Director of Instruction
Fisher Bryan Golf Academy at Longbow Golf Club
The game of golf is unique in that there is so much information out there meant to help you get better. So much information in fact, that the glut of information has actually become a deterrent I believe in helping players actually get better.
Imagine for a second that for your whole life you have known that the color of the grass on the course is green. Now, people start telling you that it is blue. Well, the grass still looks the same to you so that can be pretty confusing. That is about how things have gotten with some facets of golf instruction.
Everybody that has ever played golf has associated the phrase “closed clubface” with a draw or hook and the phrase “open clubface” with a fade or slice. Except that now, new science is telling you that you actually hit a draw with an OPEN CLUBFACE! Confused? Yes, I have no doubt. The problem is that along with new information, we are also trying to change the language of golf. So let me clear it up for you.
A closed clubface still creates a draw or hook because the clubface is closed to your swing path. The information saying you hit a draw with an open clubface is confusing because it is relating your face to your target line. That should never be the case.
You will also hear that your swing path creates the curve in your shot. Again, that is not quite exactly the case. In fact, the difference between where your swing path is pointing at impact and where your clubface is pointing at impact is what causes the curve. If your path and face were pointing in the same place at impact you would hit a straight shot.
Is the explanation I am giving pretty simplistic, considering the complexity of the science that we are now using as golf instructors? Absolutely! And, that is in fact my point. The science that we now have available to us as instructors makes us all better at what we do. At the same time, it is our job to make sure us getting better does not equate to you as the golfer being more confused.
So, worry not that everything you thought you knew about golf is now somehow wrong. The grass under your feet IS still green.
Jeff Fisher is Director of Instruction at the Fisher Bryan Golf Academy at Longbow Golf Club. Jeff can be reached at 480.414.9330 or firstname.lastname@example.org.