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How do pros and good players curve the ball?


Barfolomew
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On 9/25/2021 at 9:02 AM, Soloman1 said:

 

It's the opposite. I'm not going to go into the D-Plane for the 12,560th time, but look at the path of the club. Let's call the black line the ball position for straight path.

 

Moving ball back (right) causes the club to be coming from in-to-out, creating a draw (right to left flight) when the club face is left of the path. If path is 4¬į in-to-out, and face is 2¬į left of path, the ball with start right and come back to the target. That's a push-draw.

 

Move ball forward (left) and the opposite happens. Path is out-to-in and face open to path creates left-to-right ball flight.

 

Understand that part first, then look at D-Plane. 

arc.jpeg

 

Thanks... I'm gonna experiment with this at the range later. 

 

So the ball back makes sense for a draw BUT the the ball forwards seems like the face will be more closed then path... Is there any holding off the club face from closing in the forward position or is it naturally more open then path?

I try and like my own posts but can't figure out how...

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Put yourself in impact position for the path and face for fade. Look at it and adjust the face in your grip so it's slightly open to the path. Look at it. Then without changing your grip, go to the address position and take some half swings and get to that impact position. It isn't hard. You'll figure it out.

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I hit the ball relatively straight with woods and irons. 

 

All depends on HOW MUCH bend I want.  Ball position, sometimes face angle, even my hands though impact can affect curvature.  Bending left or right tends to be easier with my 620 series irons.  For me, drawing the ball is a bit more challenging with TS2, but a baby fade is rather easy.

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1 hour ago, Barfolomew said:

 

Thanks... I'm gonna experiment with this at the range later. 

 

So the ball back makes sense for a draw BUT the the ball forwards seems like the face will be more closed then path... Is there any holding off the club face from closing in the forward position or is it naturally more open then path?

Ball position dictates where the ball ends up along the arc, thus impacts path directly. Face angle at impact is very golfer specific IMHO. 

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7 hours ago, Soloman1 said:

Put yourself in impact position for the path and face for fade. Look at it and adjust the face in your grip so it's slightly open to the path. Look at it. Then without changing your grip, go to the address position and take some half swings and get to that impact position. It isn't hard. You'll figure it out.

I think Adam Young would disagree. 

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i'm very much a feel player, so a lot of times i'll just go with the flow and make adjustments depending on my swing at the moment. i tend to be a straight hitter, and the most simple and repeatable way i've found to shape shots is as follows:

  • stance determines the ball's starting path and club face at address determines where the ball lands

however, like most things in golf, the real answer is "it depends." i would say that shaping shots can be a combination of hands, feet, ball position, and face angle. 

 

as others have mentioned, you can alter shot shape with ball position. but sometimes ball position can influence trajectory. so if you want to hit a low cut instead of a draw, you may try opening your stance or opening the club face with the ball slightly in the back of your stance. or perhaps both. try the opposite for a high draw.

 

some people like to hit hold off shots to cut the ball and prefer to feel this shot in their hands.

 

there's also evidence that pressure trace can influence club path and ball flight. if you're curious about this, search for "boditrak pressure trace club path" or something like that. i don't get this technical in my approach, but it might be helpful for others...

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On 9/25/2021 at 12:02 PM, Soloman1 said:

If path is 4¬į in-to-out, and face is 2¬į left of path, the ball with start right and come back to the target. That's a push-draw.

Anyone reading this thread who really wants to understand ball flight, needs to focus on the above.

  • You can hit the ball with an OPEN face (open to the target) and still hit a draw.
  • You can hit the ball with a CLOSED face (closed to the target) and still hit a fade.

The OP‚Äôs initial claim that ‚Äúface‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúpath‚ÄĚ are two distinct options is just not correct. You can close the face all you want, but if your path is too much out to in, you are going to slice it.¬†

If you want work the ball, you have to be able to control face relative to path, and then means having some understanding and control of both face and path.

It‚Äôs also important to realize that there is a HUGE difference between playing a push-fade and a ‚Äúpull-fade.‚ÄĚ That is, your setup and alignment and execution are dramatically different if your goal is 1) to hit the ball with a face open to the target and open to the path, versus 2) hitting the ball with the face closed to the target but open to the path. For 1 you are going to need to line up way WAY left, but for 2 you may be able to line up almost straight.¬†

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I'm no pro, but I can shape any of my clubs with fades or draws. I can even hook my putter....

