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SoundandFury

Ball striking is getting consistent, now how do i make the ball consistently go where i want it?

19 posts in this topic

It's been a long and frustrating journey, but my ball striking is finally, FINALLY getting to a place where I expect good ball first contact with a healthy divot target side  (probably 85%-90% of the time with mid - short irons and wedges, 75% of the time with 4i and 5i).

Only problem is the ball doesn't consistently go where I want.  I have a much easier time playing a cut than I do a draw or straight ball, but often the ball either doesn't cut (I can generally start it where I want), or over cuts across the fairway or green.

So my question is, once you started being able to hit the ball well, what steps did you take to start zeroing in your accuracy?

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I honestly think the first step in getting the ball to go where you want it to consistently, is to make sure you have a clear understanding of the ball flight laws. There are plenty of great threads in this forum, with detailed photos, diagrams and instructions. But to simplify it: The balls initial direction, is generally determined by the club face: - If your face is open (to your target) the ball will start right. - If your club face is square (to the target) your ball will start straight. - If your club face is closed (to the target) your ball will start left. The balls flight pattern, is generally determined by your swing path (in relation to your club face). - If you swing outside to inside (over the top), your ball will fade (cut) or slice. - If you swing path is straight (exactly perpendicular to your club face) the flight path will be straight. - If you swing inside to out, your ball will draw or hook. If you want to hit a slight fade (cut) you want to swing outside to inside (slightly) while having the club face aiming just left of your target. The ball will start out where your club face is pointing (just left of target) and then fade slightly from left to right, ending up at your target. The more exaggerated your outside to inside swing is, the more extreme the fade or slice will become. Your common miss is a straight pull. Meaning you are swinging outside to in (over the top) and you have your club face square TO THAT swing path. In order to correct this, your club face needs to be slightly more open than it currently is. On the range, experiment with both grip and ball position. As long as you realize the ball will always start in the direction your club face is pointed in, shoud get you in the right direction as far as becoming more accurate with your irons, as it sounds as if your balls initial direct is your current issue. I hope this makes sense? I'm on my iPad and can't search for the ball flight laws page or put up any diagrams of my own.
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Originally Posted by SoundandFury

It's been a long and frustrating journey, but my ball striking is finally, FINALLY getting to a place where I expect good ball first contact with a healthy divot target side  (probably 85%-90% of the time with mid - short irons and wedges, 75% of the time with 4i and 5i).

Only problem is the ball doesn't consistently go where I want.  I have a much easier time playing a cut than I do a draw or straight ball, but often the ball either doesn't cut (I can generally start it where I want), or over cuts across the fairway or green.

So my question is, once you started being able to hit the ball well, what steps did you take to start zeroing in your accuracy?

A lot of practice. Ben Hogan would hit balls for 8 hours a day.

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Originally Posted by SoundandFury

So my question is, once you started being able to hit the ball well, what steps did you take to start zeroing in your accuracy?

i gather accuracy with your irons to the green?.........start with your standard wedge and hit 10 balls to 50, 10 to 75, 10 to 100 and when all 30 balls are within 5-10yards of the targets, go back and do it with your 9 iron, then with your 8 iron...............you got plenty of hours up your sleeve? undefined

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Originally Posted by MyrtleBeachGolf

I honestly think the first step in getting the ball to go where you want it to consistently, is to make sure you have a clear understanding of the ball flight laws.

There are plenty of great threads in this forum, with detailed photos, diagrams and instructions. But to simplify it:

The balls initial direction, is generally determined by the club face:

- If your face is open (to your target) the ball will start right.

- If your club face is square (to the target) your ball will start straight.

- If your club face is closed (to the target) your ball will start left.

The balls flight pattern, is generally determined by your swing path (in relation to your club face).

- If you swing outside to inside (over the top), your ball will fade (cut) or slice.

- If you swing path is straight (exactly perpendicular to your club face) the flight path will be straight.

- If you swing inside to out, your ball will draw or hook.

