Category Archives: golf ball flight laws




By Paul Myers

Finding the optimal launch angle and golf ball flight for your driver can be a constant battle that can have a lot to do with how much distance you actually achieve on the course. Even if you have great club head speed with your driver swing, you might not get the most possible distance from the shot if your club isn’t producing optimal launch conditions. Of course, there is some debate about what kind of launch is actually best, and what will work best on the course in actually playing conditions.

High Drives = Long Carry

Sometimes, players will try to maximize their carry distance so that they can hit the golf ball plenty long even when the course gets soft. It is conceivable that if you wish to get the most distance out of your driver at all times, going for a higher launch and higher golf ball flight might be the right way to go. You will be able to carry some hazards out in the fairway, and could even consider cutting off a dogleg with a high drive that clears the trees without rolling through the fairway. However, there can be a price to pay for this strategy.

High drives have their drawbacks as well. Consider the following three points that might have you leaning more toward using a lower golf ball flight as your preferred trajectory.

  • Control. The longer the golf ball is in the air, the less control you have over where it is going. SA shot that is only a couple degrees off line can continue to get farther and farther from the fairway the longer it is in the air. If you get the ball down on the ground earlier, you can limit the damage that you experience from an off line shot, and you will may notice that you find fewer and fewer penalty shots around the course. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go high…just make sure you allow for the wind’s affect on the ball from the extra time in the air.
  • Managing conditions. When the weather turns against you, whether it be rain or wind, or both, hitting a high ball off the tee can become a real problem. A good golfer is able to play well in a variety of weather conditions, and that could be problematic for you if the high drive is the only one your club is capable of hitting. Being able to flight the golf ball lower when the conditions get ugly is an ability that can be highly valuable when it is needed.
  • Loss of strategy. By using a driver that is designed and tuned to hit the golf ball high and long on each swing, you may compromise on strategy off the tee and have to adjust the ball flights that you wish to use on each hole. Taking this one size fits all approach to tee shots might work well on some courses and conditions, but may be less effective on other courses.

Ultimately, it will be up to you to choose which kind of golf ball flight you are most comfortable with on the courses that you play. There is certainly an argument to be made that a high ball flight can work well off the tee – but there are some drawbacks as well. Experiment with your equipment and swing to create different golf ball flights with your driver and settle on the one that makes you the most comfortable and gives you the best results.

If you liked the article about hitting the golf ball high or not and you think it would help another golfer, please like it.

 

To learn more about Swing Man Golf products and hit it longer with swing speed training, click here.

And, if you would like to add 30 to 40 yards to your drives over the next 30 days, like thousands of our customers have before you, you might consider our unique Swing Man Golf Swing Speed Training.

Use the tool below to find out a.) how fast your swing speed should be and b.) how fast you COULD swing it soon:

 

HOW FAR SHOULD YOU DRIVE IT? HOW FAR COULD YOU DRIVE IT?

…based on gender, age, handicap and average driving distance? Use this tool to find out:

Male Female

 




By Paul Myers

It is common knowledge among golfers that golf draws go further than golf fades do. Well, it is assumed to be common knowledge – but is it actually true? It seems like many long hitters and TOUR players play a draw, but that is not a hard and fast rule. In fact, Bubba Watson, one of the longest of the long hitters on the PGA Tour, is well-known for his lefty golf fade that seems to fly forever. Obviously, as he has proved with his high club head speed, it is certainly possible to bomb it off the tee while hitting a golf fade. Jason Zuback, 4-time RE/MAX World Long Drive Champion, has also been know to fade the ball as well.

Draws Usually Go Further – But Not Necessarily in the Air

By the nature of hitting a golf draw, you are taking the club into the back of the ball from an inside position. You are hitting slightly from the inside out, to deliver power to the ball and possibly generate more distance. However, it isn’t necessarily that simple.

Assuming the same launch angle and other conditions, if you tilt the spin axis the same amount either one way, the distance for a fade or draw will end up being the same.

However, in most cases, draws and fades using the same club do not launch at the same angle.  A shot hit with draw spin will usually launch lower and not have as much backspin as a fade , therefore it might not stay in the air as long. You might end up with more distance out of your draw, but some of that distance will be accounted for in the bounce and roll of the ball. If you are looking for pure carry distance, a golf fade might have more to offer.

That being said, if you work with a club fitter and you alter your impact conditions slightly (for example, getting the right loft on your club to adjust your spin down and then tweak your angle of attack and swing direction), it’s possible to maximize carry distance with a fade, straight shot, or draw.

You Can Talk to a Golf Fade, but a Hook Won’t Listen

When you play a draw, there is the risk of it turning into a hook – and a hook is one shot you may not recover from. A low hooked tee shot will sometimes keep turning, and bouncing, until it finds some kind of trouble. Because of this, many draw players are always living in fear of hitting a hook – and making the double bogey or worse that can come with it.

