Why Did That Ball Go There?

Mark Oswald
General Manager
The Highlands at Dove Mountain in Marana, AZ.
Marana, AZ

More Information

Have you asked yourself this question? Why did the ball go there? Well, the answer is either the club path or clubface at impact. These two factors will determine where the ball goes after impact on every shot.

The club path is referring to the direction the club is traveling in relation to your target. You have three possibilities, a square path, an outside in path or an inside out path.

The square path is most desired and is the path where you club is traveling on line with your target at impact. Your divot will be pointing directly at your target, if you aimed correctly. This ball flight will begin on line with your target and will end up where your clubface was pointing at impact.

The outside in path, which is very common with most golfers, is a swing path coming from outside of your target line and crossing over the line around impact. For the right-handed golfer this path will be coming from right to left or for the left handed golfer this path is coming from left to right. Look at your divot and see how it is running in relationship to your target. This path will usually result in a pulled shot or help to promote the slice depending again upon the clubface position at impact. To improve an outside in path you will need to use more turn or rotation in your swing. On the backswing, focus on the shoulder turn. On the downswing switch your focus to the lower body, shift your weight to the front foot and make a full hip turn. You should finish with your weight on the front foot and belly button facing your target.

The inside out path is less common but will also affect your ball flight. This path is coming from inside of the target line and running across or outside of the line around impact. If your divot is going too far from inside to outside, you may need to look at the take away and make sure you are not bringing the club in too much at the start and also work on your timing of the weight shift and turn. If you are too early with the hip turn and weight shift on the downswing, you will force the club away from your body and come from the inside path too far outside crossing your target line.

To find out what your clubface looks like at impact, put your club in the divot and point it to where the ball lands. This is a clear picture of what the clubface really looked like as you made impact with the ball. From this picture you will see if you need to adjust the grip, grip pressure or both to straighten out your ball flight. If the ball is curving to the right, move both hands more to the right and lighten your left hand grip pressure. If the ball is curving left, move both hands to the left and firm up your left hand grip pressure.

For more help with your golf game, contact Mark Oswald at oswaldpga@msn.com