The Key to Assessment – Understanding WHY

The Key to Assessment – Understanding WHY

If you don’t understand WHY the golf ball does what it does, it will be very difficult to make proper changes to improve. 

Let’s take a minute and begin to understand why the golf ball flies the way it does.  In the most basic sense, two factors control the way the ball curves: The club face, and the club path.  Understanding how these two relate to one another can help you diagnose any golf shot you hit. 

The Club Face

The club face is primarily responsible for the initial starting direction of the golf ball.  Depending on club selection, the angle of the club face is responsible for 70%-85% of the golf ball’s starting direction. 

Face angle is defined as:  the part of the club that makes contact with the golf ball and influences initial direction of the golf ball.

The Club Path

The club path, relative to the club face, is what gives your golf ball its curve.  For example:  When the club face is OPEN to the club path, the golf ball will fade/slice.  When the clubface is CLOSED to the path, the golf ball will draw/hook (These examples are based on a center face strike).

Now that you understand the very basics of why the ball curves, the next time you play or practice, try to diagnose your golf shots.

Here’s your challenge:  The next time you are on the range, pick a target to hit a few shots at.  When you hit shots, take note of where the golf ball started (either left of your target, right of your target, or straight at your target) and which way the golf ball curved in the air (either left, right, or no curve).  See if you can properly assess the club face and club path of each shot. 

See you next time as we dive deeper into assessing golf ball flight. 

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