# Ball flight Law

All my students will find it helpful to know why the golf ball flies as it does. Whether the shot slices, hooks, doesn’t get off the ground, pops up or has no distance. These ball flights are laws and are based on the principles of physics.

Let me simplify what the club causes at impact to produce these effects. There are five causes that effect the pattern to your golf balls flight.

• Angle of approach
• Face angle
• Centerness of contact

Angle of approach:

Our first goal: To get the ball airborne.

Face angle:

The face angles function is to launch the ball in the direction the face is pointing at impact.There are three possible face angles. Open, square and closed. Two of them (open and closed) can be in various degrees. Really open, really closed, just a little open or just a little closed. Square is square. But it’s the combination of the clubs face angle in respect to the club heads path through impact that is going to determine the spin or shall we say “the curve of the golf balls flight”. Through research, science has determined that the ball will start its flight perpendicular to the faces angle (launch direction). For a right handed golfer, if the face is pointed to the right of the target line (open) the ball will launch to the right of target.

Our second goal: Produce a face angle that is facing our target squarely at impact.

This is the path the club’s head (club-head) is traveling through impact or in other words the direction it’s going during impact. Because of the semi-horizontal swinging arc, there are three possible directions the club-head will travel through the ball during impact... To the right, to the left or straight down the target line. Again for a right handed golfer, let’s make an imaginary ball to target line by picking a target and going back behind the ball. Let’s straddle that imaginary ball to target line with our feet and look straight down that line towards our target. The line is running between our feet directly under us with the right foot on the outside or on the right-side and the left foot to the left-side or inside of that imaginary target line. Because golfers swing on an inclined arc (not directly vertical or directly horizontal) but in between the two, the club-head path has three possible directions, outside to inside, inside to outside or down the target line during impact. And just like face angle, these paths or directions can be at various degrees in respect to the target line. The direction of the club head’s path can also be in various degrees in respect to the faces angle as well. Just because your path could be going in the direction of the target line doesn’t mean your ball will go straight at target. At impact, if the clubs face isn’t pointing in the same direction the club heads path is traveling, the ball will have curve.

Our third goal: Execute a club head path or club head direction to travel down the ball target line at impact.

Center-ness of hit:

You can contact the ball on the toe of the clubface (the farthest part of the clubs face from the golfer) inducing a hook shot. Or, contact can be on the heel (the closest part of the clubs face to the golfer) inducing a slice. God forbid you hit it on the housel (where the shaft is inserted into the head of the club) inducing a …, well I won’t even completely spell it much less say it. It’s golf’s dirtiest word, starts with sh___, but has three letters, not two. You could whiff it. Which still counts as a stroke, but one stroke better than long and wrong into OB (out of bounds) territory. I think most readers of this article understand it’s better making contact in the middle of the clubs face (sweet spot) than anywhere else on the club. The golfer will get a more dynamic efficient strike on the ball by making contact on the sweet spot of the clubface. This does take practice. Lots of good practice.

Our forth goal:  After starting with a descending blow into the back of the ball so the ball got airborne and a face angle that is square to the ball/target line at impact with a club head path that was down the line at impact you want to make contact with the back of your ball with the center of the clubs face.