Closed to the path? Sure. Closed to the target? Not if you want a playable shot, no. No "assertions" here - just facts.
All playable draws for a righty are struck with a clubface pointing right of the target and a path farther to the right (i.e. so the clubface is closed to the path).
All playable fades for a righty are struck with a clubface pointing left of the target and a path farther to the left (i.e. so the clubface is open to the path).
As you can see by the way I wrote my original reply to the OP, to me it's about feel, the perception created by the brain and the exact same thing can be said about the conventional thinking, despite the fact that scientifically something else is happening. The club face may very well account for 85% of the balls direction at impact, but try to convince Nick Faldo of this; you may be right and he may admit that you're right, but he is not going to stop thinking swing path.
As someone else said, the OP is not Nick Faldo. He has not hit a few million golf balls for his brain to be over-ridden by his body. Understanding the ball flight laws is an impediment to learning and improving your golf swing. I like to remove impediments.
Feel is not real, as Harmonious loves to point out while simultaneously complaining about these threads yet posting in them every time (), but I would rather people come up with feels based on what the club and path should actually be doing rather than thinking that the fix for their slice is to roll the hands more and trying to re-create THAT feel, which is far more likely to lead them nowhere than trying to "feel" a path more to the right.
Again, I'm not saying that the 85/15 principle is not fact, I'm saying that it doesn't matter to me and the majority of the golf world. I also don't think all golfers, regardless of talent can wrap their heads around it. But certainly, those who can put themselves in the write frame of mind would most likely benefit.
I believe it matters a good deal.
If you're a PGA Tour player struggling with hitting pull-draws, the common (wrong) thing to say is that you "came over the top of it." So being a good student and in need of a made cut, you work on the feeling of sending your path more to the right....... which only makes the hook worse. The real problem, if you want to play a push-draw, is that your clubface is pointing left of the target at impact (with a path to the right of that face). The real problem if you want to play a pull-fade is that your path is too far to the right and you NEED to "come over the top" MORE (swing left more).
To a new player and not a PGA Tour player, who will often know that something isn't working within the first 10 swings or so, he can go so far down the road of trying the precisely wrong fix that he'll never recover, or will have a LONG road to recovery.
Well I can tell you this: he'll have a clearer idea what the clubface should actually be doing at impact, and what his path should actually be doing. His feels to achieve these things may be bizarre and unusual. When I say "feel ain't real" for example, in this case he might feel like he's swinging to first base, 45° to the right, just to get his path to be 3° to the right. He might feel like his right elbow is in front of his belly button at impact when it's still barely in front of his right hip. He might feel like his hips are 20° closed at impact when they're 30° open.
That's how feel isn't real. Feel produces real changes, but the feels are often exaggerated and sometimes flat out incorrect relative to what's actually happening.
- Understanding the proper ball flights removes an impediment, both to improving long term and to immediate ball flight fault-fixing.*
- "Feel ain't real" applies to every golfer, not just those who don't understand the ball flight laws.
* Very few people have the luxury of being able to hit enough balls that their body learns to over-ride what their brain tells them is correct.