The New Rules

Tom Stickney, PGA, outlines the new rules for ballflight

You think you know what causes what? Unless you've been scouring golf instruction blogs and Facebook groups, and reading what many Trackman aficionados have been saying on their respective websites, you probably don't know that there's a whole new set of rules as they pertain to how a ball flies and spins. Trackman data has helped instructors like me see the golf swing in a whole new light, especially as it relates to the part of the swing that's hardest to see: impact.

We now can see what the clubface is doing, how the clubpath and face angle relates, and how spin and distance are lost and gained. We can see precisely how the ball responds to various impact conditions, and more importantly, we now know how to diagnose swing problems faster and more effectively than ever in the history of golf instruction.

What are some of these new rules? There are several, but on the following pages, we take a quick look at a few revelations I've seen that have helped not only me become a better teacher, but my students become better golfers. Read on.


In order to hit the ball longer, you need more loft at impact. This is due in part to today's drivers producing less spin than in previous years. Now, what is dynamic loft? Well, loft as you probably know is the angle of the clubface at setup. But "dynamic loft" is the angle of the face at impact which, in case you didn't know, can sometimes be way different than the static clubhead loft at setup. Also, the loft of the face is different from top to bottom. Meaning, shots hit off the top half of the face tend to promote a higher dynamic loft angle at impact versus shots fired off the low side of the clubface. Additionally, where you hit on the face also affects spin. Shots spin more when struck lower on the face, and shots spin less when hit from the top part of the face. You need backspin for lift, but reducing it by increasing your dynamic loft at impact and hitting either in the center or above the center of the clubface will help you hit the ball at a higher initial launch angle with less spin, resulting in drives that fly further, higher and land with more forward roll. Loft up!

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