Golf Ball Flight Rules – Learning The How’s And Why’s of Hooks, Slices, Pulls and Fades
By: Dan Davis, PGA Professional Thousand Hills Golf Resort
One of the most powerful things to learn when facing any challenge is how to help yourself. This is sometimes very difficult with the game of golf because we cannot see our own swing all the time which can make improving golf swing mechanics a chore. We need to start by looking beyond the swing and analyze the shot itself.
By learning the nine golf ball flight rules you will understand why the ball takes a particular path which can therefore help us diagnose our golf swings. In the following I will refer to the swing path which includes the path the clubface approaches the ball as well as the path beyond impact. I will also refer to club face and target line. It is these three factors that influence the golf ball flight pattern. The following scenarios are assuming a centered hit and do not refer to trajectory which is affected by the angle of attack of the club-head.
- 1. Clubface closed to swing path, out to in swing path – Result: PULL HOOK
- 2. Clubface square to swing path, out to in swing path – Result: PULL
- 3. Clubface square to target line, out to in swing path – Result: FADE
- 4. Clubface closed to target line, straight swing path – Result: HOOK
- 5. Clubface square to target line, straight swing path – Result: STRAIGHT
- 6. Clubface open to target line, straight swing path – Result: SLICE
- 7. Clubface square to target line, in to out swing path – Result: DRAW
- 8. Clubface square to swing path, in to out swing path – Result: PUSH
- 9. Clubface open to swing path, in to out swing path – Result: PUSH SLICE
Once you’ve learned the golf ball flight rules you’ll have a much better understanding of what is going on with your swing. Once you know what is going on with your swing you’ll be in a much better position for Improving Golf Swing Mechanics. 9 Simple golf ball flight rules can be more powerful than you realized!