If you want to hit a slight fade (cut) you want to swing outside to inside (slightly) while having the club face aiming just left of your target. The ball will start out where your club face is pointing (just left of target) and then fade slightly from left to right, ending up at your target. The more exaggerated your outside to inside swing is, the more extreme the fade or slice will become.

Your common miss is a straight pull. Meaning you are swinging outside to in (over the top) and you have your club face square TO THAT swing path. In order to correct this, your club face needs to be slightly more open than it currently is. On the range, experiment with both grip and ball position.

As long as you realize the ball will always start in the direction your club face is pointed in, shoud get you in the right direction as far as becoming more accurate with your irons, as it sounds as if your balls initial direct is your current issue.

I hope this makes sense? I'm on my iPad and can't search for the ball flight laws page or put up any diagrams of my own.

Excellent post.  I learned a lot from it.  Thank you.

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OP....

Do some research on Pressure Point #3 (PP3) - aka 'The Trigger Finger', and what it does for the golf swing.  Once you understand PP3... I think it becomes easier to 'feel' the club loading in the swing - and then you know where the sweetspot plane is throughout the swing.

Watch this video on the grip... Hopefully it turns a light bulb on for you, like it did for me - and how monitoring PP3 controls the sweet spot plane of the club face. Once you understand the correlation of these two PP3 and Sweet spot plane - I think you will have a lot better chance of consistently controlling where the ball goes.

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+1 on the PP3 stuff. Took me forever to feel this correctly (mainly because my old grip was way too deep into my palms) but once you feel it it becomes much easier to lag the club thru impact.
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Originally Posted by Ernest Jones

+1 on the PP3 stuff. Took me forever to feel this correctly (mainly because my old grip was way too deep into my palms) but once you feel it it becomes much easier to lag the club thru impact.

Not only lag... But if you feel PP3 - especially on the downswing... Then chances are - you are controlling the sweet spot plane fairly well - and can make solid contact.  When you make solid contact - good things happen.

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how or where does he have the white line on the club on which side of the grip thats where im confused, also how do you get the feelingof the sweetspot plane can someone explain this a little better?

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Originally Posted by uscfan

how or where does he have the white line on the club on which side of the grip thats where im confused, also how do you get the feelingof the sweetspot plane can someone explain this a little better?

Jeff Evans is the inventor of the Pure Ballstriker, basically a small device that attaches to the rear (aft) side of the club grip to help a student/player feel pressure point #3.  Pressure point #3 (PP3) was originally a concept and term that Homer Kelley, author of The Golfing Machine (TGM) created.

Basically - PP3 is a way to monitor where the 'Sweet Spot Plane' is at throughout the swing.  When you sole the club, the shaft of the club is on an inclined plane - from the ground to your hands.  So Homer Kelley in section 2-C-1 of his TGM book, talks about the plane lines that are created in golf... One being the Sweet Spot Plane which runs along the Clubshaft Plane - and basically follows the Inclined Plane.

Kelley talks about how PP3 can help monitor the clubface (sweet spot).  What Jeff does in his Strong Single Action grip video (here is another one filmed outdoors) is demonstrates how to properly grip the club - such that your left and right hands support the Sweet Spot Plane.  Watch this video - which is filmed outdoors.  You can see the string which is connected to the sweet spot - and runs up the shaft of the club - and as it reaches the grip - the Sweet Spot Plane goes to the aft side of the grip.

The reason I brought up PP3, is that the clubface is ultimately controlled by the right forearm - and hands.  But the PP3 is a great way to 'feel' where the face of the club is - especially in the downswing when everything thing happens in milliseconds.  So once you start to understand PP3 - and how to monitor it - how to really feel it.  Then you can start to control where the ball goes better.

Ultimately, you don't want to steer the shot - but you want to at least feel the club loading correctly - and when you understand how it loads - and the feels involved with that proper loading and unloading - then you'll be a better golfer IMO.

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Here is Lynn Blake explaining how you feel PP3 throughout the swing.  Tie this into what Jeff Evans discusses in the above videos with the Strong Single Action grip - how it controls the Sweet Spot Path... And you are getting places people.

