Identifying Flying Objects
Unless you gain an understanding of what your ball is doing in the air you can’t take action to correct your problem.
There are only 9 flights that your ball will take after it has been hit. Once you have identified your predominant ball flight making the necessary corrections to your grip and alignment really aren’t that difficult. Hopefully this will help you better understand cause and effect and what adjustments need to be made to improve. Then, it’s a matter of staying committed to what is scientifically correct.
Let’s run briefly through each outcome. We will start in the middle:
Straight: This is the ideal. The club comes into the ball on a great path with the clubface square to the target. Life is good.
Hook: The path is good but the clubface is closed at impact. You just need to weaken your grip.
Slice: The path is good but the clubface is open at impact. You just need to strengthen your grip.
On the left branch of the ball flight tree (Pull) are the ball flights that of course start the ball left. Which means the clubhead came into the ball on an outside to in path.
Pull: If your ball goes straight left with no real curve the clubhead traveled on an outside to in path with a square clubface. You need to work on alignment which will affect the path of your club.
Pull Slice: The clubhead came into the ball with an outside to in path with and open clubface. You can play golf with this ball flight but you’ll really lose distance. But at least the ball works back toward the intended target.
Pull Hook: The clubhead came into the ball with an outside to in path with a closed face. If you hit this shot often keep a lot of balls in your bag, you’re gonna’ need them. Change your grip and alignment.
On the right branch of the ball flight tree (Push) are the ball flights that of course start the ball to the right. Which means the clubhead came into the ball on an inside to out path.
Push: The clubhead came into the ball with a inside to out path with a square clubface. Work on your alignment. You are probably aimed right.
Push Hook: The clubhead came into the ball with an inside to out path with a closed clubface. You can play golf with this ball flight because the ball works back toward center but you’ll probably have a pretty low ball flight and the top spin that this shot creates makes it difficult to control your iron shots because the first bounce on the green will be big. I recommend playing with a ball that gives you a lot of control. You have learned to have a strong grip to compensate for aiming so far right.
Push Slice: The clubhead came into the ball with an inside out path and an open clubface. Just like with the pull-hook if you hit this shot regularly keep a lot of balls in your bag. You need to work on alignment and strengthen your grip.
As you can see from the descriptions of each shot there are patterns. You’ll either want to adjust your grip or your alignment or both. Most of the root problems of the golf swing come back to a faulty grip and/or alignment. If you are willing to do a little investigative work and make some changes you can make a real difference in your game that will last.
In future lessons I will be giving advice on proper grip and alignment. So please keep following.
Thanks for the comments.