Get a Consistent Ball Flight

Published 11/07/2012 14:58:27

Consistency is the number one goal of all players, from Tiger Woods to Jack Nicklaus.

Distance, direction and trajectory are the key elements of ball flight, and golfers need to control all three to achieve consistency. I believe that the sequence of learning should be: trajectory, then distance, then direction. The three components are inter-related, however -- you cannot have one with out the others.

Trajectory is controlled by:

1. Club selection: the club is designed to provide loft. Allow the manufacturer to get the ball airborne.

2. Angle of approach: the correct angle of approach provides solid impact and the proper effective loft.

3. Set-up: consistency starts here. Grip, posture, ball-position, aim, mindset and tension level are the fundamentals of the pre-swing.

4. Swing plane: a vertical swing shape will produce high shots and a flat swing shape will produce lower shots.

5. Swing speed: without swing speed the golfer has a difficult time generating loft. Golfers with a limited swing speed will produce a similar trajectory for all clubs.

Distance is controlled by:

1. Club selection: longer clubs, longer shots.

2. Length of motion: increased range of motion will assist in producing distance. Short swings, short shots.

3. Solidness of contact: hitting the ball in the center of the clubface. Path and plane are significant influences. A vertical plane tends to produce toe hits and a flat plane produces heel hits.

4. Swing speed at impact: body rotation, arm speed and wrist movement are the biggest influences. Overall swing speed is a goal, not clubhead speed.

Direction is controlled by:

1. Aim: parallel lines of the eyes, shoulders, forearms, hips, knees and heels.

2. Clubface alignment at impact: clubface at right angles to your swing path at impact.

3. Swing path at impact: a swing path that is from the inside to square (along the target line) to the inside.

Every golf lesson and group golf activity I participate in, every golfer is the same: in search of consistency. Ball flight has three elements: trajectory, distance and direction. Master all three and you've mastered the game.

Tip of the Week

Firms hands and soft arms -- not the other way round -- will produce a free flowing swing. With the golf club positioned under the heel pad of the left hand, the club is secure at address. With this connection your arms can hang freely and swing.


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