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How to determine the direction of a shaped shot?

13 posts in this topic

Yesterday I had a shot at the green that was behind a tree. There was a fairly good size gap between two trees that I was confident I could hit but the problem was I needed to draw the ball a fair amount as well. I hit the perfect height shot but the trajectory of my ball started more left than i had planned.

I know that when the face of your club is closed to your clubs path, the ball does not start on the path of of the club head but rather somewhere in between the angle of the closed face and the path of the club head.

So how do you determine where this is? Do I need to just go to the range and practice it until I have a feel for the direction the ball goes with a closed face?

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The ball will always start in the direction of the clubface - it will then draw/fade according to your swing path

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Originally Posted by Kieran123

The ball will always start in the direction of the clubface - it will then draw/fade according to your swing path

I thought that it was closer to the opposite. Your ball starting on your swing path and moving towards the direction the club face was pointing relative to the direction of the swing path, you are saying that is incorrect?

The problem I'm having is that this isn't exactly true, the ball doesn't seem to start exactly on either of those lines when the club face is not square.

Generally it hasn't mattered because i get some shape to the shot, but when I need to be able to hit a smaller spot in the air between two trees and then have the ball continue to draw behind the trees I am not able to hit the spot I need to in between the trees.

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Originally Posted by jshots

I thought that it was closer to the opposite. Your ball starting on your swing path and moving towards the direction the club face was pointing relative to the direction of the swing path, you are saying that is incorrect?

The problem I'm having is that this isn't exactly true, the ball doesn't seem to start exactly on either of those lines when the club face is not square.

Generally it hasn't mattered because i get some shape to the shot, but when I need to be able to hit a smaller spot in the air between two trees and then have the ball continue to draw behind the trees I am not able to hit the spot I need to in between the trees.

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Yeah, to keep it simple, the angle of the club face gives the ball it's initial direction... closed club face starts left, open starts right (assuming a right handed golfer).

Technically the swing path does have a tiny influence on the starting direction but it is almost negligible.

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Cool thats exactly what I wanted... 15% club path 85% face angle. I was actually testing exactly this thing a few months ago and got results that made me think it was closer to 50/50 but guess not.

I would like to know how well tested it is down to 15/85, they say higher compression improves the ratio but I would think compression has nothing to do with it but rather how the friction between the ball and the clubface.

Think about a pool ball, when hit with english (so from the side to impart spin) the ball's initial direction is much more in the direction of the strike on the ball. If you hit it slow enough at the same angle the ball travels more to the right. Of course the pool queue is not angled so its not quite the same.

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Originally Posted by tristanhilton85

Yeah, to keep it simple, the angle of the club face gives the ball it's initial direction... closed club face starts left, open starts right (assuming a right handed golfer).

Technically the swing path does have a tiny influence on the starting direction but it is almost negligible.

When the so called new ball flight laws burst on to the scene, people were being told that the club face was the only thing that determined ball flight direction. What you'll find  now is the same people are telling us that the swing path has a little contribution to the initial direction, Trackman data tells us when using a modern driver "no grooves" and a modern golf ball "smaller and harder" the swing path will have a 15% contribution to the balls flight, and when using a modern iron "less grooves" the swing path can have up to 40% influence on ball flight direction

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A video by john graham and he talks about how the swing path can determine the ball flight by up to 50%

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Well here is another issue, what if your aiming 20 yards right. You hit it were you think your hitting it straight. You might not be able to do this on the course, but always practice with a reference to were your lining up, then you can really gauge were the clubface is pointing.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnthejoiner

A video by john graham and he talks about how the swing path can determine the ball flight by up to 50%

This video is posted on John's blog here:

http://johngrahamgolf.com/blog/the-d-plane/

In the comments underneath the blog on March 15, 2011 at 8:58 PM John writes:

Quote:
The face direction at the balls greatest deformation is what will determine the majority of it’s initial direction.

I'd also draw attention to an excellent video created by our very own Golf Evolution instructors from TheSandTrap:

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So to properly hit this high draw through a gap in the trees to land behind the trees on the green I would have to align somewhere to the right side of the gap in the trees. I guess I should go practice this.

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Here's what I'd do:

- Look at the gap between the trees and visualise it in quarters.

- Aim the club face around 3/4 or 75% of the way from left to right. The reason I'd aim at 75% is because if your club face happens to be a little more closed than expected at impact, you still have more room on the left than the right. Also we're trying to swing with an in-to-out path so if this happens to straighten a little the slightly-right aim will stop you from pulling it into the left tree.

- Adjust your stance so that with the in-to-out swing path, the club face is closed to the swing path .

- Swing at the ball with an in-to-out swing path.

That should hopefully start the ball on the correct line between the trees but the club face being closed to the swing path will put draw spin on the ball and curl it around the tree.

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I always aim at the tree because I never hit it where I aim!

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