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Golf: Ball flight help - Page 2

post #31 of 47
I like the more subtle terms that they use - a fade (controlled mild slice) and a draw (same thing for a hook). Ball shaping - yeah that's what I was doing when I hit it in the other fairway - shaping my shot!
post #32 of 47
The best anti-slice/how to actually hit a draw tip I ever received came from a Golf Digest Top 100 teaching pro, T.J. Tomassi (used to be the teaching pro at a course not too far from me, Lyman Orchards in Middlefield, CT - now he's taken a cushy job as teaching pro at Sankaty Hills CC on Nantucket). Basically, I'm a 30 year golfer, I've been a fader for 99% of my golfing career, my index is currently 6.7 and back in my college days I've been as low as a 1.1 index.

The tip that TJ gave me (and a couple of months ago, it actually appeared in Golf Digest) was at address, visualize 4 quadrants of the golf ball adjacent to the club face (lower inside, upper inside, upper outside and lower outside quadrants). Plain and simple, just try and make contact on the lower inside quadrant. By doing this, you'll end up getting your swing path inside, flattening out your swing plane and you'll draw the ball This is the first "draw tip" that I've ever found that really clicked with me. Whether it was the visualization factor, the simplicity of it, or just how it was taught/explained to me, I'm not sure, but it works.

On the flip side, if you want to hit a fade, make contact on the lower outside quadrant(I've been doing that since the late 70's so I don't have to think about that one)
post #33 of 47
Jack (Nicklaus - you know that guy with the most majors?) had the advice of keeping one swing and using your hands to effect a fade or a draw. So more right hand (by curling it under a bit) will help to draw or less by turning it over the club will help to fade. It makes things simpler.

I agree on the inside/out thing generally though - I think you get more power that way too. But it does complicate the issue somewhat because now your takeaway might have a different swing plane than your swing does. Take a look at Jim Furyk for an extreme example of the two plane swing with a weird loop at the top. Otherwise you might end up pushing the ball ... only reason I bring this stuff up is I've been through it!!

So many variables in this game ....
post #34 of 47

Your Yardage May Vary

Phil,

Do you know what an impact bag is? That was one part of what helped stop me from "casting" the clubhead ahead of my hands through impact. If you do that into the impact bag, it's going to hurt. Nothing like a little negative feedback to stop bad habits.

The other drill that helped me was to do practice swings without ever letting the club get past parallel to the ground on the down swing. If you can get the left arm back to perpendicular to the ground without breaking the wrist, you will muscle memorize not using your hand to push the clubhead during the downswing. This drill took a LONG time before it did not feel bad, but between that and the impact bag, I started swinging better.

I can also personally vouch for the Momentus swing trainer club. If you're casting, the club will hinge on you.

When you can hear the ball "click" off the clubface instead of "Clack"ing, you'll know you've got it.

Last night I was hitting a full swing PW high and 155 yards on the range, 160 if I set it back in my stance and drew it. On the course, I play the PW as a 125 yard club with an easy swing. In the old days when my coach observed that my shots were too high, I took advantage of my shots having little roll after the carry yardage (especially on courses with firm greens). However, my contact was inconsistent and my scores suffered more from that than they gained from yardage management.
YYMV
post #35 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasdmd0 View Post
The best anti-slice/how to actually hit a draw tip I ever received came from a Golf Digest Top 100 teaching pro, T.J. Tomassi (used to be the teaching pro at a course not too far from me, Lyman Orchards in Middlefield, CT - now he's taken a cushy job as teaching pro at Sankaty Hills CC on Nantucket). Basically, I'm a 30 year golfer, I've been a fader for 99% of my golfing career, my index is currently 6.7 and back in my college days I've been as low as a 1.1 index.

The tip that TJ gave me (and a couple of months ago, it actually appeared in Golf Digest) was at address, visualize 4 quadrants of the golf ball adjacent to the club face (lower inside, upper inside, upper outside and lower outside quadrants). Plain and simple, just try and make contact on the lower inside quadrant. By doing this, you'll end up getting your swing path inside, flattening out your swing plane and you'll draw the ball This is the first "draw tip" that I've ever found that really clicked with me. Whether it was the visualization factor, the simplicity of it, or just how it was taught/explained to me, I'm not sure, but it works.

