Start Line and Curve

Lets talk about start line and curve. The club face accounts for roughly 75% of the balls starting direction and the path curves it. In the featured image above is a great setup station. 10′ of rope starting a foot out in front of the ball with an alignment rod sticking up out the other end. The rope is lined up with the target and standing behind the ball the alignment rod is right in front of the target. Now from here you can get a visual of where the ball is starting and going. Here are the ball flights that could come out with a solid struck ball:

1. Ball starting left and craving left : Face closed to target and path more toward target.
2. Ball starting left and going straight : Face closed to target and path matching face start line.
3. Ball starting left and curving right towards or past the target : Face closed to path and swing direction left of the face.
3. Ball starting at the stick and curving left : Face square and swing more to the right.
4. Ball starting at the stick and curving right : Face square and swing more to the left.
5. Ball starting straight and going straight : Face and path straight. I call this the UNICORN.. Will discuss below.
6. Ball starting right and curving left : Face is open to the target and path is moving more right.
7. Ball starting right and going straight : Face is open to the target and path is going the same direction.
8. Ball starting right and curving right : Face is open to the target and path is moving more left than the face is open.

It is good to understand these ball flights when diagnosing your swing. That way when you are working on corrections you are not doing something that is going to make it move the same direction but worse. An example is a ball that starts left and curves right. You see that so figure lets aim more left. That just moves the path more left making more curve. The larger the difference is where the face was pointing at impact and the direction the club was traveling the bigger the curve.

Best training tool to add to your golf bag is a can of Dr. Scholls “POWDER” foot spray.  Why is this?  Because miss hits can change those above impact perimeters.  A club that is open to the target, swing direction slightly right of that (draw shape), and is hit in the heel of the club will not curve back but if it is hit in the toe the ball with over draw.  Same with the opposite club delivery of a cut.  Club face more left of the target at the strike point starting the ball left with a swing shape slightly more left of that but if you hit it in the heel the ball will over cut and if you catch it more on the toe the ball will fly straighter.  Also lower strikes launch lower and spin more and higher strikes launch higher and spin less.
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Use the above ball flights and strike info to figure out how to change your curve, reduce the curve. or know why your curve does what it does.  Remember I mentioned the UNICORN above which is a dead straight shot.  That is the hardest shot in golf because the face can be straight but the path slightly right or left and you get different curves.  We want some room for error built in the swing and a ball that is moving back towards the target.  Let’s take a draw as an example:  The photo below I am holding my club on the ball line or target line.   The furthest alignment rod to your right (my left) would be the club path at impact.  A good number would be 3-4* to the right.  That would give me room to fit my club face into that area and have a face from 1-3*.  On a swing direction of 3* right having my club face at 1* right would start right and slightly over draw just a little, a 2 would start right and finish close to the target line, a 3 would start right and go straight with the swing direction.  All very manageable shots with not much curve.  If my face was a 1 but swing was an 8 one way or another the ball would start close to the target then curve a lot past the target and work away from it as it landed.

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For more info and to see the YouTube clip on this subject CLICK HERE, select the above image, or go here: