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Wangus94

Let's talk ball flights

29 posts in this topic

Ok I tried to discuss this earlier and it wasn't in the correct place so I thought aid give it a go again. I'm curious how people here identify and define what their ball flight truly is. With my recent exposure to Trackman in the last several months I've come to change how I look at things. According to the so calked new ball flight laws, straight, push and pull definitions are very simplified and based solely on where the ball starts in relation to its target line. The radars simply measure the direction the club is moving and where the face pointing against the target line. Can't see how the golfer takes the club back, where the golfer is aligned, or what the intention of the golfers flight is. I want to know how you guts define the coveted push draw and how and what you have to do to achieve it. Do you need to be open or square and really swing out to the right or could you achieve the same desired result from a slightly closed stance? My opinion is that these questions show the limitations of using these new radar technologies because they fail to account for the body's role in how the club moves. Or, on the flip side, have these technologies and newer laws demonstrated that it doesn't matter what golfers do with their bodies to achieve conditions that get a ball to start right and curve back to the target for example. It could literally be the exact opposite ball flight but still be defined a number if ways. I would think using many different definitions to define ball flights would be somewhat confusing to the average recreational golfers. All thoughts debates welcome, at least on my end.
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There are a lot of shots you can hit. For the purposes of this discussion, this terminology in the graphic below assumes that the golfer is aligned parallel left. "Push" thus refers to shots which start out right of parallel to their stance line, and "pull" refers to shots that start out left of parallel to their stance line.

Note that a "push-fade" is a perfectly playable shot if the flag is simply located at "I". Ditto a push if the flag is at "H" or a straight-draw if the flag is at "D".

Let's operate on the assumption that my stock shot is a baby push-draw. My Trackman numbers with a 6-iron tend to be roughly:

Face: 2°

Path: 4°

AoA: -3°

That produces a gentle push-draw.

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Where's the difference between D - Straight Draw and G - Push Draw? Just the alignment to the target?
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You are always aligned parallell to the target (where E, C and G ends up) on that chart. The D and G has the same shape of flight, but the angles are different.


On D, your swingpath is in-out and the clubface is aimed at the target.

On G, your swingpath is in-out and the clubface is aimed right of the target.


You could say the relationship between the angle of the swingpath and clubhead is the same in degrees, but everything is skewed a bit.


Since the amount of curve is the same, the swingpath on G is more to the right than on D. If you combined the swingpath of D with the clubface of G, you could hit a shot that looks more like H, where swingpath and clubhead is aimed in the same direction at impact.


Same goes with A, which has the same curve as D and G. Here, the swingpath is out-in and clubface is aimed farther right than the swingpath. The relationship between path and clubface still the same.



Edit: Found a chart I made some time ago that tries to explain it. D and G is here 4 and 7.


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The problem with defining "push" and "pull" relative to the target line instead of the general body alignment is that it "loses information."

Sam Snead and Zach Johnson both hit Push-Draws if you go that route. Paul Azinger and Jack Nicklaus both hit pull-fades if you go that route.

That's why I prefer to define it via general body alignment, and the students with whom I work know this.

Sam Snead hit pull-draws. He just lined up right of the target. Jack Nicklaus hit push-fades. He lined up left of the target.

If I have a player that wants to draw the ball but has to hit little pull-draws to do it, I point them right of the target. That doesn't make them into push-drawers, and they still tend to have a lower ball flight than they'd have if they were true push-drawers. Ditto push-faders. It's a great shot to play (particularly if you have some power), but you've gotta aim left to hit it.

P.S. TrackMan and FlightScope don't know where a person is aligned, so they "lose out" and give "less" information. They are only classifying the ball flight . A pull-draw and a push-draw might both show +2° face and +4° path… but if hit with the same club we might expect to see different dynamic lofts, for example, and thus slightly different smash factors (at the same swing speed) and a few other small differences.

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I'm inconsistent with my terminology about it.

Scenario:

I'm just standing around on the tee box waiting to hit and somebody in front of me hits a shot that starts right of target and curves back toward the target. If somebody asked I would say they hit a push draw.

Scenario:

Somebody asks me to watch their swing and tell then what I think they are doing. They aim well right and hit a pull draw that starts right of target and curves back toward the target. I would tell them they are hitting a pull draw but aiming right.

BTW I knew a guy that had played a pull draw at least since the first day I knew him (and probably forever). He was a good player and I figured he knew what he was doing.

One day another even better player we were playing with mentioned to him that he was aiming right and pulling the ball, and that he should fix that. He looked at me and asked me if he always did that and I said yes.

OMG! The next month he tried everything (including lessons) to "fix it" and his game took a nosedive. He always wanted me to "line him up" so I did, even though the whole time I'm wondering why he wanted to change what had worked very well for him for many years.

Finally one day he was at the end of his rope and as he got ready to tee off I asked him if he wanted me to "line him up".

He angrily said "No. I'm going to aim right and pull the Hell out of it right down the fairway." And he did from then on.

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There are obvious examples where a player might align himself 45* right of target then route the club over the top and still manage to produce impact conditions that would allow the ball to start right and draw. That scenario obviously wouldn't be able to classified as a push draw. But what about the grey areas... for example where do you draw the line and start changing the definitions? A guy could literally date up square or parallel left and drop his right for back 3 inches and the 'push' changes to 'straight'. The way I see it, it all boils down to intention. If a player is looking at going for the flag that's tucked back left, but looks 10 yards right with intention of starting it 10 yards right and drawing it back in, then he's not really hitting a 'straight' draw using the ball flight laws. It may start relatively straight against his alignment but he clearly intending to send the ball right with a draw. There are obvious exceptions. But I guess the real question is where do you draw the line? A couple minor tweaks at address could both produce +4 /+2 numbers and identical flights and have totally different definitions.
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[CONTENTEMBED=/t/61391/shaping-the-ball layout=inline]​[/CONTENTEMBED]

This chart is classifying these ball flights assuming a fixed target line of E

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There are obvious examples where a player might align himself 45* right of target then route the club over the top and still manage to produce impact conditions that would allow the ball to start right and draw. That scenario obviously wouldn't be able to classified as a push draw. But what about the grey areas... for example where do you draw the line and start changing the definitions? A guy could literally date up square or parallel left and drop his right for back 3 inches and the 'push' changes to 'straight'.

I won't speak for others, but I specifically didn't say toe lines. I said general body alignment.

I'm not interested in the grey areas. You deal with them based on the student, etc. What you call them is as grey as the area they're in.

But 45° is way, WAY outside grey areas. 10° is too. And no, I won't define what the grey area is, or it wouldn't be a grey area. It depends on too many things - the club, the swing speed, the player, etc.

The way I see it, it all boils down to intention.

You're free to continue to see it that way, but you asked the question, others answered.

If a player is looking at going for the flag that's tucked back left, but looks 10 yards right with intention of starting it 10 yards right and drawing it back in, then he's not really hitting a 'straight' draw using the ball flight laws. It may start relatively straight against his alignment but he clearly intending to send the ball right with a draw. There are obvious exceptions. But I guess the real question is where do you draw the line? A couple minor tweaks at address could both produce +4 /+2 numbers and identical flights and have totally different definitions.

I disagree with that for the reasons I've already stated and I will continue to use language that has more information in it.

This chart is classifying these ball flights assuming a fixed target line of E

No it isn't. It's classifying them based on a general body alignment toward E.

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So E is not the target line in the chart? It's the general direction the player is aiming? I was told by a Trackman pro that E in these charts represents zero'd numbers... 0 face /0 path or a perfectly vertical d plane. He told me Trackman doesn't care what or how you create those numbers and that a straight ball flight is when you deliver the face square to your target with the clubs path moving down the line toward the target. I was taught that as long as you aren't needing to make compensations to get to the correct impact alignments, than the little idiosyncrasies don't matter
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So E is not the target line in the chart?

Not for everybody.  As @iacas said , as one example, Jack Nicklaus hit a push-fade.  If he did that with E as his target, I'm going to go out on a limb and say he probably wouldn't have won 18 majors that way.  For Jack, "I" was the target, with the body aligned towards "E."

You can play good golf with any of the ball flights in the chart of its consistent and you plan for it.  Which means swiveling the chart such that your target lines up with your desired "letter."

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Not for everybody.  As @iacas said , as one example, Jack Nicklaus hit a push-fade.  If he did that with E as his target, I'm going to go out on a limb and say he probably wouldn't have won 18 majors that way.  For Jack, "I" was the target, with the body aligned towards "E." You can play good golf with any of the ball flights in the chart of its consistent and you plan for it.  Which means swiveling the chart such that your target lines up with your desired "letter."

Totally..... But I think the chart was made to be simplified and describe ball flights as it's often referred to as the 'new ball flight laws". I think it is assuming your lining up square with E as the desired target. Swiveling would majesty's it more complicated than it was intended in my opinion. There's definitely exceptions like Trevino but for most players with decent set up positions these ball flights are consistent with E being the straight shot. It would be interesting to hear the official stance from companies like Flightscope or Trackman

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I think it is assuming your lining up square with E as the desired target.

Other than that it supports your premise, what's the basis for that assumption?

Swiveling would majesty's it more complicated than it was intended in my opinion. There's definitely exceptions like Trevino but for most players with decent set up positions these ball flights are consistent with E being the straight shot.

You're right, in that E is the straight shot.  It just may or may not be straight towards the target.  The chart doesn't care about target, only the flight of the ball.  Basing it off body alignment takes those "exceptions" out of the equation.

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I would say the ball flight depends on the alignment of your body - independentley from the target. Anything else doesn't make much sense.
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E isn't necessarily the target, but you are always lined up parallell to E. Your target can be F or D if you like. The chart simply visualizes the 9 different trajectories you can hit. We use the same alignment since that makes it easier. You could rearrange all arrows to point to E, but then you would have alignments going all over the place.

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In that chart the body is aligned to E, being A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H and I the individual ball landing point. If you hit the ball to that E spot, you would have played a straight shot. If the ball lands at "I" you would have played a push-fade.
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Not for everybody.  As @iacas said , as one example, Jack Nicklaus hit a push-fade.  If he did that with E as his target, I'm going to go out on a limb and say he probably wouldn't have won 18 majors that way.  For Jack, "I" was the target, with the body aligned towards "E."

Correct, similar to what Ryan Moore and Fred Couples also do. Their body lines are aligned to "E", ball starts at "F" or "H"(push) and fades to "I". Also note that the amount of curve and distance between each letter is larger for emphasis and clarity. Nicklaus might only curve the ball 3-5 yards.

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