 

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On 10/4/2021 at 10:48 AM, fronesis said:

Anyone reading this thread who really wants to understand ball flight, needs to focus on the above.

  • You can hit the ball with an OPEN face (open to the target) and still hit a draw.
  • You can hit the ball with a CLOSED face (closed to the target) and still hit a fade.

The OP‚Äôs initial claim that ‚Äúface‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúpath‚ÄĚ are two distinct options is just not correct. You can close the face all you want, but if your path is too much out to in, you are going to slice it.¬†

If you want work the ball, you have to be able to control face relative to path, and then means having some understanding and control of both face and path.

It‚Äôs also important to realize that there is a HUGE difference between playing a push-fade and a ‚Äúpull-fade.‚ÄĚ That is, your setup and alignment and execution are dramatically different if your goal is 1) to hit the ball with a face open to the target and open to the path, versus 2) hitting the ball with the face closed to the target but open to the path. For 1 you are going to need to line up way WAY left, but for 2 you may be able to line up almost straight.¬†


reviving, was just talking about this. I’m wondering if there is a preferred method? Has playing push-cut vs pull-cut (or vice verse) been proven to be more repeatable or consistent? 

 

For a long time now I’ve been trying to be more neutral with club path due to struggling when hitting a cut. Now that I’ve achieved that, I notice I’m having a harder time alignment-wise hitting the push-cut and pull-draw than expected.
 

I think it’s worth the change I’ve made. I’ve never realized how great being able to hit a cut is. The amount of spin you can add appears to be dramatic.

 

Just wondering if my thought process makes sense or if this change will be detrimental long term.

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I go to Tour events each year, usually during the practice round and get to see a lot of these players on the range and get on the range myself.  

 

Recently I did a study on the Ball Flight Patterns at Sanderson Farms and found that 56% of the field was hitting a fade with the driver and 44% were hitting fades.  There were some that basically hit it straight and it may fade or draw for them and still find the fairway because it didn't curve enough to miss the fairway.

 

But with the irons typically Tour players hit a draw.  It's not a big draw, but noticeable nonetheless.  

 

There's generally not a lot of working the ball both ways, on purpose.   One of my clients hits a low draw and we found he struggles badly on right pin locations.  The plan is for him to move the handle back and straighten out the ball flight a bit instead of having so much curve.

 

 

 

 

 

RH

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On 9/22/2021 at 3:48 PM, Valtiel said:

Regardless of your approach/feel, shaping shots is always about manipulating the relationship between face and path. Whether you feel like you're only manipulating one or the other, the end result if always the separation between the two. Every pro probably feels like they do it a little differently, but the common thread connecting all of them is going to be very CONSISTENT face and path control, meaning they only need minor tweaks to their setup to produce a difference in flight. Most of us struggle with this control, so shaping shots can be clunkier and a bit of a crapshoot. It only takes a couple degrees of separation between face and path to produce the normal tight draws/cuts we see on TV, so the more control you have over that relationship, the easier it is to tweak it slightly. 

Guys like Justin Rose will talk about simply changing setup/alignment while keeping the face pointed in the same direction, other guys like Bubba will talk about it being all hand based. At the end of the day it is about consistency though and whatever little feel/adjustment helps them tweak that. 

Outstanding answer here.  I was going to write......100k range balls is a good place to start, but @Valtiel said it in a less sarcastic way.  

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On 9/27/2021 at 2:01 PM, Pepperturbo said:

I hit the ball relatively straight with woods and irons. 

 

All depends on HOW MUCH bend I want.  Ball position, sometimes face angle, even my hands though impact can affect curvature.  Bending left or right tends to be easier with my 620 series irons.  For me, drawing the ball is a bit more challenging with TS2, but a baby fade is rather easy.

I just went from a TSi2 to a TSi3, and find it somewhat easier to work (and really, no less forgiving).

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I pretty much work the ball by imagining the shot shape.  This allows me to free up the swing and allow my body to do what it needs to do without thinking much. If I get caught up in mechanics the swing abandons me.

 

I swing out to in to fade and in to out to draw.  The change is so small that it is mostly done mentally. If I try to change the path physically it becomes too much and is over done.  

 

The only time I change ball position is for flight,  high or low.  Changing ball position for me can screw up my low point big time so I don't do it much.

