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Understanding and controlling ball flight

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By Mark Wehrman EBS Contributor

One of the toughest things about golf is the ability to fix or correct your swing when you start to have issues. Usually this happens on the golf course and many times it can ruin a good round because one bad shot can start a snowball effect for the rest of your day.

However, if you have a general knowledge of two things that directly control the flight of your golf ball, you might be able to self-diagnose your “misses” just enough to get you through the round without major damage to your score.

The first major factor controlling ball flight is the angle of your clubface at impact—clubface angle controls 80 percent of the ball flight. If your ball slices to the right, than the clubface is open or pointed to the right at impact (for a right handed golfer). If your ball hooks, then your clubface is closed, or pointed to the left at impact. If you hit a straight shot you’ve delivered the clubface square to the target at impact.

The second thing controlling ball flight is the path of the golf club in relation to the swing plane. Where the ball starts its flight, coming off the clubface, is directly related to the path of the club heading into impact. If the path of your club is moving inside to out, your ball will start right of the target (for a right handed golfer). If the path of your club is moving outside to in, the ball will start left of your target causing you to pull the ball. When your ball flight begins straight towards your target, the path of your golf club is “on plane.”

Mark Wehrman is the PGA Head Professional at the Big Sky Resort Golf Course.

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