On the flip side, if you want to hit a fade, make contact on the lower outside quadrant(I've been doing that since the late 70's so I don't have to think about that one)
One method I've used to work the ball is an old Nicklaus tip. Use same grip and address for draw or fade for rt. handers. Draw-- line up right of target distance you want to move ball, square (point) club face to target, take normal address and grip, make normal swing, ball will draw. Fade-- line up left of target, square (point) club face to target, take normal address and grip, make normal swing, ball will fade to target. This has proved to be more consistent for me to work the ball
Manipulating the grip or adjusting swing planes puts variables in that can cause "overcooking" or inconsistencies in achieving a fade or draw. Lots of ways to move ball, just pick one that feels right for you.
post #36 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by rapid View Post
One method I've used to work the ball is an old Nicklaus tip. Use same grip and address for draw or fade for rt. handers. Draw-- line up right of target distance you want to move ball, square (point) club face to target, take normal address and grip, make normal swing, ball will draw. Fade-- line up left of target, square (point) club face to target, take normal address and grip, make normal swing, ball will fade to target. This has proved to be more consistent for me to work the ball
Manipulating the grip or adjusting swing planes puts variables in that can cause "overcooking" or inconsistencies in achieving a fade or draw. Lots of ways to move ball, just pick one that feels right for you.
Don't forget the ball in all of this. Moving the ball is, simply put, 'excess' spin in the 'proper direction' (when intended). It results in a bad slice or hook when not intended.

Many balls are designed to spin less, and therefore, go less far off line when hit badly.

So---when you get to level that 'moving the ball' is an intent--- not a result--- then you may have to (also) choose a different ball.
post #37 of 47
Youtube has some slow motion footage of Tiger with a 3W, at the British Open.


And this one from a golf clinic

post #38 of 47
TC

Great tips in clinic - drawing/fading ball, hitting low shots and Tiger's technique for sand shot. The shot he hit out of the fairway bunker on the clip is one of the greatest golf shots I've ever seen - glad you gave us a replay
post #39 of 47

Golf

Philpug. Next time you're at the range, try the followig for more distance and lower shot. ( 150 with an 8 iron is good ) Ball in middle of stance, hands a little forward of the ball (2" approx.). Slightly flatter swing plane ( around you instead of up ). But you really don't want more distance with an 8, you want it high so it will stop on the green. Flatter, more distance use a 5 iron. If you hit down on the ball and trap it between the club and ground it will go up with back spin to stop on green. Example also you driver flatter swing plance, b all slighly in front of stance and hit with a slightly up and sweeping motion.

Trekchick, chipping, pitching and sand wedges. The most common mistake for a beginner is to decelerate the club and to not follow thru. The correct pitch would be ball in back of stance (R foot) hand pressed fowaard a little and a 1/4 1/2 3/4 swing straight back and thru with left hands back at target all the way trhu the swing. The real key here is to accelerate thru the ball. I am not saying really speed thru but only to have your club accelerate, this mat actually look slow but it will be faster than the back stroke. In Sand hit 1" or 2" behind ball, you are hitting the sand not the ball. 1" will hit ball farther, 2" shorter-generally. The biggest mistake here is to take an easy swing and to not follow thru.. Take a full swing and follow thru just like you're hitting a full iron shot on the fairwayl. A chip (in air and up) b all in back of stance, hands over ball not foward of ball like a pitch that you wangt to run low and across the green. Master your pitch shot around the greens and you will really knock off some strokes. It is much easier to pitch/run a shot up to the hole than fly it up in the air and land it properly.

Somewhat like skiing, rythmn and smoothness is really important, tempo that is smooth and matches you is all important in golf.
post #40 of 47
I have to disagree with some of the advise here. First of all, when hitting irons off of fairway lies you always want to hit the ball with a downward approach. It can be slightly downward or dramatically downward depending on your strength and natural ability. It is impossible to hit a ball from the fairway with an upward motion. The only time this is possible or appropriate is off a tee.

If you want to hit a ball with a flatter trajectory you need to strike it with a slightly descending blow rather than a steep one. The easiest way to do this without changing anything else about your swing is to move the ball slightly forward. Sometimes as little as 1/4 inch is all that is required.
post #41 of 47

