Do You Understand Ball Flight Laws?

Mark Oswald
Community Manager
The Highlands at Dove Mountain in Marana, AZ.
Marana, AZ
oswaldpga@msn.com

More Information

In order to improve your golf swing and lower your score you must have some basic understanding of the golf swing and what causes the ball to go where it does. I am going to review 9 basic Ball Flight Laws that relate to your swing path and your clubface at impact. Since most golfers tend to swing from outside to inside or across their target line we will begin with that path.

The outside to inside swing path is easily seen by looking at your divot. If your divot is running across your target line finishing left of your target for the right handed golfer, you are swinging on the outside to inside club path. This path gives you three ball flight options. 1) With an Open clubface the ball will start left of the target and slice or fade (curve right) depending how open the clubface is at impact. With a severely open clubface comes a severe slice. 2) With a Square clubface, the ball starts left of the target and flies down this line. 3) With a Closed clubface, the ball starts left and then curves left from there.

The inside to outside swing path again is determined by looking at your divot with the iron. This divot is running across your target line and pointing to the right of your target. This path also gives you three ball flight options depending on your clubface at impact. 1) With an Open clubface, the ball will start right of the target and slice or fade (curve right) depending how open the clubface is at impact. 2) With a Square clubface, the ball starts right of the target and flies down this line. 3) With a Closed clubface, the ball starts right and then curves left from there.

The final and preferred swing path is the square swing path. This divot runs directly towards your target. You have three ball flight options from this path as well. 1) With an Open clubface, the ball will start straight, online with your target, and slice or fade (curve right) depending how open the clubface is at impact. 2) With a Square clubface, the ball starts online with the target and continues to fly down the target line. 3) With a Closed clubface, the ball starts at the target and then curves left.

The club path or direction the club is traveling in relation to your target line is the initial direction the ball will travel. If the clubface is not square with your path, you will curve the ball right with an open clubface or left with a closed clubface. You must know if you are working on your club path or clubface direction at impact or maybe both to know how to improve your swing.

For clubface problems at impact begin with your grip. The proper grip should help to counter the problem of an open or closed clubface. For club path problems you will need to look at problems in your swing, such as poor shoulder turn or improper weight shift. There are obviously more issues that can cause problems with your swing path and clubface at impact, we will address these issues more next month.

For more information, contact Mark at moswald@orovalleycountryclub.com.