The Truth About Ball Flight

Why things happen the way they do in the golf swing

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By now, you've probably seen and heard a fair share of video commentaries on the golf swing, notably, those midround reviews of Tour players during tournament broadcasts. You know, the ones shot with high-speed cameras that come with audio commentaries from commentators and instructors articulating what the viewer is seeing on screen. Those swing analyses are always my favorite part about watching a golf telecast, not so much because I learn about a player's swing. I'm also about to give some more in-depth critical thinking and reasoning to what I see and hear.

Here's the rub, folks. No disrespect to those who conduct those swing analyses on television, but sometimes what you hear and what you see isn't actually the truth behind what's happening on screen. You see, a slow-motion swing certainly shows a lot. I actually like using slow-motion with my lessons. But what a slow-motion camera doesn't show is why things happen the way they do in the golf swing. Even slowed down, you can't see things with the human eye that a TrackMan can see. "What things?" you ask. Turn the page to find out.


How many of you have heard this one before? "To fix a slice, you have to square or close your clubface at impact." I'm here to tell you that if you've been on the receiving end of such advice, you've been fed some bad medicine! The reality is this: The angle of the face is the primary indicator for the initial direction the ball is going to fly. So, yes, you do want to have some control over how the face is aligned at impact. But shutting it closed isn't necessarily the right course of action. You can sometimes square that clubface perfectly with the target at impact, or even have a closed clubface at impact, and still hit a big, nasty slice! I'll bet the real problem with your slice is that the path your clubhead travels on is too much from outside-to-inside the target line. Squaring or closing the face at impact will only add some initial leftward ballflight to your shot, but it will do little to counteract your slice if you don't fix your big, outside-to-inside swingpath first. And in the rare occasion where attempting to square your face at impact actually happens, what kind of shot do you usually hit? That's right, a dead pull to the left. Sound familiar?

So what's the right way to fix a slice with your driver? Start learning to swing the club more from inside your target line to outside the target line. That's one of the most important steps to killing a slice! It's not in flipping the hands over, like so many instructors have maybe inadvertently told you. The goal in slice-fixing is to get the ball to have less backspin tilt to the right (sidespin is actually backspin on a tilt, folks), and doing that requires you to swing the club from inside-out with a clubface angle that's slightly closed relative to that path.

Did you catch that last part? Don't worry, the next page explains what clubface angle is all about and just how much it matters.


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