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Ball flight laws and misinformation


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Originally Posted by MiniBlueDragon

The majority of people on TST know, understand and believe the 'new' (read: correct) ball flight laws where the club face is responsible for ~85% of the starting line of the flight, however there are many people who have played for years with the 'old' ball flight laws and continue to do so because to them the old way is correct.

OLD = Initial direction of the ball is dictated by the club head path. The curvature of the ball is dictated by the club face angle.

NEW = Initial direction of the ball is 85% dictated by the club face angle. The curvature is dictated by the club head path.

I know this could start another bit of controversy, I'm not trying to stir things up (ie - Patrick57).  I understand what everyone is saying about the 'new' ball flight laws.  I just don't think the 'old' laws are that far off, they just don't talk to the exacting degrees that the 'new' laws do.  I really think, in a way, they are alot of the same things.

When you look at the 'old' laws as posted above, the ball path IS dictated by the club head path (by ~15%) and the curvature of the ball IS dictated by the club face angle (relative to the path).  What you came to realize over time, with practice, is that there wasn't an exact formula to make this work (because we didn't have hi-speed cameras at the time).  I also think when you setup to try and hit a hook or slice with this method (when you might be behind a tree or something), instinctively, you realize that if the club face comes in at such an extreme angle, it makes hitting the ball that much harder.  So, using this method to hit a slice, you end up closing the club face a bit as you are hitting it.  This results in the ball following the 'new' ball flight laws, as your face is pointing left of target.

The key here is '~85%' of the initial direction is dictated by the club face angle, the other (~15%) would then be dictated by the club head path (ie - the 'old' ball flight laws).  I think most pros realize this and are really just relaying how they hit a 'baby fade' or a 'little draw'.  Most pros (with the exception of Bubba) don't like to hit really big draws or fades, but little ones for control.  Since it's really hard to hit a 'straight shot', it's easier hitting a little fade or draw and setting up to do that is what he (Luke) is talking about.


Originally Posted by MiniBlueDragon

Luke's body and club head path is aimed way left toward the far left of the green and the ball starts out just left of the pin, curving back toward it.

Just another example of feel not being real in my opinion.


You can't really judge where he is aimed by this camera angle, as it is not setup directly behind his feet.  Also, when someone says 'I'm going to aim my feet a little left of the pin', and in doing so they move their front foot left a couple of inches, they have effectively (for a 185 yd shot) aimed themselves about 7.75 yds (about 23 feet) left of the pin.  But yes, you do have to aim alot more left than you would think when using this method to try and curve the ball.

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No, I think he means how Luke actually does it. Sets up with the face at the target, THEN opens his stance and swings ACROSS that line. It sounds like at impact his face is open to the path and closed

Few problems with that: 1) 30% is too high. If he's curving the ball around a tree he's probably in the rough, which will reduce the percentage that path contributes quite a bit. You get u

You are wrong. Did you watch the video? Nobody here says any differently. Assuming a righty for everything in this post… A "perfect" draw is hit wi

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Quote:

I know this could start another bit of controversy, I'm not trying to stir things up (ie - Patrick57).

Gotcha TGG, and neither do I

Quote:

When you look at the 'old' laws as posted above, the ball path IS dictated by the club head path (by ~15%) and the curvature of the ball IS dictated by the club face angle (relative to the path).  What you came to realize over time, with practice, is that there wasn't an exact formula to make this work (because we didn't have hi-speed cameras at the time).  I also think when you setup to try and hit a hook or slice with this method (when you might be behind a tree or something), instinctively, you realize that if the club face comes in at such an extreme angle, it makes hitting the ball that much harder.  So, using this method to hit a slice, you end up closing the club face a bit as you are hitting it.  This results in the ball following the 'new' ball flight laws, as your face is pointing left of target.

The key here is '~85%' of the initial direction is dictated by the club face angle, the other (~15%) would then be dictated by the club head path (ie - the 'old' ball flight laws).  I think most pros realize this and are really just relaying how they hit a 'baby fade' or a 'little draw'.  Most pros (with the exception of Bubba) don't like to hit really big draws or fades, but little ones for control.  Since it's really hard to hit a 'straight shot', it's easier hitting a little fade or draw and setting up to do that is what he (Luke) is talking about.


