Start Lines and Curves

In the world of playing golf with any consistency you have to consider two points;

1. The start line and
2. The amount of curve

If you are starting the ball in a different direction with every swing then how can you aim?  Two-way misses don’t give us very much consistency.  But once you have a consistent start line then you can work on the amount of curve.

The start line, where the golf ball is starting its flight, is controlled primarily by where the clubface is pointing at Impact.  So if you want the ball to start right then you had better have the clubface pointed right at Impact.  But a club face pointed right, or left, won’t get the ball back to target…it needs a little help from the club head path.  If the face/path relationship is square to each other then the shot would be straight.  It could be straight at the target, straight to the left of target, or straight to the right of target depending on the start line.

A point to remember is that if the ball is curving it is always away from the path.  So for right-handers, this means that if the ball is drawing – right to left – then the path is farther to the right of the clubface.  If the ball is fading – left to right – then the path is farther to the left of the clubface.

A lot of players get confused however when talking about club head path. Their “vision” of it is that the clubhead needs to be moving in whatever direction coming into the ball.  Actually, and the reality is, the path of the club head from Impact forward.

The past couple of days I have had players focus on start lines by placing an alignment stick, vertically, in the ground directly between their golf ball and their target.  From a square stance, I then ask them to start the ball either right or left of the alignment stick.  We don’t talk about swing mechanics when using this exercise but to simply focus on what the hands need to do to effect the club face for the shot I call out.

Once they are controlling the ball start line I will then tell them to make the same swing but I won’t tell them where to start the ball until they have started their downswing!

Now, this gets their attention!

I am constantly amazed, and so are they, that within a couple of shots they are making the adjustment in the swing to control the clubface.I call this exercise, “Educating the Hands.”

Just today I had a player that kept telling me he didn’t know where his hands were or what they needed to do.  After doing the above exercise, and successfully hitting his start lines, a big smile came across both of our faces.

“So, I asked, if you don’t know what your hands are doing how are you controlling them and the club face?”  He replied, “Now I know what they’re doing because you made me focus on them.”

Hummmm…ya think!

If you don’t know what YOUR hands are doing then try this exercise and I guarantee you will soon!Until next time, keep it in the short grass!

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