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Develop a pre-shot routine

One of the biggest reasons for hitting bad shots is poor alignment, Sean Parees said.

“If your body is aiming one direction and you’re swinging at a target in another direction, you have to make some sort of compensation,” Parees said. “That means it is very difficult to swing the club properly.”

Parees said the best way to avoid that is to develop a pre-shot routine that will accomplish two things: Proper alignment and proper ball position.

• Here’s what to do:

Get behind the ball with your feet together and set your clubface down so it is facing an intermediate target. Then, as you look at your real target, take a small step with your left foot and slightly larger step with your right foot. This will ensure the ball is in the proper position in the left half of your stance, between the left heel and the center.

To practice this, take two clubs and, placing them on the ground, use one to represent the target line and the other to represent your body alignment. Place a third club perpendicular to your body alignment to represent your ball position. This will help you aim correctly.

Identify your weakness

Eric Johnson, who formerly worked with former European Ryder Cup member Per Ulrik Johansson, said the first thing a player has to do to get better is figure out where his game is weakest.

“When I worked with Johansson, the first thing that I did before every lesson was to look at his tour statistics,” Johnson said. “That gave us a clear path on what we were going to work on during his lesson. Unfortunately, you do not have PGA Tour statistics to look up.”

This is what Johnson suggests:

Keep simple statistics of your own — fairways hit, greens in regulation, short game up and downs and total putts. From this, you can determine your weaknesses. The best solution that I have found for keeping statistics is shotbyshot.com, which helps you electronically track your rounds and gives you a handicap for each part of your game. This can provide a much more in depth look at your statistics and give you an idea what you need to work.

The more information you have, the easier it is to solve a problem.

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