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GlasgowsGreen

Little help with ball flight laws please!

23 posts in this topic

I have a pretty consistent ball flight with my irons: the ball starts straight then fades to the right.

To compensate for this I aim 10-15 yards to the left of my target (depending on the length of my club).

Can anyone please tell me what's causing this ball flight?

My gut feeling is that I'm swinging on an inside path but the club face is slightly open at impact?

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My next question is should I stick with this ball flight or should I try to correct it in anyway?

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My gut feeling is that I'm swinging on an inside path but the club face is slightly open at impact?

Not necessarily. If it starts straight and then fades, you can be hitting with a slightly leftward path and a square face. [quote name="GlasgowsGreen" url="/t/75317/little-help-with-ball-flight-laws-please#post_1008381"]My next question is should I stick with this ball flight or should I try to correct it in anyway?  [/quote]If you make consistent contact, and you hit the ball in the area you intend to, why change? You didn't mention any reasons why you should, so I'm operating under the assumption that you're playing is just fine.

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I have a pretty consistent ball flight with my irons: the ball starts straight then fades to the right. To compensate for this I aim 10-15 yards to the left of my target (depending on the length of my club). Can anyone please tell me what's causing this ball flight? My gut feeling is that I'm swinging on an inside path but the club face is slightly open at impact?

If it truly is starting straight and then fading, it would be an outside in path with a face square to the final target. Remember ball STARTS more or less where face is pointing and CURVES AWAY from the path. If it was an inside path with a slightly open face it would be either a push-draw or a push-fade depending on whether the path is left of the face (push-fade) or right of the face (push-draw) If it's consistent and playable I'd stick with it.

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You need to get your path closer to square(less out-in).

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My next question is should I stick with this ball flight or should I try to correct it in anyway?

That is a very playable ball flight. It is easier to control the ball flight if the clubface is inside the swing path. Pull Fades and Push Draws are good ball flights. As stated above, this is caused by a slight outside to in swing path, with a clubface pointing close to where you are aiming at.

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I like this thread. Lots of good replies. In addition to what has been posted above, here's what else is going on with the ball. At impact the club is imparting more back spin than side spin on the ball. Back spin makes the ball fly straighter. As the ball's flight gets nearer to it's completion, the back spin starts to die out, and the remaining side spin takes over. The remaining side spin makes the ball curve. Another thing to consider is which way the wind is blowing. Depending if the ball is flying with, or against the wind, the effects of what ever spin is placed on the ball will be more, or less. Against the wind applies more resistance to the ball's flight, and creates more spin, which allows for a greater grip by the spin on the ball. A ball flying with the wind creates less resistance to the spin, the ball will spin less, or less grip by the spin. The wind's effect on ball spin will also effect approach shots to the green, but that's another topic.

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I like this thread. Lots of good replies. In addition to what has been posted above, here's what else is going on with the ball. At impact the club is imparting more back spin than side spin on the ball. Back spin makes the ball fly straighter. As the ball's flight gets nearer to it's completion, the back spin starts to die out, and the remaining side spin takes over. The remaining side spin makes the ball curve. Another thing to consider is which way the wind is blowing. Depending if the ball is flying with, or against the wind, the effects of what ever spin is placed on the ball will be more, or less. Against the wind applies more resistance to the ball's flight, and creates more spin, which allows for a greater grip by the spin on the ball. A ball flying with the wind creates less resistance to the spin, the ball will spin less, or less grip by the spin. The wind's effect on ball spin will also effect approach shots to the green, but that's another topic.

This can be confusing to some.  The ball can't spin in two different directions at the same time.  The ball will spin on one axis.  The curvature will depend on how tilted the axis is.

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I like this thread. Lots of good replies. In addition to what has been posted above, here's what else is going on with the ball. At impact the club is imparting more back spin than side spin on the ball. Back spin makes the ball fly straighter. As the ball's flight gets nearer to it's completion, the back spin starts to die out, and the remaining side spin takes over. The remaining side spin makes the ball curve. Another thing to consider is which way the wind is blowing. Depending if the ball is flying with, or against the wind, the effects of what ever spin is placed on the ball will be more, or less. Against the wind applies more resistance to the ball's flight, and creates more spin, which allows for a greater grip by the spin on the ball. A ball flying with the wind creates less resistance to the spin, the ball will spin less, or less grip by the spin. The wind's effect on ball spin will also effect approach shots to the green, but that's another topic.

