First...Learn YOUR Curve!

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By skip g

  • 17 Replies
  1. skip g

    skip g
    Southborough, MA

    Most golfers curve their ball in the opposite direction they were hoping for! (ex: most golfers experience a slice, when they truly would like to hit a draw). The best advice I can provide you… if you can relate to this….is to learn to hit YOUR curve! The key, being LEARN!

    A couple of very important factors to remember when striking a golf ball….

    1) The FACE of the club STARTS the ball in its INITIAL DIRECTION.

    2) The PATH of the club CURVES the ball.

    3) The ball will curve in the OPPOSITE DIRECTION of the PATH.

    Without getting too, too technical….remember these keys:

    1) The relationship between the PATH & CLUB FACE at impact….must be opposite! What does that mean? a) If the PATH of the Club is traveling to the RIGHT…the face must be slightly LEFT of the path at impact to curve the ball to the LEFT. b) Conversely, if the PATH of the Club is traveling to the LEFT...the face must be slightly RIGHT of the path at impact to curve the ball to the RIGHT.

    2) Learn how path/face relationships effect ball flight. Start by working on ONE WAY….right-to-left OR left to right. No matter which one you choose, select one and keep working on it until it becomes repeatable on a regular basis. For the short-to-near term…ONLY try to hit that shot every time!!!!!

    3) After you become quite comfortable with the ball traveling in one direction….work on curving the ball in the opposite direction by swinging the club completely opposite of what you have been working on. Once you advance to this step, you will become quite adept in allowing the ball to travel any way you would like….awesome!

    Students are amazed when the follow this routine:

    1) LEARN the motion

    2) REHEARSE the motion…repeating the same motion, over an extended period

    3) APPLY the rehearsed motion to the ball

    So…FIRST…Learn YOUR Curve…then work on the opposite curve…to play better!

  2. OK, these tips are very helpful, especially since getting my 718AP2's. Simply because my 718's offer me so much feel and control right at my fingertips. It becomes easy to see and feel what the club is doing, eliminating half of whatever else I need to focus on, be it my arms, position in my backswing etc.
  3. Great insight (as always), Skip! Thanks for sharing.

    - Mike
  4. Abby L.

    Abby L.
    Providence, RI

    Simple terms and easy to understand ... this is right up my alley! Thank you, Skip.

  5. Tyler H

    Tyler H
    Appleton, WI

    This is probably the best explanation that I have read regarding path and face angle relationship and the resulting flight. I am definitely going to keep this in mind for future reference.

  6. Zangetsu


    Also one tip I can add try to swing less powerfull it will help alot when purposly curving a ball. Also makes feeling direction better
  7. Darryl M

    Darryl M
    Wichita, KS

    Keeping it simple will help so many people who never knew a thing about swing path. The other thing is people (myself included) try to hit something different then they naturally hit and that doesn't always lend itself to better scores. I like to hit straight but always try to counter a fade because in Kansas a fade with the wrong wind goes in a bad place so I adjust really for no reason......
  8. Scott D

    Scott D

    Thanks Skip! With your simple explanation. I have a nice little butter cut with my driver and now I am working on the draw to compliment it. With your simplified explanation I can now visualize what I need to do. Thanks again.
  9. skip g

    skip g
    Southborough, MA

    Hey Everyone:

    Nice comments...thanks! Hope our discussions help you realize better results on the golf course! Better insight...better practice routines...GREAT Titleist equipment....better results!

    More to follow....enjoy your next round!
  10. Steve L

    Steve L
    Framingham, MA

    this reminds me of one of the first great and useful lesson I ever got 40 years ago. Play the shot you are hitting that day. I have always had a very slight draw shot shape however, there are days when I hit a fade, or maybe push, pull, etc. I have learned it is harder to try to fix it than accept it and simply play it. I try to make a comfortable normal swing on the range and then play that shot shape on the course. Last week I was hitting the ball slightly heavy so I adjusted the ball back one inch in my set up and then started flushing every strike. On the course, my focus is on this slight change in address or aim but never on swing mechanics. This allows me to not think about my swing and feel confident that the results will be positive rather than expecting my draw only to watch every shot fade leaving me frustrated. I can always spend time on the range after the round to work on the mechanics.
  11. Wow that was awesome like many I would love to draw the ball but I naturally hit the fade/slice.

    I am working on draw as I know how to fade now.

  12. Gabriel G

    Gabriel G
    Cedar Park, TX

    I was taking lessons from a PGA Pro and he liked my fade. He said.."You know.. you can play with that fade." Meaning it is reliable and steady. Enjoy the game knowing I will be in the fairway more often than not. Happy to play now.
  13. Reading these posts and applying the principles reminds me of each course of instruction ever attended. High School, College, Vocational classes, even Golf. Classroom instruction involved the taking of notes-and studying-in preparation for the inevitable quizzes or final exams. In comparison these study experiences and final exams are relative to practicing on the range and playing a round of golf. The actual round is applying what you have learned during the lectures or range sessions. How nice it would have been to have the notes available during the finals. In golf we have that luxury. Once any particular flight path, trajectory, or distance is found for our personal golf swing (and yes, each of us has our own unique swing) it may be wise to take notes on those repeatable shots and refer back to them when "feel" begins to fail. Stance, ball position, grip, backswing, and follow through should all be recorded for each club for each shot. Figure out your high, medium, low fade? Write it down! High, medium, low draw? Write it down! How the ball roles on the green in the morning and afternoon? Write it down. Knowing exactly how we personally achieve anything is worthy of our own personal golf records. Like Skip stated, Learn!
  14. Deno

    Hawthorne, NJ

    Another great tip Skip. When you have that shot in your bag, confidence follows you down the fairway.

  15. Thank you for some great tips! I have been working on my fade and draw a little every time I practice and I'm sure this will help next time I get out.

  16. Thank you! Gave me a lot to focus on the next time I'm at the range.
  17. skip g

    skip g
    Southborough, MA


    My students follow this path...the same formula we followed throughout our educational phase...(and still learning, of course):

    1) Classroom sessions...with me...learning, asking questions, taking notes (videos, too). My responsibility is to pass along good information...student's responsibility is to retain the information.

    2) Homework & study....their opportunity to take ownership of what was discussed during each classroom session

    3) Testing...the golf course! If you pay attention in class...if the information provided is valid & pertinent...if you do your homework and WILL pass the test!

    Fun stuff, for sure!
  18. Skip, an excellent description and methodology for learning the mechanisms behind ball flight.

    I'll re-post something from the the "One Little Tip" thread a while back: One thought that I often return to, particularly at the beginning of the season while 'de-rusting' at the range, is a swing path exercise where you superimpose a clock onto the top of the golf ball and focus on the clubhead approaching the ball at different 'times'.

    This analogy has been shared by myriad sources in varying contexts, but the best description and explanation I have found goes to Joseph Laurentino in his book "The Negotiable Golf Swing". I am linking the specific reference below, although the entire chapter on "Factors That Affect Ball Flight Patterns" is both accessible and extremely elucidating when deciphering how swing and clubhead dynamics impact the direction and behavior of the golf ball.

    In my own application, I tend to favor the perceived control from a draw flight path and like to think about the in-to-out sensation that generates such a result. When I'm struggling to produce said swing, I often go back to the clock drill.

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