How to tell where you’re *really* aimed, according to a legendary teacher

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Do you want to tell where you're *really* aimed? Legendary teacher Harvey Penick says this is the best method.

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Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book should be required reading for golfers looking to improve their games. Penick had a gift for making the complex seem simple, and his teachings ring true to this day. With the PGA Tour heading back to Penick’s home of Austin later this month for the Dell Match Play, there is no better time to revisit the best secrets from his Little Red Book. Today’s article is about how to properly aim.

Part 1: How to lower your handicap by five strokes
Part 2: What golfers get wrong about their practice swings
Part 3: The simple fundamentals for hitting a perfect bunker shot
Part 4: The 2 most important psychological elements of golf
Part 5: Dispelling one of the biggest golf-swing myths
Part 6: Why swinging harder will help you hit your approach shots better

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s this: golf is hard. Synchronizing your arms, body and mind to hit a little white ball is a challenge at every level of the game, and everyone is looking for an edge to make it a little easier.

golf balls in arrow formation on green
10 ways to improve your aim and alignment
By: Kellie Stenzel, Top 100 Teacher

One of the most straight-forward ways to make the game a little more simple is by controlling variables. And the easiest variables to control are those that happen before you even swing; mainly, aim and alignment.

Now, aiming in the correct direction might seem simple, but as anyone who’s gotten their alignment out of whack can tell you, it’s anything but.

A popular method for checking your aim is to place an alignment stick at your feet pointing down the line. Common wisdom says this tells you where you’re aimed, but according to Harvey Penick, it actually “tells you very little.”

“Take your stance and hold a clubshaft along the front of your thighs,” Penick wrote in his Little Red Book. “Look where the club is pointing, and you will see where you are aimed.”

Once you get your aim down pat, you’ll begin hitting the ball much more solidly.

“Hit the ball solidly, and I can show you where you were aimed,” Penick said. “Once you learn this, your mind will tell you how to aim.”


Zephyr Melton Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf. He can be reached at