The "Old" way of curving the ball absolutely works for curving the ball right to left, left to right.  The problem is the ball starts at the target and curves away from it.  Ideally we would like the ball to curve into the target.  And can get tricky when addressing into faults and fixes.  Like if a player is hitting a pull hook, an instructor operating under "path controls start line" might tell the student to swing further out the the right to start the ball more out to the right.  But all it does is create a more rightward path, face is still aimed left.  This has happened to some very good players.

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Originally Posted by mvmac

The "Old" way of curving the ball absolutely works for curving the ball right to left, left to right.  The problem is the ball starts at the target and curves away from it.  Ideally we would like the ball to curve into the target.

Exactly which is why you see people aim way right to curve into the target when setting up based on the old ball flight laws.

With the proper setup based on the new proper ball flight laws, you can setup in line with the target and hit a draw with an open face that starts right and curves into the target.

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In that video is that Luke is just saying how HE does it.  That doesnt mean its the right way for everyone or even that it goes along with anyone's golf theories.  IMO, you should take those, just as any other golf tip, with a grain of salt.  Theres lots of different ways to hit a golf ball and just about every player out there has a slightly different swing.

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Originally Posted by TitleistWI

In that video is that Luke is just saying how HE does it.  That doesnt mean its the right way for everyone or even that it goes along with anyone's golf theories.  IMO, you should take those, just as any other golf tip, with a grain of salt.  Theres lots of different ways to hit a golf ball and just about every player out there has a slightly different swing.


How he THINKS he does it you mean. ;)

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You can't do it "your way". There is the right way or the wrong way. What you say and set up to do and what you really do may of course be two different things. I read in some other thread that a Sky reporter claimed some S&T; player used different ball flight laws than the rest. :roll:
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It was mentioned above, but i think the most important thing here is how a player reads his ballflight....not as much while trying to hit a fade or draw.

If you think you sliced the ball because the clubface was open, but it is really because you are coming over the top...it will take a long time to make the right adjustment with the wrong info.  If you know that you came over the top in the first place it is much easier to adjust.

It is funny though, because it is high school physics...and all this time people have had it backwards...

Then just another thing about shot shapes...people really don't know what happens with gear effect.  Someone hits a slice and I'll hear them say awww got it off the toe...That is another thing to keep in mind when reading your shots.

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Originally Posted by MiniBlueDragon

Quote:

Originally Posted by TitleistWI

In that video is that Luke is just saying how HE does it.  That doesnt mean its the right way for everyone or even that it goes along with anyone's golf theories.  IMO, you should take those, just as any other golf tip, with a grain of salt.  Theres lots of different ways to hit a golf ball and just about every player out there has a slightly different swing.

How he THINKS he does it you mean. ;)



No, I think he means how Luke actually does it. Sets up with the face at the target, THEN opens his stance and swings ACROSS that line. It sounds like at impact his face is open to the path and closed to where it was aimed in step 1. It seems pretty straightfoward.

Originally Posted by westcyderydin

It is funny though, because it is high school physics...and all this time people have had it backwards...



No they haven't. Face open to the path means a ball that curves away from the player. A ball that curves harder as loft decreases and clubhead increases. If guys think approaching the problem with different forumlae than someone did in the 1970s will make them better players, good for them, but all these elite professional who don't know how to hit fades and draw sure seem to be able to . . . hit a lot of fades and draws. Do they learn to tweak their path and face angle through practice? Of course they do - same as guys have to do with the current information. Either way you still have to work at it.

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Originally Posted by TourSpoon

I played with a pro Saturday who played the push fade. He hit some incredible golf shots. He aimed his body open about 15 degrees and it looked like his face was aimed at the pin. I know that is how he set-up to hit the shot, but that is not what happened at impact as the club face had to be closed as as compared to the initial address position but open to the path. It was not by much because it was more of a baby fade with so much control. I don't know if he knows the ball flight laws, but he knows how to play competitive golf on the local tournament level.


Excellent point and this is likely exactly what is happening.  As for me, my clubface is always going to be slightly more closed (relative to my shoulders/path) at impact than it is at my address position, particularly when the ball is slightly forward of center.  I always have to account for this when I'm hitting a fade.  Basically, I have to take a few half-speed practice swings to get the feel for how much my hands will be released at the impact position so that I can ensure the face is still slightly open.

