This pre-shot blunder is one of the biggest mistakes recreational golfers make

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One of the biggest mistakes recreational golfers make happens before they even swing the club.
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Imagine this: You’re in the fairway, getting ready to hit your approach into the green. You select your club, visualize the shot and step up to the ball. You make a practice swing and take one final look at the hole before taking the club away.
This all seems like pretty standard stuff, right? You checked all the boxes on your pre-shot routine and had a good visualization of what you wanted the ball to do. You’ve set yourself up for success, right?
In reality, one key component was missing.
Sometimes, in focusing on the complicated aspects of golf, we forgo the simple things. The fundamentals. It’s understandable to forget the easy stuff — but it’s also costly.
One of those fundamentals that often gets overlooked is aim. Now, you might think aim is somewhat second nature, but to do it correctly, you need to be diligent about it.
“I see a LOT of alignment issues with recreational players,” says instructor Gia Bocra Liwski. “They’re aiming their feet first, and never the club. And they take that right out to the course.”
While aiming your feet correctly is part of the equation for proper aim and alignment, it doesn’t take care of everything. For the best results, you need to have a specific intermediate target in mind.
“You’ll see a lot of recreational golfers take a practice swing and then not step behind the ball to pick a target,” Liwski says. “So in your mind, you should choose a target on the ground about 2 or 3 feet in front of the ball, and then step over the ball and aim your club at that spot.”
If you can master the art of choosing an intermediate target and hitting the ball over that spot, you’ll quickly see your shots starting on the correct line — and your scores will drop as a result.
Gia Bocra Liwski is the Creator & Host of Golf Experiences for Her® and a teaching professional at Fiddler’s Elbow in Bedminster, N.J.

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf. and GOLF Magazine are published by EB GOLF MEDIA LLC, a division of 8AM GOLF


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