Plenty of teaching aids will help you groove your swing, but you won’t find many that are as cheap – or as easy to find – as alignment sticks.

These thin poles can do everything from lining you up to your target to helping you make a better turn.

A set of two might cost you less than $30 from a golf retailer, yet the $2 versions from your local hardware shop are probably just as effective. Using them will give every practice session an extra element of purpose, and will train your body to make the right moves. So what are you waiting for? Line yourself up.

1. Driver Setup

Tilt Away From the Ball

Getting lined up so you’re square to the target is great, but leaving out one important alignment key will make it hard to launch your tee shots. You want to add some body tilt to your setup – the right hip set slightly lower than the left.

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If you hold an alignment stick in line with the buttons on your shirt and tilt away from the target, the stick will point to the ball at an angle – not straight up and down [above]. That angle is also the shaft angle you want for a driver at address. The grip will be in line with the ball or leaning back slightly.

2. Power Generator

Mix a Shift with Your Turn

Do you need to turn your hips? You bet. But it’s more than just spinning them back and through. Check out the third and fourth frames here: On the downswing, the stick moves closer to the target first, a lateral shift, then turns with the hips to match the stick on the ground.

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3. Swing Checkpoints

5-Minute Clinic 5-Minute ClinicSee Your Plane Back and Down

Swing plane is a hard thing to see – and perfect. Holding a stick against the end of your grip can help. Starting back, feel the guide stick slide down your left thigh [far left]. This means you aren’t pulling the club too far inside. Halfway through the downswing, get that stick pointing at the ball, and you’re on the perfect swing plane [left].

4. Launch Angle

Set Up to Hit Up

You want to hit up with the driver, but how do you check? Do it with what I call the Poor Man’s TrackMan. Drop your driver on the ground next to the ball, measure a grip length in front and place a barrier like a pool noodle [below] or rolled-up towel. Set your spine angle with a stick as you did in the first drill, and hit drives. Your clubhead should easily clear the obstacle. If it doesn’t, play the ball farther forward and tilt back more.

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5. Swing Path

5-Minute ClinicGo Inside to Inside

Here’s one piece of familiar advice you can ditch: Swing down the line. The best swing path comes from just inside the ball on the downswing and goes inside again (and upward) after impact. Set a stick on the ground behind the ball at a slight angle to preview this path [left]. If you point the stick straight at the target, you’re pre-setting the over-the-top path so many golfers struggle with. For the through-swing, place a second stick at an inside angle and prop it up on a headcover to pre-set an inside-and-up path through the ball.

– Jason Guss, one of Golf Digest’s Best Young Teachers, is based at Hawk Hollow Golf Course in Bath Township, Michigan.