Ymmv

I can see how this approach might result in a flatter trajectory for a steep swing type, but my impression is that this conflicts with traditional advice. Traditionally, for a normal swing, moving the ball back in the stance results in a flatter trajectory because the club is delofted and moving the ball forward in the stance results in a higher flight because additional loft is added to the club.
post #42 of 47
If you move the ball back in your swing you will be hitting the ball with a more descending blow which will get the ball in the air faster / higher if you change nothing else in your swing. We are talking small increments here not large ones. If you move the ball too far back then you have to change your swing in order to hit the ball squarly with good impact. For instance if I want to hit a low trajectory 3 iron I move it back about 3 inches and keep my weight on my back leg longer in transition through the swing (producing a flater swing plane). This produces a low trajectory shot that will also run longer. But under normal situations I want to hit my 3 iron high, with about 220 yds carry, to land is soft.
post #43 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoontasan View Post
For instance if I want to hit a low trajectory 3 iron I move it back about 3 inches and keep my weight on my back leg longer in transition through the swing (producing a flater swing plane).
Now we're both saying the same thing. For me that swing change is automatic and not consciously noticeable. One thing to note there is that golfers of different skill levels have different levels of awareness. Moving the ball less than inch in a beginners stance may be within their perception of putting the ball in the same place.
post #44 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
Now we're both saying the same thing. For me that swing change is automatic and not consciously noticeable.
Why would you want to change your swing every time you changed ball position?
post #45 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjb View Post
Why would you want to change your swing every time you changed ball position?
CJB, you Don't. Look at the Tiger video in TC's post. He's hitting 8 iron. If you placed a pane of glass through the clubshaft at address, it would closely parallel his arm angle at the top of backswing. This is his swing plane. This swing plane will flatten if you hit driver since the driver is longer, but, relations of club at address to arm/club at the top should look similar.
Assuming an on-plane swing, square to square, placing a ball back in your stance will deloft club at impact and trajectory will be lower. Playing the ball farther forward will allow added loft to club since it will strike the ball closer to the bottom point of swing, therefore, it will create higher trajectory. Hence, why drivers (7 to 11 degree lofts) are played just inside left foot for rt. handers w/ ascending blow... Ball position too far back may cause shot to be smothered. Also trying to hit high trajectory shots from a ball back in one's stance will require some swing manipulations such as a steeper, off plane downswing or a weakened grip to create less loft and a higher trajectory shot.
Most pros I know will use same grip, ball posiiton, swing plane and alignment to create a repeatable swing. Obviously this works best on level lies in the fairway. Certain adjustments may need to be made to work the ball or address balls on sidehill, or uneven lies while keeping as many fundamental setup positions as possible. This eliminates as many variables in the swing as possible and promotes more chances for good results. Two favorite shots I play (hitting over trees, clearing high bunker lips) is to play the ball close to my left foot, open the club face slightly. Creates high trajectory with a little cut. Conversely, playing ball just inside my right foot and hooding club slightly ( since ball is back in stance) creates a low trajectory shot that will fly under low hanging tree branches.
post #46 of 47
Rapid and cjb have touched on one of the fundamental dilemnas of golf: the apparent myth of the repeatable swing.

In one sense, every shot is unique when you consider the conditions with respect to the lie, temperature, humidity, elevation/barometric pressure, wind, club used, landing zone conditions and intended ball flight shape, carry and roll distance (sheesh - did I miss anything?). If the goal was to make every swing exactly the same way, then the intended ball flight shape would always be the same and the resulting ball flight would be at the mercy of all the other factors.

Yet we constantly hear the mantra of achieving a "repeatable swing". There are, what, a billion or so pieces of a golf swing? Whatever the number is, there's no way that you can think about or consciously control them all during a single swing. There must be a muscle memory type automatic set of movements controlling most of these pieces to have any amount of success on the course. The goal of the repeatable swing is to be able to hit a standard shot off a level lie off a standard surface that results in a consistent ball flight shape and carry and roll distance. If you can do that without thinking about your movements, then it becomes easy to make minor tweak adjustments to turn that repeatable swing into the custom swing desired for a specific shot situation on the golf course. The idea here is that you can think about one or two of the billion pieces during a swing and achieve the desired results.
post #47 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post

Yet we constantly hear the mantra of achieving a "repeatable swing".

There must be a muscle memory type automatic set of movements controlling most of these pieces to have any amount of success on the course.

The idea here is that you can think about one or two of the billion pieces during a swing and achieve the desired results.
therusty has said it well. "Repeatable" is a relative term in golf. I stood behind Tom Kite on the practice range at Augusta one day watching him hit 7 irons. The ball flight had the same high, soft trajectory, the ball drew about 3 yards and landed in a 20' diameter circle. This is pretty close to repeatable. (Story is that Hogan placed a caddy on the range and shagged balls w/ a towel-- said the caddy didn't move more than a few steps either way. ) When Kite got on the course that day, the conditions, the pressure of a major and his physical condition did not let him make the same refined swings---toughest 100 yard walk in golf is from the practice range to the first tee.

His muscle memory, which every athlete posesses however refined, is what enabled him to post a 69 that day while not hitting every shot crisp. After hitting up to a thousand practice balls a day for years, his swing is grooved. Similar to skiers logging hundreds of thousands of VF over many years. Your body reacts subconsciously to the practice and fundamental positions, swing planes, edge sets, posture positions, balance requirements, terrain conditions, etc --good practice and good instruction/technique by knowledgable instructors---good results. New golfers or skiers should not be discouraged with inconsistent results. The more you do it with the right technique, the more proficient you'll become.

Swing thoughts can be killers. Stand up to ball, address ball at mid-stance, forward press, slow backswing, turn the shoulders not just the arms, pronate/supinate hands, club shaft on-plane, fairly rigid left or right arm, don't lay the club off at top, rotate body, let the head stay behind the ball, etc, etc, etc-- and we're just at the top of the backswing.
I think most accomplished players would agree that one swing thought or two at most is effective and more is useless and confusing, i.e., take it back slow or make a full shoulder turn or whatever creates a positive thought for that particular shot --could be ...this is #18 and the beer is on ice in 15 minutes
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