whatever. He laid one down for the aiming line and he said that the majority of all players put a line down for the toes. But he doesn'€™t use the toe line. He'€™d rather use the heel line. Every now and then I hear that some teachers or players prefer the heel line and they always use the same reason. They say that if you flare your front foot you won'€™t get an accurate line.

He set a parallel line to his aiming line for his heels. He stepped into it and put his heels up against that line. From there, once set up in his stance, he dropped another club down by his toe line and he walked behind them. He said you see the toe line is not really parallel to the aiming line, but the heel line is.

He said it'€™s all because many players flared their front foot open which, as you know, in the Peak Performance Golf Swing, we not only flare the front foot, we flare both feet. Even if you only flared the front foot, the key is that you can always be lined up parallel to your aiming line by just making sure that when you set your front foot down, if you flare it, you want both toes on the aiming line, one flared or both flared.

When you walk in and do what I used to call the '€œtwo step,'€ where you practice putting your right foot down on the line and then left foot, so you learn how to separate them evenly so they'€™re parallel. You always want the toes on the aiming line.

Why? Because when you make the minimum turn of the Peak Performance Golf Swing, and we turn a little bit into the back side while our forward knee moves in just a little bit, when we do the bump and transfer our weight, our knees are basically staying over the toes. We'€™re turning around our ankles. The toes are staying over the toe line.

If the toes are not on the toe line and you make a proper lateral shift and turn into the T-Finish, you will be shifting your weight not on the toe line but sideways of it. For a right-hander, you be moving left of your target and a left-hander would be moving right of your target and therefore, open to your target.

As well as the heel line sounds and looks good, the first problem is, when you'€™re addressing the ball you can see your heel line. To me that does not work because I'€™ve got to see it to be able to check out to see if I'€™m aimed properly, anywhere parallel to my aiming line. To me, that'€™s a big negative.

Secondly, using the point that the flared toes are not going to be parallel, is not correct because all we have to do is put the toes on the aiming line.

Again, consistent with what we'€™ve said about how important alignment is, parallel left for right-handers and parallel right for left-handers, just get your toes parallel on your toe line to your aiming line and you'€™ll be lined up properly and be swinging straight up and down the aiming line to hit good shots.

(Note for Golf School. Look for details soon on our California PPGS schools at Talega Golf Club in beautiful San Clemente, May 17 '€“ 19 and 20 '€“ 22. It'€™s going to be one heck of an experience. Call: 1-888-84SWING(79464) or 1-864-525-7336.)

The Surge!

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