I'm not entirely sure that's how it works. There is no such thing as side spin, only a tilted axis upon which the ball is spinning. AFAIK, the reason the ball tends to move later in the flight is because it has less velocity, so the tilted spin affects it more. Kind of like how a putt breaks more at the end than at the beginning. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, please.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 14ledo81 View Post

This can be confusing to some.  The ball can't spin in two different directions at the same time.  The ball will spin on one axis.  The curvature will depend on how tilted the axis is.

I can move in one direction (say NNE) and still describe it as moving along two separate lines (north and east) simulaneously at a specific proportion....

Spin tilt can also be described as a vector sum of two orthogonal axis' (axes?, axises?).

For some, this is a great way to describe behavior by treating the horizontal effect and side spin effect separately to teach the physics of each component before discussing how they act combined to create a net flight.

Quote:
AFAIK, the reason the ball tends to move later in the flight is because it has less velocity, so the tilted spin affects it more. Kind of like how a putt breaks more at the end than at the beginning. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, please.

that's a good comment - spin effects happen due to the velocity of the ball (if the ball just sat in still air and spun, it wouldn't go anywhere (smart alecs are welcome to throw out coriolis effects now if they like) it has to be spinning and moving through the air).

I suspect the ball has a little roll as it flies and the final spin axis moves further toward side spin.  this is a guess (ie., the spin axis migrates - since the initial momentum of the ball is forward, then the most drag in the early flight happens against the backspin "component" of spin on the ball)

someone here (likely Erik?) might even have access to the studies or measurements - I'm sure it's already been done.....

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AFAIK, the reason the ball tends to move later in the flight is because it has less velocity, so the tilted spin affects it more. Kind of like how a putt breaks more at the end than at the beginning. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, please.

It moves more earlier (if you consider it as movement relative to time), but we perceive it as different due to our perception.

Over time the ball speed drops AND the spin decreases.

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Over time the ball speed drops AND the spin decreases.

certainly,


is that the overall spin on the original axis?  or do you think the spin would wear off on a non-aligned axis.....if you get my drift

(absolutely agree that the perception of sideways motion is apparent while a receding ball looks like it's holding still once it gets far enough away - so the shape of the curve needs to be an overhead view to see what's really happening)

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is that the overall spin on the original axis?  or do you think the spin would wear off on a non-aligned axis.....if you get my drift

I've heard that the spin axis can shift during flight a tiny bit , but no, in general, it "wears off" equally. The ball only spins in one direction. There's no "reduced sidespin while backspin reduces at a different rate" or something like that. Spin is spin.

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It moves more earlier (if you consider it as movement relative to time), but we perceive it as different due to our perception. Over time the ball speed drops AND the spin decreases.

Sorry, in my haste, I worded myself poorly. I meant that the ball moves to the side more, relative to forward movement, later in its flight, because it's moving forward at a slower rate. I'm not sure that changes what you said, though. I understand that the sideways movement always exists, because of the axis tilt at impact, and therefore the only time in which a ball is flying on its initial launch vector is during or just after impact? Not that any of this is actually going to help anyone get better at golf, but I have an inquisitive mind :-)

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Sorry, in my haste, I worded myself poorly. I meant that the ball moves to the side more, relative to forward movement, later in its flight, because it's moving forward at a slower rate. I'm not sure that changes what you said, though.

I understand that the sideways movement always exists, because of the axis tilt at impact, and therefore the only time in which a ball is flying on its initial launch vector is during or just after impact?

Yeah, frankly, I don't know. I just know that relative to time, the curve decreases. The ball will curve more in the first tenth of a second than the second tenth of a second, the third, the fourth, and the last…

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Yeah, frankly, I don't know. I just know that relative to time, the curve decreases. The ball will curve more in the first tenth of a second than the second tenth of a second, the third, the fourth, and the last…

I could posit a theory, but my math and physics is worth less than my golf game. Plus, I'm not sure even I would want to read a scientific article on the different forces that affect a golf ball in flight. I guess we can just table this discussion and call it irrelevant.

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