Ball Flight Faults and Fixes
Let's take a few minutes to discuss ball flight today. After all, it is the flight of the ball that gets us from
Point A to Point B in the game of golf, and the more we know about ball flight the better golfer we will
The way a ball behaves once it takes flight is determined by two things: the angle of the club face on impact
and the swing path that got it there.
When it comes to club face angles, the face of a club can be open, closed, or squared as it hits the ball. Each
of these angles produces a different type of ball flight.
When it comes to swing paths, the club face can travel on three different paths:
The best path is when it travels along the target line.
Or the club head can move from inside to outside across the target line.
Lastly, the club head may move from outside to inside. This is also known as coming over the top.
Ball Flight Characteristics:
If your ball starts out straight but then hooks or slices, your swing path is fine but you are opening or
closing the face upon impact. Check your grip to ensure you are not using an overly strong or weak grip.
When you grip your golf
club, you should be able to see the first two knuckles of your left hand (for right-handed golfers). If cannot
see any knuckles, you are in a weak grip and this often leads to a slice. If you see more than a couple of
knuckles, you are in a strong grip and this often leads to hooking the ball.
If your ball immediately heads to the right, but does not hook or slice, you are pushing the ball. Your swing
path is too much on the "in to out" plane, but your club face is squared.
If your ball goes to the right and hooks, your swing path is too much "in to out" and your club face is closed.
If it slices, same thing except your club face is opened.
If your ball heads left right away, you are pulling the ball. A straight pull happens when you are on a swing
path that is too much "out to in". If the ball also hooks, you are too much "out to in" as well as hitting with a
closed club face. If it pulls and slices, you are too much "out to in" and hitting the ball with an opened club
As mentioned above, it is imperative that you hold the club in a manner that is neutral rather than too weak or
too strong. A neutral grip allows the club's face to become square with the ball at impact. For many golfers, the
grip is the key to fixing the golf
hook or golf slice.
For both the push and the pull golfer, the first and most important thing to look at is the position of your
club at the top of your backswing. For both types of players, the problem occurs when you "cross the line".
Have a buddy or local pro take a look at your club position at the top of your backswing. If the club is
pointing to the left or to the right of the target, your swing path is going to be affected, leading to either a
push or a pull as you come back with your downswing.
A common fix for both of these swing problems is to bring the club inside a little more as you begin your
backswing. Keep your lead arm straight and pause at the top of the backswing to help you transition into the
Most of all, keep working on it.
The Lady Golfers Guide ebook provides excellent information on troubleshooting these ball flight faults and
more. Take a look for yourself: