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Chipster

Tips for squaring the club face

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Hi all

i have recently come back to playing golf after a break and just wondered if anyone could give me a few tips on a couple of problems that I have.

i am right handed, I have always had a tendency to push the ball out right and sometimes slice with woods, I say sometimes because I can hit a perfectly straight shot with woods but more often than not it goes right and if I try and accommodate the push it seems to accentuate the problem, I can hit my irons fine, I have a set of Callaway Razr X Tour irons which don’t have much offset and I’m really happy with them, my go to club is a 4 iron if I’m struggling to get off the tee. I have checked my stance and I have had others check my aim and stance and I’m pretty good, I’m not aiming left, so I’m thinking it’s either swing plane or squaring the club face at impact, I just wondered if anyone has any tips or drills for either that would help.

thanks in advance.

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Welcome to TST @Chipster

There are several causes which lead to the push/slice.
While members can suggest ideas and discuss the causes, the real issue would be to start at the root of the cause.
I would suggest you start a "My Swing" thread and post several videos of your swing.
Best to show a couple of swings with mid/long irons and woods or driver.

Without seeing the ball flight and impact positions, it's difficult to make any suggestions which pinpoint your situation. 

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Welcome to TST.   @Club Rat has given you some great advice.   Read, ask question and post often.   You'll find there isn't a better place to talk golf.  

check out this thread

TST Instructional content

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1 hour ago, Club Rat said:

Welcome to TST @Chipster

There are several causes which lead to the push/slice.
While members can suggest ideas and discuss the causes, the real issue would be to start at the root of the cause.
I would suggest you start a "My Swing" thread and post several videos of your swing.
Best to show a couple of swings with mid/long irons and woods or driver.

Without seeing the ball flight and impact positions, it's difficult to make any suggestions which pinpoint your situation. 

Thanks @Club Rat, appreciate the advice and the welcome

52 minutes ago, dennyjones said:

Welcome to TST.   @Club Rat has given you some great advice.   Read, ask question and post often.   You'll find there isn't a better place to talk golf.  

check out this thread

TST Instructional content

Thanks @dennyjones, some great information on that link 

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This is a good excuse to make sure I understand the ball fight laws (every time I think of them, I get a headache). I usually have to think in terms of ping pong to sort things out.

The initial direction of the ball is associated with the angle of the paddle/club face.

A push-slice starts out to the right (assuming a right handed golfer) so the club face is angled open at impact.

When a ball is spins clockwise, it curves to the right. To achieve this in ping pong, you hit the ball with a right to left motion, which imparts a clockwise spin.

So, our friend with the push slice is (1) has an open club face at the time of impact, and (2) his club head is traveling in an right to left direction at the time of impact.

But...he also complains about a push-straight shot. 

To hit a ping pong ball straight to the right, you angle the paddle to the right, but you don't use a sideways motion when hitting the ball. The paddle approaches directly from behind the ball.

So, our friends push-strait shot means he (1) has an open club face at impact and (2) the club is traveling in the exact same path as the ball flight at impact. 

The push-slice scenario would seem to indicate he has an outside-in swing path (to produce the right to left motion that imparts a counter clockwise rotation).

The push-straight scenario would seem to indicate he has an inside out swing path (which matches the face angle to produce zero sideways spin).

And right about now is when I usually get a headache.

How can he alternatively have an outside-in then an inside-out swing path? I can't see how he could be that inconsistent. Is there someway he could have an inside-out swing path and still impart a clockwise spin on the ball?

 

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All golf swings are an arc that goes around the player, not a straight line.

Is it possible the OP is catching the ball just at the time on the swing arc is club transitioning from an inside out trajectory to a straight down the line trajectory?

If the club is still on the early part of the arc at the time of impact (the still slightly inside-out path that matches the club face angle), it would produce the push-straight shot.

If the club is a little further along on the arc and has reached the point where it is traveling straight in line with the target, with an open club face, this would produce a clockwise rotation, and thus a push-slice.

If his impact point is right about the transition point on the arc between these two, it would account for the two different ball flights (straight or slice) yet would also produce a fairly consistent  initial ball flight (push).

(I think I have a headache.)

If this analysis is right, he is impacting the ball too late in his swing arc. If he impacted the ball earlier in his swing he would still have the push, but he would also put a counter-clockwise spin on the ball causing it to curve to the left, giving him a push-draw. 

(I  definitely I have a headache.)

 

Edited by Lime Shark

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58 minutes ago, Lime Shark said:

This is a good excuse to make sure I understand the ball fight laws (every time I think of them, I get a headache). I usually have to think in terms of ping pong to sort things out.

That's odd. Table tennis is a bad example because, depending on the composition of your paddle, the rubbers, the foam backing, etc. you can actually pull the ball with the path quite a bit - more so than the face. Table tennis is thus a really bad example.

The ball flight laws are pretty damn simple, really:

The ball starts generally in the direction the face is pointing, and curves away from the path.

Face at 0°, path 5° left, ball starts barely left of the target and then curves right (away from the path that is left).

Simple.

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6 minutes ago, iacas said:

 

Face at 0°, path 5° left, ball starts barely left of the target and then curves right (away from the path that is left).

Simple.

So this ball curves to the right, because it has a clockwise spin?

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12 minutes ago, Lime Shark said:

So this ball curves to the right, because it has a clockwise spin?

It’s still mostly backspin. But the axis is tilted slightly to the right, yes.

19 minutes ago, iacas said:

The ball starts generally in the direction the face is pointing, and curves away from the path.

That’s all you need to know.

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30 minutes ago, Lime Shark said:

So this ball curves to the right, because it has a clockwise spin?

It's like a major league curve ball.  The ball curves because of wind resistance.  The spin causes one side of the ball to be going faster than the other side of the ball.  The side that is spinning forward, towards home plate, has more wind resistance than the other side of the ball.  Therefore the air gives it a push to the side.  So it curves.  Clockwise spin- ball curves to the right. 

 

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13 minutes ago, Marty2019 said:

It's like a major league curve ball.  The ball curves because of wind resistance.  The spin causes one side of the ball to be going faster than the other side of the ball.  The side that is spinning forward, towards home plate, has more wind resistance than the other side of the ball.  Therefore the air gives it a push to the side.  So it curves.  Clockwise spin- ball curves to the right. 

It's kinda the opposite, actually. The side which is spinning away from the direction of travel, the "faster" side, provides the lift. The other side doesn't provide the "push."

You can look up Bernoulli and Magnus effects. Little OT for this topic, so, I tried to be brief.

Baseball works the same way. It's about the side that's going faster, like an airplane wing. Not the slower side "pushing" anything (except that it obviously helps slow that side down, so the other side can be going even faster relatively).

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7 minutes ago, Club Rat said:

@iacas 

going back to the OP, would it be best to correct the swing path via lessons or could he work out the swing on his own IE: drills, fundamentals, suggestions, etc?

Would generally need to see a swing before I have any idea what drill or drills would work for him.

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13 hours ago, iacas said:

It's kinda the opposite, actually. The side which is spinning away from the direction of travel, the "faster" side, provides the lift. The other side doesn't provide the "push."

You can look up Bernoulli and Magnus effects. Little OT for this topic, so, I tried to be brief.

Baseball works the same way. It's about the side that's going faster, like an airplane wing. Not the slower side "pushing" anything (except that it obviously helps slow that side down, so the other side can be going even faster relatively).

It sounds like we're saying the same thing. 

http://www.humankinetics.com/excerpts/excerpts/magnus-effect-

"The Magnus effect operates in the following manner. As a spinning ball moves through the air, it spins a boundary layer of air that clings to its surface as it travels along. On one side of the ball the boundary layer of air collides with air passing by. The collision causes the air to decelerate, creating a high-pressure area. On the opposing side, the boundary layer is moving in the same direction as the air passing by, so there is no collision and the air collectively moves faster. This sets up a low-pressure area. The pressure differential, high on one side and low on the other, creates a lift force (the Magnus force) that causes the ball to move in the direction of the pressure differential (i.e., from high to low)"

 

 

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Thanks for all of the advice, I have paid another visit to the driving range and experimented a little, I think I may have been going back without enough shoulder turn so I made a point of turning more and keeping my arms straighter on the start of my backswing to try and give me more width and the results were better, I still have it in me to push one out right, I’ll try and take some decent video footage of my swing and put it up on site at some point.

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As I was working on my pull/snap hook, the new Pro came down the range to chat and introduce himself. We chatted a bit about what I was working on and gave me a little drill to work on. Take a normal grip with the right hand, then put your left hand FLAT on the grip in about the normal position with the back of the hand facing the aiming point. Then take some practice swings trying to bring the back of the hand square to the impact. Short swings at first just to get the feel. work your way up as you get comfortable with it.

You can use a video camera to see where the hand is facing at impact. Easier to spot with the palm flat

When you take a proper grip, think about PULLING the left hand through to square from the inside instead of pushing with the right.

Helped me a bit anyways. no more real bad snap/duck hooks. (unless I really screw up and forget everything)

 

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45 minutes ago, RayG said:

As I was working on my pull/snap hook, the new Pro came down the range to chat and introduce himself. We chatted a bit about what I was working on and gave me a little drill to work on. Take a normal grip with the right hand, then put your left hand FLAT on the grip in about the normal position with the back of the hand facing the aiming point. Then take some practice swings trying to bring the back of the hand square to the impact. Short swings at first just to get the feel. work your way up as you get comfortable with it.

You can use a video camera to see where the hand is facing at impact. Easier to spot with the palm flat

When you take a proper grip, think about PULLING the left hand through to square from the inside instead of pushing with the right.

Helped me a bit anyways. no more real bad snap/duck hooks. (unless I really screw up and forget everything)

 

Thanks Ray, that’s a good tip, I’ll try that next time I’m at the range 

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I played today, tried to implement a couple of changes into my swing, particularly with the driver, these were to keep my arms straighter on the backswing to give me more width, turn my shoulders more and try not to flip at the ball,  it gave me more length from the driver off the tee but I’m still pushing out to the right and I don’t seem able to allow for it either. Unfortunately this caused me to lose my rythym with my go to club which is the 4i, which meant I wasn’t striking my low to mid irons very well at all, strangely though I scored quite well today because my pitching was really good although I felt my overall game wasn’t good enough, more practice required I think.

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