Tom’s Featured Tip: Fundamental 3: Controlling Curvature
Based on my research and study of the swing method principles that I teach, I believe that there are 3 True Fundamentals of golf:
- The ability to hit the ground in the same place every time and forward of the ball to insure clean contact.
- The ability to create enough power or distance to enjoy and play the game.
- The ability to match the clubface to the swing path to control the curvature of the ball to keep it in play.
Last issue I addressed Fundamental 2 – creating sufficient power and distance to enjoy and play the game.
This issue I’ll address Fundamental 3 – the ability to match the clubface to the swing path to control the curvature of the ball to keep it in play.
The reason a golf ball curves to the right or to the left when it is struck (the wind is not considered here) is because the clubface was either open to the swing path at impact, creating a fade (left to right) spin axis on the ball, or the clubface was closed to the swing path at impact creating a draw (right to left) spin axis on the ball.
If you match your swing path direction with a square clubface, the ball should not curve.
The differential between the clubface position and the swing path direction at impact causes more or less curvature accordingly.
With an Inside to Inside path, during the course of your swing you are swinging downward and outward until you hit the low point of your swing. At that point you are swinging straight and flat for a very short distance, then you are swinging upward and inward.
To draw the ball, you might set up with the ball back from the low point of your swing (bottom image in the ball positions graphic) , with the clubface square to the target line (closed). That would mean that you would strike the ball at a point where your swing path was down and to the right, with a clubface that would be slightly closed to the path. That would produce a draw (with neutral hand action).
Neutral hand action means that you are not actively trying to close or open the face at impact. You are letting the hands make a natural rotation, nothing more or less. Excessive hand action can amplify either curvature and it brings an unnecessary element of timing into play, so use it sparingly.
Your body aimline may need to be adjusted to allow for curvature, but your swing path should remain consistently Inside to Inside.
If you review this information enough, you’ll truly understand curvature. That will allow you to correct errant shots, and to produce curvature on purpose when you need it. It’s worth a little study time and range time.
Learn it, you’ll like it.
Love your practice, own your swing, own your health,
Tom Tucker’s Bio
I conduct lessons at The Plum Creek Driving Range & Practice Facility
there’s a link for Plum Creek info here: http://www.tomtuckergolf.com/
Lessons are available for all ages and skill levels, please contact
me – Tom Tucker – at (716) 474 3005 or email me at email@example.com
for more information.
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