Understand What Shapes Your Shots

We swing a golf club in a circular path to hit a golf ball straight. This should be an easy task considering that the ball is not moving (as it is in baseball). We are only faced with 2 issues: Club Face Direction and the Swing Path Direction. Unfortunately in golf the impact has to be perfect every time. If you don’t learn what causes the shape of your shots, you will never lower your scores.

Golf-Info-Guide.com by Thomas Golf recently provided a nice summary to understand the cause of ball flight and a great solution to shape our shots. It’s easier to plan for a draw or a fade than it is to hit a ball perfectly straight. And of course the dreaded straight ball happens when you least expect it.

First you need to understand what causes the Duck Hook and the Push Fade. [All comments are described for right handed golf clubs.] Then you can master your swing.

Duck Hook:
Club Face direction is the cause for 85% of the ball direction at the start of the ball flight. If you are swinging with a violent in-to-out swing path (across the face of the ball at impact) and your club face is pointing to the left (at impact), your ball will start left of your target line and will curve further left. A closed stance, tight grip on your club and a powerful rotation of your trailing hand at impact are all contributing factors.   SOLUTION A square stance; a light, neutral grip and a relaxed swing are all required to avoid the Duck Hook.

Push Fade:
This problem is caused when your club face is open at impact and your swing path is crossing the ball on a right to left (out-to-in) direction. To avoid this swing:
-Don’t try to steer the face of your club up the target line. Your hand rotation needs to rotate the club face through the point of impact.
-Avoid the slice swing path. If your take-away is too far to the inside you will tend to loop your club up on a higher swing path for the downswing. At the transition you are most likely casting your club out, chopping down and hitting the ball on an outside-to-in swing path.

Jack Nicklaus completed his high plane backswing (shown in red) with a flying elbow. Then he used his trailing arm to pull down and  swing from the inside (yellow arc).

SOLUTION –The right swing path is to take your club back on a higher plane only using shoulder rotation (without bending your wrists). Then loop your club back at the top of your swing as you bump your hip forward; release from the inside “slot” and up your target line. Your club will be traveling on an inside-to-outside swing path at the point of impact. [Think of grazing your side with my trailing elbow as you swing from the inside.]

Practice Solution to Understand the Wrong and Right Swing Path
1/ Hit 5 Block (Push) Shots: Intentionally swing from the inside and PUSH each ball to the right by swinging from the inside-to-out with an open face on your club.
2/ Hit 5 Hook Shots: Swing with a in to out swing path and turn your right hand over your left hand to close the face of your club.
3/ Hit 5 Shaped Shots: Swing to create a 5 yard, left to right draw. Swing from the inside-to-out AVOIDING an aggressive finish as you roll your hands and finish in a balanced position.

Test your swing to create a draw or a fade at the driving range. As you learn to control the draw or fade you will learn to avoid the Duck Hook and Push Slice. Practice with your GOLFSTR+ for more power with your straight leading arm. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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