It works most of the time, but there is always the occasional double-cross, and some days I have no clue which way the ball is going to curve.  I guess that's why I don't play golf for a living.

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Originally Posted by sean_miller

No, I think he means how Luke actually does it. Sets up with the face at the target, THEN opens his stance and swings ACROSS that line. It sounds like at impact his face is open to the path and closed to where it was aimed in step 1. It seems pretty straightfoward.

Clearly what he meant by "thinks" is that the clubface is not pointed at impact where it's pointed at setup.


Originally Posted by sean_miller

No they haven't. Face open to the path means a ball that curves away from the player. A ball that curves harder as loft decreases and clubhead increases. If guys think approaching the problem with different forumlae than someone did in the 1970s will make them better players, good for them, but all these elite professional who don't know how to hit fades and draw sure seem to be able to . . . hit a lot of fades and draws. Do they learn to tweak their path and face angle through practice? Of course they do - same as guys have to do with the current information. Either way you still have to work at it.


The point is simply this, and you, Harmonious, and all of the other "Nick Faldo won six majors using this 'bad' information" people can surely understand it: I think it's downright stupid to give people incorrect or at the best misleading information when good, correct information is so easy to say and understand. Bad information must be overcome, good information leads to instant and lasting growth and understanding*.

That's it. That's all I've ever said about the ball flight laws. Someone who believes what Nick Faldo says (just to use him as an example since he's in our ball flight laws video) and manages to produce impact somewhat similar to what Nick Faldo says they should try to do will nail the tree they're trying to curve the ball around just about every time.

Story I'm hiding in a spoiler because it's just another example of the bold sentence.

Dave just went to Orlando to do a media day for 5SK. One of the golf writers there (you'd know him if I said) played in Dave's group. He hit a fade every time (path slightly across the ball with every club in the bag). He played GREAT golf and at the end of the day simply said "I just tried to make sure my face was pointing left every time, because I wanted my ball to start there if it's going to cut." He hit tons of fairways, tons of greens, etc. just knowing this one piece of information.
He's been around a lot of guys - PGA Tour, instructors, technology, etc. He's never heard that information, and he took it, changed absolutely nothing about his swing, and shot better than his handicap the first time out.
Good, simple information is powerful.

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Originally Posted by iacas

Quote:

Originally Posted by sean_miller

No, I think he means how Luke actually does it. Sets up with the face at the target, THEN opens his stance and swings ACROSS that line. It sounds like at impact his face is open to the path and closed to where it was aimed in step 1. It seems pretty straightfoward.

Clearly what he meant by "thinks" is that the clubface is not pointed at impact where it's pointed at setup.

Quote:

Originally Posted by sean_miller

No they haven't. Face open to the path means a ball that curves away from the player. A ball that curves harder as loft decreases and clubhead increases. If guys think approaching the problem with different forumlae than someone did in the 1970s will make them better players, good for them, but all these elite professional who don't know how to hit fades and draw sure seem to be able to . . . hit a lot of fades and draws. Do they learn to tweak their path and face angle through practice? Of course they do - same as guys have to do with the current information. Either way you still have to work at it.

The point is simply this, and you, Harmonious, and all of the other "Nick Faldo won six majors using this 'bad' information" people can surely understand it: I think it's downright stupid to give people incorrect or at the best misleading information when good, correct information is so easy to say and understand. Bad information must be overcome, good information leads to instant and lasting growth and understanding*.

That's it. That's all I've ever said about the ball flight laws. Someone who believes what Nick Faldo says (just to use him as an example since he's in our ball flight laws video) and manages to produce impact somewhat similar to what Nick Faldo says they should try to do will nail the tree they're trying to curve the ball around just about every time.



I actually don't care what Faldo says. Luke Donald seems to aim where he aims at setup, then do what he does in the next couple steps, in order to successfully hit a slight fade.

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Originally Posted by sean_miller

I actually don't care what Faldo says. Luke Donald seems to aim where he aims at setup, then do what he does in the next couple steps, in order to successfully hit a slight fade.


He says "I always want to aim the clubface at the target or where I want the ball to come down."

No, he doesn't. Not really, and it's misleading information at best.

He repeats "aim my clubface at the pin" later in the video.

Look, I too am tired of these little back and forths about the BFL, but it takes two: one for the back, one for the forth.

