In the world of playing golf with any consistency you have to consider two points:
1. The start line of the ball at impact…and
2. the amount of curve that occurs during the ball’s flight
If you are starting the ball in a different direction with every swing then how can you aim? Two way misses don’t give us very much consistency. But once you have a consistent start line then you can work on the amount of curve.
The start line, where the golf ball is starting its flight, is controlled by where the clubface is pointing at impact. So if you want the ball to start right then you had better have the clubface pointed right at impact.
But a clubface pointed right, or left, won’t get the ball back to target…it needs a little help from the clubhead path. If the face/path relationship are square to each other than the shot would be straight. Or, the clubhead face and path could be sending the ball straight to the left of target or straight to the right of target depending on the start line.
A point to remember is that if the ball is curving it is always away from the path. So, for right-handers, this means that if the ball is drawing right to left then the path the ball started on is to the right of where the ball finishes. Alternatively, the same is true if the ball is fading left to right then the path is to the left and the ball is curving away from that path and finishing at a spot right of where the path started.
A lot of players get confused however when talking about clubhead path. Their “vision” of it is that the clubhead needs to be moving in whatever direction coming into the ball. However, the reality is the path of clubhead is where it is moving from after impact as it moves forward.
The past couple of days I have had players focus on start lines by placing an alignment stick, vertically, in the ground directly between their golf ball and their target. From a square stance, I then ask them to start the ball either right or left of the alignment stick.
We don’t talk about swing mechanics when using this exercise, but simply focus on what the hands need to do to effect the clubface for the shot I call out. Once they are controlling the ball start line I will then tell them to make the same swing, but I won’t tell them where to start the ball until they have started their downswing!
Now this gets their attention!
I am constantly amazed, and so are they, that within a couple of shots they are making the adjustment in swing to control the clubface.
I call this exercise, “Educating the Hands.”
Very recently, I had a player that kept telling me he didn’t know where his hands were or what they needed to do. After doing the above exercise, and successfully hitting his start lines, a big smile came across both of our faces.
“So, I asked, if you don’t know what your hands are doing how are you controlling them and the clubface?” He replied, “Now I know what they’re doing because you made me focus on them.”
If you don’t know what YOUR hands are doing then try this exercise and I guarantee you will soon!
If you would like to improve your golf game and spend time with Chuck call 816.880.9600 ext. 226 or email him firstname.lastname@example.org
Chuck Evans is a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, Golf Digest Top Teachers in America,
Instructor for PGA, LPGA, Champions Tour, Nationwide Tour & Top Amateurs
Author of several national golf articles for Golf Magazine, Golf Digest, Golf Tips, etc.
Author of the book “How To Build Your Golf Swing“
Honorary Doctorate Degree in 1992 for contributions to Golf Research & Development