Understanding Ball Flight

Understanding ball flight

Image via Golf Digest/Jim Luft

Why does my ball fly the way it does?

Curvature in a golf shot is directly related to the club face’s position at impact. There are 3 possible positions, yielding 3 possible outcomes:

1. Open: This causes the ball for to curve to the right (for the right-handed golfer) or to the left (for the left-handed golfer).

2. Closed: This causes the ball to curve to the left (for the right-handed golfer) or to the right (for the left-handed golfer).

3. Square: This causes the golf ball to fly straight without curvature.

Ultimately, your grip controls the club face, which in turn dictates curvature in your shots. The initial direction of your shot is directly related to your body position and target line during set-up and impact.

The ball can start in 3 directions:

1. A pull: For the right-handed golfer, this is a shot that starts straight left of your initial target line. Lefties will experience a pull to the right.

2. A push: This is a shot that starts to the right of the target for the right-handed player and to the left for the left-handed golfer.

3. Straight shot: For any golfer this is a miracle (just kidding!). This is a shot that starts straight down the target line.

The position of your shoulders, hips, knees and feet dictate the initial starting direction of a golf shot. If you are experiencing shots that fly off the line, try adjusting your grip and body alignment and this should provide immediate results. Remember there is a difference between curvature and a ball that starts off line. Make sure you are making the proper diagnosis before you correct (or hire a professional to do this for you). The grip controls the club face, which dictates curvature in your shots, while your shoulders, hips, knees and feet dictate the initial starting direction of your shots. Diagnose properly, fix what’s needed, and then you’ll see improvement in your ball flight.

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