OP... Are you able to understand why PP3 controls the clubface??  And how monitoring and feeling PP3 - you will be able to make the ball consistently go where you want it to go?

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Originally Posted by Beachcomber

Here is Lynn Blake explaining how you feel PP3 throughout the swing.  Tie this into what Jeff Evans discusses in the above videos with the Strong Single Action grip - how it controls the Sweet Spot Path... And you are getting places people.

OP... Are you able to understand why PP3 controls the clubface??  And how monitoring and feeling PP3 - you will be able to make the ball consistently go where you want it to go?

The problem with this, of course, is that you don't consciously do anything to control PP3 during the downswing. It happens too quickly. A4.5 is the last chance in the world you have of doing something to control anything, and for most people, it's even before that.

You know how I say "Lag Happens"? Well, "PP3 Happens" too. :)

Let's focus on things that can actually help the OP.

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Originally Posted by iacas

The problem with this, of course, is that you don't consciously do anything to control PP3 during the downswing. It happens too quickly. A4.5 is the last chance in the world you have of doing something to control anything, and for most people, it's even before that.

You know how I say "Lag Happens"? Well, "PP3 Happens" too. :)

Let's focus on things that can actually help the OP.

Agreed.... To clarify, the point to my post(s) were that once you 'feel' PP3 - which is a lot to do with having the proper grip... Then you can at least have an idea that the shaft is loading properly - and where the Sweet Spot Plane is.  And this will - or least for me it did - provide confidence that I was on plane and could 'make the ball consistently go where I wanted it' which is what the OP asked.

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Originally Posted by Beachcomber

Agreed.... To clarify, the point to my post(s) were that once you 'feel' PP3 - which is a lot to do with having the proper grip... Then you can at least have an idea that the shaft is loading properly - and where the Sweet Spot Plane is.  And this will - or least for me it did - provide confidence that I was on plane and could 'make the ball consistently go where I wanted it' which is what the OP asked.

Shawn, you can "feel the shaft load" against PP3 by swinging wildly over the top too, so again, let's table all of this PP3 talk and talk about things that will actually help the OP, please.

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Originally Posted by notsohard

i gather accuracy with your irons to the green?.........start with your standard wedge and hit 10 balls to 50, 10 to 75, 10 to 100 and when all 30 balls are within 5-10yards of the targets, go back and do it with your 9 iron, then with your 8 iron...............you got plenty of hours up your sleeve?

This is a great post - I would usually start my range practice using my 8 iron then switch to lower lofted clubs - but I will start my range practice the way you stated - I think that's a great way to get  consistency - this would also be great on 3/4 swings as well!

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I know that this may sound over simplified...but here are some thoughts on gaining consistency in ball flight.

Decide which shot shape works best for you.  Nobody hits the ball consistently straight.  It sounds like you normally hit a fade...or a pull (same thing).  This is probably due to an over the top move.  So you have two choices...either decide to keep playing the face (which is fine...lots of successful golfers play a fade).  Or fix your swing plane to start hitting a draw.

Once you have decided which shot shape works best for you...you'll need to alter (3) things to ELIMINATE one half of the golf course.

1. Alignment - if you are going to fade the ball, you need to be aligned left of your target.

2. Ball position -  Generally a fader will play the ball slightly forward in their stance to make sure they are cutting across the ball.

3. Grip - again, generally a fader will play with a slightly weaker grip to make sure the club face doesn't close down too much during release.  (this is one of the reasons you hit a straight pull sometimes)

If you do these three things well, you should have no problem ensuring that your ball ALWAYS moves left to right.

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Some great responses, keep em coming.

So I took a lesson last week to get some tips on this issue. I learned that the reason I was consistently fading the ball is because I wasn't making a full shoulder turn, which of course caused me to cut across the ball. Once I was shown this and started making a full turn (along with an open club face closed to the path), I started being able to draw the ball. Coolest part, I discovered that I can control my shape by altering my shoulder turn.

I can still control the fade better, half the time I attempt to draw the ball I overcook the shit out of it, but still, pleased with the progress.

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