I was reminded in a recent lesson that helping one understand the roots of their golf mistakes/compensations, is extremely important to the student’s ability to grow and develop their golf skills further. My student who has improved rapidly, has great golf ability, with little knowledge behind him. His game is not bogged down by theories or swing thoughts, rather a do-as-I’m-told mentality. Which, for a teacher is great, as the student is often able to improve rapidly, but one must be careful to make sure the student has ample knowledge to self-reflect and try to solve problems that may come up during a given round.

One of the most common mistakes made by golfers is in understanding the reasons behind why a ball curves a certain way. There are two distinct areas that affect the ball-flight of the golf ball, and those are the angle/position of the face, and the swing path.

A simple explanation of a golf balls flight is that wherever the ball starts is  based on the initial swing path of the club, and wherever the ball curves is the angle of face. There are extreme circumstances where the angle of the face is so severe, that the path does not have as much an impact as one would originally believe, but usually, the club path determines the initial starting flight of the ball, with the face angle resulting in the ending position of the golf ball.

And why is this so important? Understanding why your balls curves the way it does tell you much about your golf swing and what areas you may need to improve in. If you grew up in the Midwest or Nevada, players can get away with hitting 30-yard hooks or slices, but that game does not transfer well to many courses in the Bay Area, or traditional, tree-lined golf courses.

Being able to start the golf ball on an intended line is imperative to being a successful golfer. Study your ball-flight, and work to make the face square and swing on plane. Remember, the ball doesn’t lie!

Any thoughts or suggestions on how to improve swing path or work on ball flight? I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments.