Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Step 3 Hitting the Golf Ball Perfectly Straight

Step 3 Hitting the Golf Ball Perfectly Straight

Most amateur golfers struggle with the dreaded slice and because of this, most golf instruction is built around compensations to get the golfer to stop slicing immediately. This type of "band-aid" golf teaching is very prolific and, at times, borders on the absurd. Let me give you an example.

I once heard a story of a golf instructor who was doing a clinic and guaranteed anyone in the audience that he could get them to stop slicing in one swing. Everyone there started to salivate and a golfer volunteered who had done nothing but slice since he first picked up a club 20 years ago. Eager to stop slicing, he was willing to do whatever this instructor asked. To fix the slice, the instructor told the student to grip the club a certain way - he told him to take such a strong grip that the club face pointed and rested on the outside of the golf ball rather than behind it! The student looked at the golf instructor bewildered and was terrified the ball would come back and hit him in the foot if he took a swing at it! Never the less, the instructor told him to take a swipe, which the student did with his typical over the top move. However, this time, the ball started left of his target line and hooked about 80 yards left! The student was actually delighted to see the ball go left rather than his typical slice and the instructor stood up and yelled, "See, he didn't slice!"

Sadly, this story is true! The instructor didn't fix the problem but he put a big enough patch over it that the naive student thought his golfing woes were over. But, an 80 yard hook is just as bad as an 80 yard slice and without fixing the real problem of his swing mechanics, the golfer stands to struggle with the swing for the rest of his life. Again, fixing the problem starts with understanding what the problem really is.

The key to hitting perfectly straight golf shots is a square path and square club face angle. That's it. That's all you need to hit the perfectly straight every single shot. Of course, that is easier said than done, but it doesn't change the fact that those are the requirements and nothing else. If the club head is travelling straight down the target line with the club face perfectly square to the target line, the golf ball will fly dead straight. It's that simple.

With a square swing path and square club face, the golf ball will start on your intended line and stay there!

Most golfers don't understand this very simple relationship of club face and path and spend their lives chasing their tails trying to figure out how to hit a straight golf shot. They build in compensations to try and get the ball to work back toward the hole even though their swing path may be pointing 15 yards left of the target. In order for this ball to work back toward the hole, the clubface must be open in relation to the swing path and that will cause the golf ball to spin on an axis tilted to the right that will cause the ball to curve back to the right. So now, without fixing the swing path, you're trying to become an expert in algebra guessing how much the clubface should be open in relation to the target on each shot. When, instead, you should fix the path first and then simply get the club face square to your swing path, and the math becomes a lot simpler - zero and zero!

How to Build an On Plane Golf Swing

So, we know what the requirements are for the straight golf shot are now, we can start the process of meeting those requirements as part of our golf swing system.

Learn more about hitting the golf ball straight in this great article about using a FlightScope X2 launch monitor.

So far, we've determined the golf swing requirements for being consistent and reliable, hitting it straight, hitting it far with little effort and being pain free and injury safe. With our requirements gathered, it's time to start looking at the "HOW" part rather than just the "WHAT" that we've gone over so far. So, how do we build the perfect golf swing?

How to Build the Perfect Golf Swing

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