Tips For Sticks

If you’re a low-handicapper, here’s how to fix your most common faults

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How do you hit a draw—with a closed clubface or an open one? You'll likely answer, "With a closed clubface." But unfortunately that's not correct. You actually hit a draw with an open face. Allow me to explain.

At impact, the clubface determines the ball's initial start direction, but it's the swing path that determines the resulting curve. Because the laws of ballflight have been misunderstood for years, a lot of better players get this wrong. However, with the advent of technologically sophisticated launch monitors like the TrackMan, we're now able to better understand impact.

Impact for a draw is made with a slightly open clubface, and a swing path that moves from the inside to out. On the other hand, a proper fade starts with a closed clubface and a path that travels from outside to in.

The better you know these laws, the better golfers of all abilities will be able to control their ballflight and shot shape. Knowing the laws of ballflight will help you work the ball into more pin locations and doglegs, without hitting any double-crosses overdraws or push-fades. The laws of ballflight also will help you self-diagnose your swing when it's not behaving properly.

Zach Allen, PGA, teaches at DeBell Golf Course in Burbank, Calif. A former Mini-Tour player, Allen has won 20 worldwide titles. Visit


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