Golf ball flight patterns, how they can help you

“The laws of the golf ball flight are absolutes”
There are nine basic patterns your ball can travel.

Initial Directions
  • Straight towards your target
  • Left of your target
  • Right of your target

From each of these three initial directions, your ball can curve to the left or to the right.

The initial direction a ball flies after impact is influenced by the path of the club-head.

Three swing-path variations:
On-line” Swing-path
— You golf club-head is traveling down your target line, initial ball flight will be straight towards your target. (This applies to both right and left handed golfers.)
Outside to inside” Swing-path
— Your golf club-head is traveling from outside your target line to inside your target line, initial ball flight will be left of your target. (Right for left handed golfers
Inside to outside” Swing-path
— Your golf club-head is traveling from inside your target line to outside your target line, initial ball flight will be right of your target. (Left for left handed golfers)

The position of the "club-face" in relation to your "swing path" at contact:

After the initial direction is established. The angle of the club-head at impact will cause the ball to spin. (The ball can spin Backwards, Clockwise or Counter clockwise.)
Square Club-face
- If your club-face is perpendicular to your swing-path, it is called “square” and only back spin is imparted on ball. Your ball will remain straight. (this applies right and left handed golfers.
Opened Club-face - If the heel of the club-face is ahead of the toe at impact, the club-face is called “opened”. Clockwise (left to right) side-spin is imparted on ball. Your ball will curve to the right. (Counter clockwise for left-handed golfer. their ball will curve to the left.)
Closed Club-face
- If the toe of the club-face is ahead of the heel at impact, the club-face is called “closed”. Counter clockwise (right to left) side-spin is imparted on ball. Your ball will curve to the left. (Clockwise side-spin for left-handed golfers, their ball will curve to the right.)

How much the ball spins will vary depending on how opened or closed your club-face is.
The more the toe of the club-head or the heel of the club-head is in front at impact, the higher the side spin rate will be and the more the ball will curve, left or right.

Where on the club-face the ball is struck will also have a major impact on the amount and type of spin you will have on your golf ball.

A ball hit in the center the club-face, (the sweet spot) the club-face will remain square, only back spin is imparted on ball. Your ball will remain straight.
A ball hit towards the toe will open the club-face clockwise (left to right) side-spin imparted on ball. Your ball will curve to the right.
A ball hit towards the heel will close the club-face counter clockwise (right to left) side-spin imparted on ball. Your ball will curve to the left.
How far from the center of the club-face the ball is hit can increase or decrease the spin-rate of the golf ball. The higher the side spin-rate the more severe your ball will curve.

Note: A larger sweet spot can be designed into a club-face so that balls hit away from the center of the club-face will still fly straight without losing much distance. (see Proper Equipment.)

Target-Line: Is the straight line you intend your ball to travel towards your specific target.
Swing-path: Is the path your golf club-head is swung through the bottom of your swing.
Note: Club-face position — opened, closed or square is in relation to your swing-path, not your target-line.

The following is for right handed golfers, the opposite will apply for a left handed golfer, "a hook for a right-handed golfer would be a slice tor a left-handed golfer.

1. Pull Hook - Initial golf ball flight left of your target-line, counter clockwise side-spin will cause it to curve further left. Swing-path — outside to inside. Club-face — closed on contact with ball.

2. Pull - Initial golf ball flight left of your target-line, backspin will keep it straight. Swing-path — outside to inside. Club-face — square with swing-path. Ball hit in center of club-face.

3. Pull Slice - Initial golf ball flight left of target line, clockwise side-spin will cause ball to curve back to the right. Swing-path — outside to inside. Club-face — opened at contact with ball.

4. Hook - Initial golf ball flight will be straight, counter-clockwise side-spin will cause it to curve left. Swing-path — on line. Club-face — closed at contact with ball.

5. Straight - Initial golf ball flight is straight, backspin will keep it on line. Swing-path — on line with target. Club-face — is square at contact with ball. Ball hit in center of club-face.

6. Slice = Initial golf ball flight is straight, clockwise side-spin will cause the ball to curve right. Swing-path — on line with target. Club-face — opened at contact with ball.

 7. Push Hook - Initial golf ball flight is right of target, counter clockwise side-spin will cause it to curve back left. Swing-path — inside to outside, Club-face — closed at contact with ball.

8. Push - Initial golf ball flight is right of target, backspin will keep it straight. Swing-path — inside to outside. Club-face — square at contact with ball. Ball hit in center of club-face.

9. Push Slice - Initial golf ball flight is right of target, counter clockwise side-spin will cause the ball to curve to the right. Swing-path — inside to outside. Club-face — opened at contact with ball.

If your golf club-head is on-line, your club-face is square to the path of your club-head and the ball is struck on the sweet spot, the flight of your golf ball will be straight. Back-spin is the only rotation imparted on the ball. Back-spin helps produce more accurate shots. Back-spin imparted on the ball will cause it gain loft and stay in the air longer.

There are not very many of us who can swing a golf club like that with any consistency and "you don't have to".

Like your golf-swing, the flight of your golf ball does not have to be perfect. Anyone of the above 9 ball flight patterns could work for you. Keeping the ball in play is what counts.
There is no one perfect golf swing that will suit everybody, so there can not a perfect ball flight for everyone.
How you swing the golf-club will effect the flight of your golf ball.

The fastest way to improve your swing is to learn from the flight of your golf ball.
If you understand what is happening to your ball in flight you will have a good chance of finding the areas in your swing that are causing it to happen. 

Most golfers will have to make some adjustments to the way they swing the club and to the speed of their swing to help them hit the ball more accurately and with more consistency.

How you swing the club and the tempo of your swing should be what is natural to you. Your swing should be, what you are comfortable with, and what your body is able and prepared to do.

The key to developing your golf swing, will be in your golf swing fundamentals.

Proper Equipment will also very important



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