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Originally Posted by iacas

Quote:

Originally Posted by sean_miller

I actually don't care what Faldo says. Luke Donald seems to aim where he aims at setup, then do what he does in the next couple steps, in order to successfully hit a slight fade.

He says "I always want to aim the clubface at the target or where I want the ball to come down."

No, he doesn't. Not really, and it's misleading information at best.

He repeats "aim my clubface at the pin" later in the video.

Look, I too am tired of these little back and forths about the BFL, but it takes two: one for the back, one for the forth.



He starts out that way, then adds a few pieces that if followed seem to work in spite of the fact Luke goes about the process in a confusing order to some. Those who like to skip steps when learning a new task will surely fail, Some guys will always be awful and some guys will always figure out how to get the ball from A to B on their desired path. It's that second batch who has no problem with Donald's video.

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If correct information is of the upmost importance why do people refer to the original ball flight laws as being wrong when in actual fact the pga manual has always had and still has the laws correct.
The PGA Teaching Manual states quite accurately that there are 5 laws that influence ball flight. Those are; Clubhead Speed, Centeredness of Contact, Clubhead Path, Position of Club face and Angle of approach.

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This is where I'll bail - I just thought the Luke Donald video could be followed successfully by even people who don't care to start the process aiming at the target. It can be done, but if that's where your face is aiming at impact, while swinging out to the left, then no you're not hitting the green.

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Originally Posted by johnthejoiner

If correct information is of the upmost importance why do people refer to the original ball flight laws as being wrong

When people refer to "the old ball flight laws" they are talking about "ball starts on path, finishes where face is pointing."


Originally Posted by johnthejoiner

when in actual fact the pga manual has always had and still has the laws correct.

They weren't "right." I have the manual upstairs. It may not have bad information, but it doesn't have good information on this either.

Originally Posted by johnthejoiner

The PGA Teaching Manual states quite accurately that there are 5 laws that influence ball flight. Those are; Clubhead Speed, Centeredness of Contact, Clubhead Path, Position of Club face and Angle of approach.

"Clubhead speed" is not a law, nor are any of the other. Yes, each of those things contributes to the ball flight, but the "face/path" stuff in the PGA manual is, as Dave says, "clear as mud."

And these discussions aren't about the manual. The word "manual" is referred to once in the body of the article I wrote. The article is about the OBFL, and those state "ball starts on club path, curves and finishes where club face pointed." For everything but a straight shot, they're wrong.

I've repeated myself on this subject countless times. It's my birthday - I'm done. I like removing impediments and giving golfers good information. At least one golf writer - and all of our students - are thankful for that.

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Originally Posted by iacas

Quote:

Originally Posted by johnthejoiner

If correct information is of the upmost importance why do people refer to the original ball flight laws as being wrong

When people refer to "the old ball flight laws" they are talking about "ball starts on path, finishes where face is pointing."

Quote:

Originally Posted by johnthejoiner

when in actual fact the pga manual has always had and still has the laws correct.

They weren't "right." I have the manual upstairs. It may not have bad information, but it doesn't have good information on this either.

Quote:

Originally Posted by johnthejoiner

The PGA Teaching Manual states quite accurately that there are 5 laws that influence ball flight. Those are; Clubhead Speed, Centeredness of Contact, Clubhead Path, Position of Club face and Angle of approach.

"Clubhead speed" is not a law, nor are any of the other. Yes, each of those things contributes to the ball flight, but the "face/path" stuff in the PGA manual is, as Dave says, "clear as mud."

And these discussions aren't about the manual. The word "manual" is referred to once in the body of the article I wrote. The article is about the OBFL, and those state "ball starts on club path, curves and finishes where club face pointed." For everything but a straight shot, they're wrong.

I've repeated myself on this subject countless times. It's my birthday - I'm done. I like removing impediments and giving golfers good information. At least one golf writer - and all of our students - are thankful for that.



Happy birthday - if you were unlucky enough to receive golf gifts (like shoes resembling spats - that was the real travesty in the Luke Donald video) I hope they will bring good karma.

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Originally Posted by sean_miller

Happy birthday - if you were unlucky enough to receive golf gifts (like shoes resembling spats - that was the real travesty in the Luke Donald video) I hope they will bring good karma.


Just some running stuff. Thanks. :)

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