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Ball below My Feet Hit to the Right

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-instruction/2011-04/butch-harmon-uneven-lies

On the web page above, Butch Harmon says that when the ball is below the feet, one's swing tends to be more upright, which fosters a delay in the closing of the club face, which in turn causes a ball flight to the right. So, aim left, he says.

I've experienced the same thing with my irons many times when the ball is below my feet, and found that aiming left does, indeed help. Have other readers in this forum noticed the same thing?


Harmon doesn't explain WHY a more upright stance inhibits the closing of the club face, so I looked for an explanation.

I found that the more upright my stance, the harder it is for my right forearm to roll over the left forearm on the down swing. Naturally, that inhibits the closing of the face in time to make a square impact; the face is open at impact, and the ball sails to the right. To help fix the problem, I aim left, just as Harmon says I should.

The opposite happens when the ball is above the feet. I find that the more horizontal my arms are, the more rapidly does my right forearm roll over the left forearm on the down swing. This cause a closing of the face that is too rapid; consequently, the face arrives closed at impact, sending the ball to the left. The "fix" is to aim right when the ball is above the feet.

You can easily test this by swinging a seven iron on a more horizontal plane than usual, and then along a more vertical plane. In the first case, does your right forearm seem to relatively easily roll over the left forearm, and in the second case, is it harder for that to happen?
post #2 of 15

The ball tends to want to go right off of a lie below your feet because everything is pointed right from where it would have been on a flat lie.

 

The ball tends to go left off a lie above your feet because everything is tilted left.

 

It ain't rocket science.  (I mean, it is science, so it might be complicated for some, but it's only like regular 9th grade level science, not NASA stuff) :-P

post #3 of 15

This is my least favorite lie/stance for my irons. Seems like I tend to blade/thin it sometimes..... Balance is crucial, I find I have to line up more  left than usual and bend more at the knees than at the waist than usual , I find that it's very possible to either pull left but ideally I like to play to fade back toward the target. I make a special adjustment in that I grip with nine finger grip with my left forefinger off the handle, this allows to me release later and prevent the pull and slice/fade.

 

I find the ball above my feet to be different animal. For what reason, I more confident with this lie, occasional I might be a hair fat but very solid .Hook is ideal and I set up aiming right of my intended target. Pushing to the right is very possible, I tend to grip tighter with my left forefinger on the handle and make sure I release my  hands earlier to prevent the push shot.


Edited by dchoye - 8/26/14 at 12:53am
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post
 

The ball tends to want to go right off of a lie below your feet because everything is pointed right from where it would have been on a flat lie.

 

The ball tends to go left off a lie above your feet because everything is tilted left.

 

It ain't rocket science.  (I mean, it is science, so it might be complicated for some, but it's only like regular 9th grade level science, not NASA stuff) :-P

 

Yeah it's not complicated, even I can understand it. Same kind of thing if someone's irons are too upright or too flat. The varying lie angle changes where the face points.

 

 Effects of Lie Angle on Varying Degrees of Loft 

post #5 of 15

I roll my forearms too much in all situations, so no. Quite the opposite, actually. I find it is much easier for me to hold off the rotation when I make a horizontal swing because it's easier to turn my shoulders when I am upright, so I allow my shoulders to do the rotating for me.

 

Yes, ball below your feet will tend to go to the right, for a right-handed player. The fix is to aim more left. That's not really a well kept secret.

 

@Joe Mama, I thought you touted a four knuckle grip and square to the arc? Why all of a sudden are you concerned with rotating your hands?

post #6 of 15

I've always had a tendency to hit more pulls than pushes with the ball below my feet.

 

Probably rotate the face more because of some kind of subconscious overcompensation to make sure the heel doesn't hit the ground before the club hits the ball.

post #7 of 15

Far too much thinking by OP.

 

Golf is the triumph of the uncluttered mind. 

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by billchao View Post

I roll my forearms too much in all situations, so no. Quite the opposite, actually. I find it is much easier for me to hold off the rotation when I make a horizontal swing because it's easier to turn my shoulders when I am upright, so I allow my shoulders to do the rotating for me.

Yes, ball below your feet will tend to go to the right, for a right-handed player. The fix is to aim more left. That's not really a well kept secret.

@Joe Mama
, I thought you touted a four knuckle grip and square to the arc? Why all of a sudden are you concerned with rotating your hands?

I am a four knuckle strong grip, maintain- square- to- the -arc -as -long -as- possible golfer, it's true. I do want to roll my forearms going back or coming down. My concern with balls above or below the feet is that I have to work harder to prevent rolling in clockwise in the one case, and counter-clockwise in the other.

Putting that aside, at least one forum contributor has spoken of the lie angle as being one of (if not the ONLY) culprit responsible for balls flying left when they're above the feet, and vice-versa for balls below the feet.

I agree that lie angle influences ball flight, course, and further agree that when the ball is above your feet, a properly soled iron face points left, and ice-versa for balls below your feet. I performed a simple test by taping a tee to the faces of a lob wedge and a five iron, and soled each above my feet. For the lob wedge, the face points left by an observable amount, but for a much lower lofted club, such as a five iron, the face direction differs too little from square to be observed.