On the other side of the coin, most fades don’t turn into slices that are quite as disastrous. Since the golf fade will usually have a little more backspin and launch higher, the ball will land more steeply won’t run away as far or as fast once on the ground. Simply put, unless you have a really low-lofted driver and you intentionally bring your spin and launch way down to optimize distance for fades, you typically have less distance but more margin for error off the tee when you play a golf fade as opposed to a draw.

Do What Comes Natural

While it is a valuable skill to work on controlling different ball flights off the tee, for scoring, you might go back to what you know and what you trust when the pressure is on. If you are naturally a golfer that hits a slight draw, trust that shot and use it the majority of the time. It can be useful to have a golf fade available for certain situations, but it’s usually best to return to your trusty draw when you need to hit a good one. There is just no substitute for what feels natural.

To answer the title question, yes, you can maximize distance while hitting a golf fade. There are plenty of powerful players on the PGA Tour who make the golf fade their shot of choice, because they can control it and still get plenty of distance at the same time through proper club fitting and optimization of their launch conditions. If you are naturally a golfer who hits a golf fade, it may be best not to fight it – work with a club fitter to get a head that gets your spin and launch right to maximize golf fade distance, and hit the best golf fade you can.

If you liked the article, which is answering the question ‘Can you maximize distance and still play a golf fade?’ and you think it would help another golfer, please like it.

 

To learn more about Swing Man Golf products and hit it longer with swing speed training, click here.

And, if you would like to add 30 to 40 yards to your drives over the next 30 days, like thousands of our customers have before you, you might consider our unique Swing Man Golf Swing Speed Training.

Use the tool below to find out a.) how fast your swing speed should be and b.) how fast you COULD swing it soon:

 

HOW FAR SHOULD YOU DRIVE IT? HOW FAR COULD YOU DRIVE IT?

…based on gender, age, handicap and average driving distance? Use this tool to find out:

Male Female

 




By Paul Myers

One of the things that technology has done in the game of golf is change the way some swing elements are taught or understood. Since we can now analyze the performance of the ball more closely than ever before, we can see how it reacts relative to the club face and determine a more accurate cause and effect relationship. Prior to technologies such as Trackman, golfers and golf teachers were left to make assumptions based on the way swings felt and what they thought was happening by watching the ball flight. This led to many assumed facts that turned out later to be wrong.

Among the most-important areas of the game that has been changed is the golf ball flight laws that golfers play by. In reality, the laws haven’t changed – they are just physics – but the way we understand them has changed. Significantly, players who are trying to move the ball one direction or another now have a better knowledge of what they need to do with the club in order to make that happen.

Club Path and Face Angle

Before we get too far into the relationship between different swing elements and the ball flights they produce, it is important to understand two specific variables that greatly affect the results of each shot.

  • Club Path. This is the path that the club takes as it moves through the hitting area. It is usually expressed in relationship to the target line – a straight line between the golf ball and the target for the shot. A club path that is perfectly along the target line is rare; more often, the path is either outside-to-inside, or inside-to-outside.
  • Face Angle. The angle of the face of the club as compared to the target line (note that sometimes face angle is also referenced relative to club path). For a right-handed golfer, an open face angle is one that is pointing out to the right, while a closed face is pointing to the left. This measurement is taken at the moment of impact, as face angle will naturally change as the club approaches and leaves the hitting area.

It’s Actually Quite Simple

Despite how many variables and factors can come into play when measuring the performance of your swing, it is relatively simple in the end. The ball will curve in the direction of the club face as measured relative to the path of the club. In other words, let’s look at two scenarios (both for right-handed golfers)-

  • In order to achieve a draw, you must have the club face closed (pointing left) compared to the path of the club. A good draw will usually see a slightly in-to-out club path with a slightly closed face (to the path). If you are fighting a hook, you will know that your club face is too closed in relation to your swing path.
  • It is just the opposite to create a fade. For a sweet spot hit, you will need to have a slightly open club face (pointing right) as compared to the swing path. Therefore, those who struggle with a slice can know that they have a club face that is much too open when compared to the path the club is taking through impact.

The face-to-path relationship is an important one for understanding curvature. But it’s also important to know that most of the starting direction of the ball flight is where the club face was pointed at impact.

Knowing this, to fix or create a draw or slice, you will have to make adjustments to both the face-to-path relationship and also the club path.

This information is useful for both professionals and amateurs. If you are going to improve your game, you will need to understand these new golf ball flight laws and use them to evaluate what you can do to create the ball flight you desire.

If you liked the article about the new golf ball flight laws and you think it would help another golfer, please

 

To learn more about Swing Man Golf products, the new ball flight laws, and how to work the ball, click here.