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Those who move the ball by "thinking" you wanna fade it or draw it, do you think that the only way that this works is from having hit tens of thousands of range balls for a few years to get pretty good at golf? Another way to ask it is do you think this works only for single digit cappers and below and those who have the proverbial 10,000 hours invested into striking a golf ball? Or do you think it can work for higher cappers and those who have not beat balls a lot?

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1 hour ago, playit said:

Those who move the ball by "thinking" you wanna fade it or draw it, do you think that the only way that this works is from having hit tens of thousands of range balls for a few years to get pretty good at golf? Another way to ask it is do you think this works only for single digit cappers and below and those who have the proverbial 10,000 hours invested into striking a golf ball? Or do you think it can work for higher cappers and those who have not beat balls a lot?

Can a high handicapper do it?  Sure.  But can he do it consistently and at command?  Likely not.  Most high handicappers struggle to hit it straight on command.  Moving the ball a certain amount in either direction on command and in differing weather/turf conditions is something totally different.  That comes from more practices than you can imagine.  

 

The key to everything in this stupid sport is repeatable consistency.  

Edited by OnTheBag
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I don't mess with my swing itself at all - its hard enough to build the muscle memory needed to achieve and maintain a consistent swing, I don't like fiddling with it too much. Working the ball, to me, lies entirely in setting the swing path at address. Adjusting the three basic variables: Grip, stance, and ball placement (and in the case of the driver, tee height). Then just swing normally. The identical swing, with the address variables adjusted accordingly, is enough to produce the desired results.

 

Draw >> stronger grip, closed stance, ball moved back in the stance (relative to where it would be normally with any given club), and with the driver the ball teed up higher.

 

Fade >> weaker grip, open stance, ball forward, tee lower.

 

These are, of course, relative, comparative terms. It often takes very small adjustments (and sometimes adjusting only one or two of the variables), not dramatic. Stronger or weaker grip is fractional. Closed or open stance means dropping my back foot back for a draw, or sort of flaring my left foot out for a fade - but to a very minor degree. Ball forward or backward is an inch at the most. Tee height varies by a centimeter at most.

 

The degree of adjustments in the variables is determined by the scale of the draw or fade desired. On a normal drive on a straight fairway (for instance) my normal shot is a slight draw - starts out over the right edge of the fairway, and finishes back towards the center. Exceedingly slight changes needed to do this. One the other hand, there's a couple of holes on one of my local courses that has two holes with serious doglegs right - not subtle, close to 90* (and trees prevent cutting the corner). That wants almost a severe fade, so the variables get adjusted to their max.

 

This all just comes from years of golf, kind of working out what works for me and what doesn't. I do know that there are a variety of approaches to working the ball, none of them being universally "right" - it depends a lot on the individual golfer's swing. 

Edited by bobfoster
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I'm not a great player but can hit a fade or draw although it seems to work a heck of a lot better out of trouble or at the range than on a tee shot for some reason. 

 

I step into my setup with club already gripped and aim at target. For a fade (which comes easily for me and is pretty much my stock shot) I just open up to my target line. When I hit a fade I don't really feel like I'm swinging in to out, more like right down the target line but hold off a bit on release. 

 

For a draw, I setup slightly closed to the target. With a draw I have to really concentrate on swinging in to out, pretty much like my right hand is throwing a ball underhand. Unfortunately I can hit towering high draws on the range but they are more likely to end up a nasty pull on the course if I try with a driver. With a 7iron on up I'm more comfortable closing up a little and hitting a draw but I still prefer to take a little off and hit a cut shot. 

 

I had a lesson at Golf Galaxy last month and after hitting a bunch of slight cut 7irons about 155 I closed up slightly and told the instructor that was how I try to draw it. It was like a 1yd. draw but 163yds.. He's like "so why don't you try to do that every time". I can hit that 155 fade a lot more comfortably and consistently. Like my brain and body on the same page when I try to hit that shot. When I try to "draw" it, it's a lot more forced. 

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On 11/21/2021 at 5:26 PM, RichieHunt said:

I go to Tour events each year, usually during the practice round and get to see a lot of these players on the range and get on the range myself.  

 

Recently I did a study on the Ball Flight Patterns at Sanderson Farms and found that 56% of the field was hitting a fade with the driver and 44% were hitting fades.  There were some that basically hit it straight and it may fade or draw for them and still find the fairway because it didn't curve enough to miss the fairway.

 

But with the irons typically Tour players hit a draw.  It's not a big draw, but noticeable nonetheless.  

