Saturday, April 28, 2012

What Does The Proper Golf Swing Path Look Like?

"What Does The Proper Golf Swing Path Look Like?"
By Sean Mysel

So what actually determines where your ball goes?  We hear all sorts of different ideas on the subject but when club face meets golf ball, how do we know what direction it's going to fly to?

Today we're going to look at what our proper path looks like in our golf swing.

First, we'll make the assumption that we want to hit the golf ball straight.  Second let's talk about what determines the direction the ball will fly disregarding issues like wind.

Here are the two major influences on which the direction the ball will fly:

1) Club face angle at impact

2) Path, or direction of the club

If you put a gun to my head, the direction the golf ball will travel is far more influenced by the angle of the club face more than the path.  I say this because the angle of the club face will direct the ball, but also determine what type of spin we put on the golf ball.

That said, the path we swing the club will also influence the club face angle.  So let's take a look at a couple swings with our good friend and my first student Hercules.

Here we have a video of Hercules hitting a ball dead straight (and super far which we'll cover soon).

As Hercules comes into impact, he holds his finish right down the target line, this enables him to keep the club face square through impact and drive the ball with no side spin on it.  To really see how this works, just pay attention to the club through the entire video.

In this video, Hercules hits a straight shot that goes to his left, or what's known as a block shot in golf.  As he comes through the ball, the face is open, but doesn't pull to the right until after impact.  We have one of those weird situations where the ball has no side spin, goes straight actually but doesn't slice.  Check it out:

The obvious question then is what causes all the side spin off of the club face?

Here's an excellent description on how this works - link

Essentially your club zigs and the ball zags.  Opposing paths and club face angles create side spin (I know the article doesn't call it that, but let's just call it the way we see it.) and away you go.

How do you fix these path and sidespin problems?

1) Sign Up For Our Updates...seriously we talk about this a ton over here!

2) Think counter intuitively  What do I mean?

If your ball is going off to your right, start you hands sooner and swing to the right so the hands and arms rotate the club face to square faster.  Ball going off to your left, play the ball back a little bit and swing to your left to slow down the club face rotation.

Questions?  Comments?  Concerns?  

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