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One key component to learning is appropriate feedback. I played a lot of basketball, and feedback was pretty self explanatory. If the ball came up short, I needed to shoot it harder. If it went to long, i needed to go softer, or add more arc. It is very common that I ask a student, “what did you do there, and they look at me with a blank stare”. Then, I naturally follow up with, “well, what are you going to do different next time”...and they have no idea. To take advantage of every swing, you need to understand ball flight.
There has become a whole science of measuring ballflight thanks to advances in measurement tools. The main one is known as trackman, and is used to create that shot link line of tv. “Youtube, shot tracer”...we will go into greater detail, but know this, the majority of the starting position is controlled by the direction of the clubface, and the curve of the ball is controlled by the difference between the path and the face.
Examples: A slice is hit with a clubface that is pointing at, or left of the target, but the path is going way left (out to in), so the face is open to the path and it creates slice spin. While a hook is hit with a face that is pointing right of the target but a path that is going more to the right (in to out). The face is closed to this path, so it produces a hook spin.
It is very important when looking at ball flight to notice the starting direction and the curve. I have had many students tell me “I’m hitting it all over the place”, or, “i’m hitting it straight left or straight right”. These two statements usually result in little useful information and are rarely accurate. In reality, our swing tends to have a nice pattern to it, and paying attention to ball flight can usually tell us what our swing is doing. The hard thing, is that the patterns can appear very different.
For example: a fat and a thin shot result from typically the same swing - a swing that has the lowest point behind the golf ball instead of in front of it.
One pattern is for an "over the top" swing pattern. This is characterized by:
- Fat and thin shots
- Toe shots
- Good with wedges around the green
- Difficulty hitting driver
To the untrained eye, that looks like a lot of different problems, but as we will learn through this program, it is one consistent swing that produces that consistent pattern of misses.
A second swing pattern comes from an overly in to out pattern, which is usually characterized by early extension. This pattern is characterized by:
- Blocks and hooks
- Thin shots
- Good drivers of the golf ball
- Contact issues with chipping and
- wedge issues and tight lies
By paying attention to your pattern, your game will teach you everything you need to know about what to work on. Golf Smart Academy will help you understand why it is happening, and give you drills that you can use to change the pattern.
Playlists: Start Here
Tags: Fundamentals, Not Straight Enough, Concept, Beginner
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One key component to learning is having appropriate feedback.
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You see, I played a lot of basketball, and feedback was pretty self-explanatory.
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If the ball came up short, I needed to shoot it harder.
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If it went long, I needed to put a little less energy in it, or add more arc.
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Those were very easy, but it is very common for me to ask a student,
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well, what did you do there that made the ball do what it did?
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And I usually get a blank stare or a canned response.
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You know, I got quick.
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I stood up.
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Well, I usually follow up with, well, what are you going to do different next time?
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And realistically, I can see in the face that they have no idea.
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To take advantage of every swing, you need to understand ball flight,
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and you need to have clear feedback, because ball flight really tells a story
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of what the club was doing when you made contact with it.
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There has become a whole science of measuring ball flight,
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thanks to advances in measurement tools.
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The main one used as trackman, and it used to create the shot link on TV,
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where the comet tail that you see on the live golf telecast.
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When it comes to ball flight, all I really want you to know is this.
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The majority of the starting position is controlled by the direction of the club face,
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and the curve on the ball is controlled by the difference between the path and the face.
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Here are some examples.
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A slice is hit with a club face that is pointing at or left of the target,
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but the path is going to be way left or outside to in.
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So the face is open to the path, and it creates slice fin.
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While a hook is hit with a face that is pointing right of the target,
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but a path that is going more to the right or into out.
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The face is close to the path, so it produces hook spin.
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It is very important when looking at ball flight to notice the starting direction as well as the curve.
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I've had many students tell me, I'm hitting it all over the place,
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or I'm hitting it straight left, straight right.
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These two statements usually result in little information to go off of and are rarely accurate.
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In reality, our swing tends to have a nice pattern to it,
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and paying attention to ball flight can usually tell us what our swing is doing.
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The hard thing is that the pattern can appear very, very different.
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For example, here's one pattern.
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A fat shot and a thin shot typically result from the same swing.
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They both have the bottom of the swing behind the ball.
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One of them just barely misses the ground and the other one makes contact with it.
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One common pattern that you'll see for an over the top swing is characterized by having fat and thin shots,
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toe shots, pulls or slices.
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In addition, frequently these players will have trouble hitting driver,
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and they may be very solid with wedges and short irons.
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To the untrained eye, that looks like a lot of different problems.
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But as we will learn through this program, it is one consistent swing that produces the consistent pattern of misses.
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A second common swing pattern comes from an overly into out path,
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which is usually characterized by early extension.
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This pattern is characterized by blocks and hooks, mostly thin shots,
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typically be a good driver of the golf ball,
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but we'll have contact issues with chipping, short wedge shots,
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and definitely wedge issues off of tight lines.
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So you can see by paying attention to your pattern,
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your game will teach you everything that you need to know from what you're doing on the course.
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Then you can come back to the different sections and figure out what you need to do to troubleshoot
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to correct your swing and work on your pattern,
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not just overreacting to each individual shot.