Square the Blade at Address
By: Bob Burns
The direction in which the club face looks at impact is the most important element in determining the behavior and flight of every shot you hit.
If your club face direction is pointing right or left in the direction your club is traveling, the result may be a hook or a slice.
The perfect impact with the ball occurs only when the club head travels along the target line square to the intended line of flight. Thus, the club face must be square at the address.
If the blade is open, you are almost certain to keep it open throughout the swing and wind up with a slice. (A "slice" ball starts left of the target then bends to the right.) If, on the other hand, the blade is hooded or closed at address, you will be certain to hook, or maybe even shank, the ball. (A "hook" ball starts right of the target then bends to the left.)
To assume the correct position at address, place the leading edge of the club head at right angles to the target line. This is considered "square". At this point, ask a friend to stand opposite to you and check the position of the blade. You may be surprised to find that your perspective can be off.
Another factor that effects the geometrical alignment of the club face at impact is the grip, or the way in which the club is held in the fingers. This has been previously described in my article "Good Grip, Good Golf".
Always remember the basic fundamental that everything in golf stems from the way the club face meets the ball. This determines both direction and flight.