 

There's generally not a lot of working the ball both ways, on purpose.   One of my clients hits a low draw and we found he struggles badly on right pin locations.  The plan is for him to move the handle back and straighten out the ball flight a bit instead of having so much curve.

 

 

 

 

 

RH

 

I assume the 44% were draws?  

 

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On 9/24/2021 at 5:14 PM, Soloman1 said:

Having only a 35 IQ, I use ball position for simple shot shaping (Depending on club - lower loft is more fade, higher loft is less fade), not big curves.

Forward changes path to the inside, back changes path to the outside. It's only about 2" forward or back.

Big curves need moving alignment plus ball position. 

 

Based on this answer, you have to have at least a 42 IQ.  Not giving yourself enough credit.  

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On 11/24/2021 at 12:45 PM, bobfoster said:

I don't mess with my swing itself at all - its hard enough to build the muscle memory needed to achieve and maintain a consistent swing, I don't like fiddling with it too much. Working the ball, to me, lies entirely in setting the swing path at address. Adjusting the three basic variables: Grip, stance, and ball placement (and in the case of the driver, tee height). Then just swing normally. The identical swing, with the address variables adjusted accordingly, is enough to produce the desired results.

 

Draw >> stronger grip, closed stance, ball moved back in the stance (relative to where it would be normally with any given club), and with the driver the ball teed up higher.

 

Fade >> weaker grip, open stance, ball forward, tee lower.

 

These are, of course, relative, comparative terms. It often takes very small adjustments (and sometimes adjusting only one or two of the variables), not dramatic. Stronger or weaker grip is fractional. Closed or open stance means dropping my back foot back for a draw, or sort of flaring my left foot out for a fade - but to a very minor degree. Ball forward or backward is an inch at the most. Tee height varies by a centimeter at most.

 

The degree of adjustments in the variables is determined by the scale of the draw or fade desired. On a normal drive on a straight fairway (for instance) my normal shot is a slight draw - starts out over the right edge of the fairway, and finishes back towards the center. Exceedingly slight changes needed to do this. One the other hand, there's a couple of holes on one of my local courses that has two holes with serious doglegs right - not subtle, close to 90* (and trees prevent cutting the corner). That wants almost a severe fade, so the variables get adjusted to their max.

 

This all just comes from years of golf, kind of working out what works for me and what doesn't. I do know that there are a variety of approaches to working the ball, none of them being universally "right" - it depends a lot on the individual golfer's swing. 

This is pretty much exactly how I think about shaping the ball.  One thing I would add is, when I'm hitting it well on a particular day, I'm not "thinking" about these adjustments much at all -- visualisation is all it takes.  Experience has taught me that, if I have to put a lot of conscious thought into how to shape a shot, I probably should attempt a different shot. 

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On 9/25/2021 at 12:02 PM, Soloman1 said:

 

It's the opposite. I'm not going to go into the D-Plane for the 12,560th time, but look at the path of the club. Let's call the black line the ball position for straight path.

 

Moving ball back (right) causes the club to be coming from in-to-out, creating a draw (right to left flight) when the club face is left of the path. If path is 4¬į in-to-out, and face is 2¬į left of path, the ball with start right and come back to the target. That's a push-draw.

 

Move ball forward (left) and the opposite happens. Path is out-to-in and face open to path creates left-to-right ball flight.

 

Understand that part first, then look at D-Plane. 

arc.jpeg

When moving the ball forward or backward, should the location also move closer to my feet, just like the curved club path?

 

I have always adjusted ball position along a straight target line (aimed at green for example)

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On 9/25/2021 at 12:02 PM, Soloman1 said:

 

It's the opposite. I'm not going to go into the D-Plane for the 12,560th time, but look at the path of the club. Let's call the black line the ball position for straight path.

 

Moving ball back (right) causes the club to be coming from in-to-out, creating a draw (right to left flight) when the club face is left of the path. If path is 4¬į in-to-out, and face is 2¬į left of path, the ball with start right and come back to the target. That's a push-draw.

 

Move ball forward (left) and the opposite happens. Path is out-to-in and face open to path creates left-to-right ball flight.

 

Understand that part first, then look at D-Plane. 

arc.jpeg

When moving the ball forward or backward, should the location also move closer to my feet, just like the curved club path?

 

I have always adjusted ball position along a straight target line (aimed at green for example)

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