Archive for March, 2007


Ball Flight Dynamics


“Why did it go that way?”

Basic Ball Flight Rules                         

 The initial part of a ball flight is based only on swift path (direction the club hits the ball)

After the inertia from swing path decreases (ball slows) the angle of the clubface takes over.

· open face – ball goes right

· closed face – ball goes left



Primary causes by ball flight

 Ball goes straight right

1. If your arms/club move back before your left shoulder the club will get behind you. At waist high is it in front of your chest?… or to the right? Should be in front.


Inside to Outside Path

 Ball goes straight left.

Couple of choices:

1. You didn’t finish the turn away (did you left should get at least to the ball), but did turn on the downswing.

2. Your first move from the top of the swing was by pulling the club with the right hand.

3. Try it… you will reroute the clubhead so it comes from the outside.

Learn to identify what causes the ball to fly like it does, and how to remedy it.


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The Grip


Part 1. Left Hand

Perhaps the oldest cliche in golf instruction is that a sound grip is the foundation of a sound swing. Every golf book ever written contains a chapter about the grip. With every detail of the grip lavishly illustrated.

Unfortunately, the function of the grip in the swing is less frequently discussed. If it were, players would have a better understanding of the importance of an "orthodox" grip, and how to achieve it.

As the details of the orthodox grip are so well known, how is it that so few golfers actually possess such a grip?

The tragic fact is that the orthodox golf grip simply will not work for most players… they have too many errors in their swing actions to live with it!

Most of them spend years searching for a grip . . . any grip . . . that will minimize the errors in their swings. Hence, the endless variety of grotesque grips one sees on the course.

Go to any golf range.

Most of the victims can be seen fiddling with their grips, experimenting endlessly in the hope that natural selection will provide them with a position that will reduce, or eliminate the slice. They should, of course, be rebuilding their swings, not their grips!

So get your grip right, and stick to it.

If you cannot play golf with an orthodox grip, it’s your swing that needs attention . . . not your grip. You cannot cure a bad swing with an equally bad grip.

It is not generally appreciated that the set-up and grip are closely inter- related. A poor set-up makes a good grip more difficult, and a bad grip affects the set-up. This is important. So relate what is said about the grip to what I say elsewhere about the set-up, particularly of the arms. They are the two sides of the same coin.

Like every other aspect of the swing, common sense principles govern the "orthodox" golf grip. You should be aware of them.

First, what is the role of the grip, in the swing?

In all "bat and ball" sports we aim to get the striking surface of the "bat" (or racquet, club, etc.) moving squarely along the intended line of flight of the ball. If the face of the striking implement is not moving squarely along the intended line of flight, sidespin is imparted to the ball, and it does not fly straight.

A correct grip simply enables one to swing the club backwards (to the top), and return it to the ball (in the downswing) so that the club-face is both square to the intended line of flight (as it was at address), and traveling along the intended line of flight at impact, and slightly beyond.

A so called "good grip" will, barring other complications in the swing, bring about these two requirements. "Bad grips" make the attainment of these two conditions almost impossible.

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Swing Plane

I would like to explain to you the plane of the golf swing.

I think there has been a lot of misconception about what the plane is. I want to make one thing very clear, whatever plane you take the club back on, the club must come back down on that same plane, that is the only way the club can stay square.

 A lot of people say take it back on one plane and drop it on a flatter plane, but the second you drop it on a flatter plane you have changed your radius, you have changed your arc and you can not square the club to the ball. There is no way that can be done, the backswing must always work on the same plane as the downswing. What I have found is that a taller player will be on a steeper plane and a shorter player will be on a flatter plane, but the one thing we know for sure is that all players are on the plane between the rail the ball is on and the rail the feet are on. 

 I can accept anything in between those rails. What you never want to do is be on a rail that is too steep, where the ball is behind you, then you really would be in trouble, and you never want to be on a rail flatter than the rail the ball is on. As long as you are in between the two rails, or on the rails, I don’t think it effects you, but the key is to go up and down on the same rail you cant drop it on a flatter rail. One of the drills that I give my students to feel this is to go home and back up against a wall and take a practice swing.

 They take the club back and I show them that they will never hit the wall if they are on the correct plane. Most students, because they have been taught to take it back inside, will hit the wall on the first swing. You can see that if your backswing is too flat and out of plane you will hit the wall.

 So for this drill, find a wall that your wife will not see you hit, and work on taking the club back and up and not hitting the wall.

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