Back to the Basics

Plenty of times I have been asked what can I do to make the ball go further and straighter, well if I had the magic potion, I would be selling it on the PGA tour by the litre.

Hitting the golf ball straighter and further comes down to 5 basic laws

The velocity with which the clubhead is traveling. Speed influences the distance the ball will be propelled, as well as the trajectory and shape of the resulting shot.
The exactness with which the ball makes contact on the face of the club relative to the percussion point or “sweet spot.” Contact could be either on the center, fore (toe), aft (heel), above or below that “sweet spot.”
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The direction of the arc described by the clubhead in its travel away from then aback toward the target. Its line of travel at impact is one of the primary factors influencing direction for a full shot.
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The degree at which the leading edge of the clubface is at right angles to the swing path. It will determine the accuracy of the ball’s flight along that line, or produce a left or right curve away from that line.
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The angle formed by the descending or ascending arc of the clubhead on the forward swing in relation to the slope of the ground. Due to its influence on the ball’s spin rate, the trajectory and the distance the ball travels will be affected by this angle.
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Obviously, there are equipment factors such as clubface loft, construction of the ball, material of the hitting surface, etc., which will influence the distance and direction of the ball’s flight. Everyone should be fitted by a competent club fitter to ascertain the correct equipment that you should be playing.

Now all this is good to know about these 5 principles but how do I improve my game I hear you say. Well over the next series of newsletters we are going to concentrate on the basics of golf starting with the Alignment

Alignment is critical in your golf game. It’s very difficult to consistently hit shots at the pin if you don’t know how to aim at it correctly.

When we need to aim at a target we need to stand parallel left of our target to get the ball started on the correct line. The best way to practice your alignment is to put 2 clubs on the ground. We have one club aiming at your target and the other one along your feet line.

If you have got this correct, both clubs should be parallel to each other and the target should be within the two clubs.

Whats the best way to align yourselves ?
I find that if you can aim at something a short distance away you have a better chance to make sure the club is aimed correctly. I aim at intermediate target, which is on the same target line as the pin.

Stand behind the ball lift the shaft of your club until the shaft is along the line of the ball and the pin. Look along the line of the shaft until you spot a divot brown grass or tree twig. This will be your intermediate target. Align you club to this knowing that you will be aiming your club correctly. This makes it easier set up easy at something closer than 150 metres in the distance.

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Next time we will be focusing on posture and how it effects where the ball direction.