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Ball Flight Trident

This is one of my favorite drills for teaching students the skill of shaping shots and controlling club path. In contrast to the Four-Square drill, which uses "negative space" for feedback, the Ball Flight Trident uses "positive space". Or in other words, you have to focus on following the alignment sticks as opposed to avoiding them. When building your station, it is important to set the alignment sticks to roughly 15 degrees from the "center" stick; Trackman data has shown that this will generate some pretty strong curvatures. This will also challenge your ability to make significant changes in club path. Once setup, you should alternate from "straight", to "in-to-out", and then "out-to-in" paths. You can also use your setup or make swing changes to produce the (3) paths, depending on the desired difficulty. Overall, this is an excellent skill related drill for learning how to control shot shape and start line. 

Tags: Draw vs Fade, Practice Strategies, Drill, Intermediate

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This video is the ball flight trident.

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So this is a drill for helping you with your skill making of shot shaping or controlling

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the path.

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I have two different kind of go-toes that I use for working on the path.

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One is the four square drill.

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And then two is using the alignment stick because not everyone wants to set up the whole

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four square system on the range when they're practicing, especially if you're practicing

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off mats.

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And not everyone wants to pull out a ruler and have things in every different direction.

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And sometimes four square allows you to coordinate it based on the negative space, which

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can be helpful for a lot of people.

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But trident focuses you to just follow the sticks and basically stay more in the positive

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So I've got the yellow sticks roughly in line with these flags.

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And then I've got two different alignment sticks.

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One going about 15 degrees to the right and one going about 15 degrees to the left.

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So on track man, if you start to get a curve of about a swing direction out about 15 degrees,

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you're going to get some pretty bigger pronounced curves.

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So what we're going to do is we're going to use this to help us calibrate a big inward

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out path and a big outward in path.

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Now when I go to hit these shots here for the camera, I'm going to stay in this setup position.

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Normally I would go back there and I would look from behind the yellow behind the target

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line to calibrate where I'm swinging each time.

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So essentially what I'm going to do is I'm going to hit some shots alternating from

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into out to out to back to center or vice versa.

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I might do a couple swings, but I'm going to bounce back and forth so my brain can get used

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to a feeling of an inside out versus an outside in path.

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I can do this in one of two different ways.

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One, I can take it just my normal swing and adjust my setup to get the path to go where

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I want it to be compared to the target.

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And two is I'm going to keep my setup the same and try and change my technique.

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I'd recommend if you're in season that you do more of the setup variety.

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But if you're doing some long term off season training and you're working on your swing

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technique, then changing the path with your swing could be a valuable skill.

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So first thing you want you to do is just take a normal just whatever your stock swing

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is and just kind of take a snapshot of where that divid is pointing.

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So right now my divid is pointing pretty close to straight to the yellow flags.

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So now I'm going to do the setup version first or the yellow stick I should have said

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not flags.

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So now I'm going to set up parallel to the blue stick and I'm going to close the face

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so it's a little bit left of if I had a blue stick extending out this way it would

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be a little bit left of that.

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Somewhere between the blue stick and the yellow stick depending on how much I want it

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to curve.

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So if that blue stick was going out here that club face is going to be just closed.

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If I'm new to curve and this feels weird then I can set up and I can just point the club

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face at the yellow stick and trust that I'm going to hit more of a polar even an over

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So now I've got my body parallel to that blue stick.

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Club faces just a little bit more close than where I was on the first shot and now I'm

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going to try to make the same swing along the blue stick.

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If I do so what you'll see with the ball flight the divot is matching the stick and I have

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much more of a pronounced curve or more of a draw than I had on my first my stock swing.

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So now this one can be a little bit tougher for some golfers especially if you're used

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to swinging it out but I'm going to set up now with my body parallel to the purple stick

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and the club face slightly opens.

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I'm not quite pointing at the yellow stick but somewhere in between where the purple stick

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would extend in the yellow stick.

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Now if I make the same swing this will start left the divot was more in line with that purple

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stick this will start left and curve back towards my target.

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So that's what I would recommend messing around with in season if you're getting ready

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for a tournament is just making some simple setup changes to ultimately control your

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ball flight but the more advanced version is to do it in swing.

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So just to bounce back and forth we'll take another kind of stock swing.

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So that goes pretty much over the flags and now I'm not going to change my setup but

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I've got to get that same feeling and I've got to get that same relationship so I'm

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going to add a little extra Jackson 5 little extra arm shallow little extra motorcycle

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so that I can get the path coming more into out along the blue stick.

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So a little bit more thin but was able to get the ball flight pretty similar to when I did

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it set up wise just had a little bit of trouble with the low point.

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So now following the purple stick with the swing I'm going to get set up with the yellow

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and I'm going to swing a little bit more outside in and kind of have to hold it off in

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order to get it to curve back.

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So got that one to get pretty close to the same ball flight as when I did it with my swing.

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So those are kind of my three different options.

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As I said some people prefer the four square some people prefer the tried and the key

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is to figure out which of these setup stations work well for you when you're working on

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your path where your ball flight control and put in the reps practicing it the way we just

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set up here.

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