Demystifying Golf Club Path and Swing Direction – Golficity
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Oh boy – this is a tricky one.
If you have landed here hoping to gain a better understanding of golf club path and swing direction, we are committed to helping you gain the knowledge you seek. However, it must be said that this can be a little bit tricky, so you’ll need to pay close attention and maybe read through a couple of times in order to clearly understand the topic at hand.
Is it worth your effort to understand this topic? Yes!
Gaining a clear understanding of your swing path and how it works can help you to play at a higher level. Not only that, but it can also help you to diagnose swing problems when things start to go wrong.
So, you do stand to improve your level of play by educating yourself on this topic, as long as you are willing to see it through until you have a clear picture in your mind.
When the club moves through the hitting area to strike the ball, the direction that the club is travelling is known as the swing path or swing direction. To discuss the path of your swing, it’s best to use your target line as a point of reference.
So, the target line is going to be a straight line that runs through your ball and out toward the target you have selected for that shot. The target line could run right down the middle of the fairway on a tee shot, for example, or it could be off to one side or the other depending on your plan for the shot.
If you were to swing the club on a path that perfectly matched your target line through impact, you would be making a ‘down the line’ swing. This might seem like the easiest way to swing the club, but it’s actually pretty rare for a player to swing perfectly down the line. It’s just hard to do.
Instead, most players swing across the line at least a little bit, either from inside-out or outside-in. An inside-out swing is one that has the club moving farther away from the body as it goes through impact, while an outside-in swing does the opposite.
You may already know that your swing path is going to go a long way toward determining the ball flight that you produce. But swing path is not the only variable in this equation – you need to consider face angle, as well.
Face angle is the direction that the face of the club is pointing when you strike the ball. Only when you combine control over your swing path with control over your face angle will you be able to predictably send the ball in the right direction over and over again.
To produce a straight shot toward your target, you would need to swing directly down the line while having the face perfectly square at impact. This is technically possible, but it is rare. The vast majority of full swing golf shots have some degree of curve, so you shouldn’t really even try to hit the ball straight. Instead, you should try to control your curve and learn how to hit the same shot shape repeatedly.
There is a relatively simple way to understand what direction the ball will curve in the air as it flies toward the target. If your face angle is closed relative to the swing path at impact, you will hit a draw. If the face is open at impact as compared to the swing path, you’ll hit a fade.
Of course, if the face is opened or closed too dramatically when you strike the ball, those fades and draws will turn into slices and hooks. Most of the time, you want the face only slightly open or closed so you can control your flight and hit a shot shape that is easy to work toward the fairway or green.
If you aren’t happy with your current swing path, consider the tips listed below to make the desired changes.
Many golfers get into trouble right from the start of the swing with regard to swing path. If you swing the club away from the ball on a dramatically inside or outside path, it will be hard to correct your path before the moment of impact arrives in the downswing.
Try neutralizing your takeaway by keeping your hands and wrists quiet as you turn your shoulders away from the target. This type of quiet takeaway should keep the club head close to the target line early in the backswing, which will help you to find that target line once again when you swing down.
An awkward stance, such as one where your feet are significantly open or closed to the target, can make it hard to swing on an appropriate path. You don’t necessarily need to stand perfectly square at address but positioning your body as square as possible to the target line will again help to swing out toward the target consistently.
During the swinging action, focus on rotating your body back and through instead of sliding from side to side. Your golf swing should be a rotational move and using too much lateral action is going to create a number of problems. Not only will making a rotational swing help you to swing down the target line, but it should also allow you to produce more power.
In the end, this topic really isn’t all that complicated. It can be tricky to understand at first, especially if you haven’t had formal golf lessons previously, but you probably have the idea by now. And, armed with your new knowledge, you should be able to make some beneficial changes to your swing technique to achieve better results moving forward.
Thanks for reading and play well!
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