So, I agree the lie angle influences ball direction, but cannot there be TWO causes of the ball sailing to the left when the ball is above the feet? I've suggested that when you swing at a ball above your feet, the right forearm has a NATURAL tendency to roll over the left forearm SOONER than it does for a normal lie, and this leads to an earlier closing than normal, which sends the ball to the left. This is NOT to say that the club face is not pointing left a little at setup; it is. This alone would tend to send the ball left. But, I believe it's also true that excessive arm rolling, alone, likewise would tend to send the ball left. Why cannot we believe that both effects occur? And that one effect may dominate over the other, depending on lie angle and club loft?

You can test the right forearm rolling claim by swinging an iron in a horizontal plane with relaxed arms. Do you find that there is a greater tendency for the right forarm to roll over the left than in the case where you swing in a nearly vertical plane?

Butch Harmon on the web page cited in a previous post attributes the ball's flight to the right--when the ball is below the feet--to a swing plane that is too upright. The implication is that there is less right forearm rotation than usual. His view, it seems to me, is exactly what I'm expressing.

Are there ANY forum readers who believe, as I do, that the forearm-rolling (too much, or too little) effect, caused by the ball above, or below the feet, is ALSO a cause of the ball's flight being to the left, or to the right? Or, am I alone in my belief?

Is there any agreement among members that the lie angle effect is greater for higher-lofted clubs, and less for lower lofted ones?
post #9 of 15

I think you think about it too much.  Expect it to fade more that your normal flat lie shot.  Focus on good contact and making a nice smooth swing to make that contact.  Same with other lies.  I have way more trouble with the downhill lie than ball above or below my feet.

post #10 of 15

I'm quite happy to not know the WHY in this case, and I'm very much a WHY guy when it comes to mechanics but in this case I'm quite content to know that the ball will tend to go the same way it would if putted on that slope. Easy to remember that way too.

post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest Jones View Post

I'm quite happy to not know the WHY in this case, and I'm very much a WHY guy when it comes to mechanics but in this case I'm quite content to know that the ball will tend to go the same way it would if putted on that slope. Easy to remember that way too.

Golfing to me is not just about making great swings and shooting low scores. I want to know, for example, WHY the ball curves one way or the other, depending on spin direction. It's not enough for me to memorize that under-spin causes the ball to lift, for example. I needed to discover how and why the air pressure above the ball is lower than the air pressure above the ball. I enjoy thinking about these things; indeed, I will "over-think" about them until I think I know exactly what is happening and why. To me, it's better to know WHY, then to just learn a rule. It is very empowering.

Learning the rules regarding the dynamics of golf, rather than learning the underlying physics, is probably the best way to go for most players, including pros. If the player addressing a side-lie has to think about not only the normal things such as stance and grip and swing direction, but also about WHY the ball is sent left when the ball is below his feet, he's mind will become too cluttered to allow him to perform well. There's nothing wrong with cluttering your mind with such thoughts on the range, or on a golf forum, but on the course, just relax and obey the simple rules that you've learned through study and practice.

Sometimes on the course, as I'm about to apply a simple rule, I realize I have forgotten WHY I embrace that rule. Oh, no. Do I have the rule backwards? Am I supposed to aim left, or right, when the ball is above my feet? If I have the ability to determine on the spot the answer through pure logical reasoning, am I not better off than one who is relying on memory alone?
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Mama View Post

Sometimes on the course, as I'm about to apply a simple rule, I realize I have forgotten WHY I embrace that rule. Oh, no. Do I have the rule backwards? Am I supposed to aim left, or right, when the ball is above my feet? If I have the ability to determine on the spot the answer through pure logical reasoning, am I not better off than one who is relying on memory alone?
How hard can it be to remember that the ball will tend to go in the same direction as if putted?

Not that there is anything wrong with exploring but let's not pretend that anyone is better off reviewing a bunch of physics and abstract math to know that a ball below your feet will tend to head right and a ball above your feet will tend to head left.
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest Jones View Post

How hard can it be to remember that the ball will tend to go in the same direction as if putted?

Not that there is anything wrong with exploring but let's not pretend that anyone is better off reviewing a bunch of physics and abstract math to know that a ball below your feet will tend to head right and a ball above your feet will tend to head left.

If the only cause of sending the ball to the left, or right, is the direction of the face at setup, then nobody would have a problem seeing what the face angle is and knowing what to do about it, I agree. No physics or advanced math is necessary in that case. But, as I've argued in previous posts, forearm rotation--too much, or too little, depending on the lie, is also a factor.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Mama View Post

If the only cause of sending the ball to the left, or right, is the direction of the face at setup, then nobody would have a problem seeing what the face angle is and knowing what to do about it, I agree. No physics or advanced math is necessary in that case. But, as I've argued in previous posts, forearm rotation--too much, or too little, depending on the lie, is also a factor.
Fine, but what I'm saying is I don't give a rats ass whether it's face angle, forearm rotation or whether I dress left or right. All that matters is that the ball will tend to go in the same direction it would if it was putted on the slope. Easy to remember and takes care of all that "other" stuff freeing me up to just hit the damn shot.

But if you enjoy analyzing the nuts and bolts of it, have at it, no skin off my back.
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post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Mama View Post

But, as I've argued in previous posts, forearm rotation--too much, or too little, depending on the lie, is also a factor.

 

I disagree that it's a factor, and have demonstrated a few times why. A few degrees difference is not going to alter the way your anatomy functions.

 

If that were true, every club would need a different swing with regards to the way we rotate our forearms.

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