Beginner’s Guide to the Golf Swing Arc

The arc of your golf swing can have a tremendous impact on your ball flight. Mastering the art of arcing your golf swing will help ensure that you keep achieving the ball flight that you desire.

This article will help you understand the basics of the golf swing arc, which in turn will help you in achieving the ball flight you want every time that you swing the golf club.

The following is what you need to know about the golf swing arc.

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What to Know About Your Golf Swing Arc

#1: It is circular

When observed carefully, the golf arc can be described as being circular in shape, although it is rarely ever a full circle.

In addition, the circular shape of the arc is inclined at an angle around the body of the golfer. If we were to draw the arc created by the full swing,  around the body of the golfer, the arc would appear like a hula-hoop around the golfer- tilted at an angle.

#2: It has multiple locations

The golf swing arc has multiple locations on it, and hitting the ball from each of these spots will have different results.

One of the main locations of a golf arc is the lowest point of the arc, which represents the lowest level that the golf swing reaches before ascending again.

The other two locations are the part before this low point, and the part after it.

Striking the ball before the low point

If you strike the golf ball before this low point, the following occurs:

  1. Steeper, downward facing attack on the ball
  2. Reduced loft on the face of the club at impact
  3. A reduced bounce of the ball

The further you are before the low point when striking the ball, the more pronounced these effects are.

The result of striking the ball before this low point is significantly reduced ball flights.

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Striking the ball after the low point

When you strike the ball after this low point, the following is bound to happen:

  1. Upward facing, positive attack on the ball
  2. Relatively higher dynamic loft
  3. Higher bounce of the ball

The further after the low point that you strike the ball, the greater these aforementioned effects become.

However, you will find that it is rare for golfers to strike the ball after the low point mainly because when the ball is resting on the ground, it is easier to have this low point before the ball.

Putting and driving are usually the only instances where you can hit the ball after the low point. For such tasks, a more positive angle of attack is required, resulting in more carry, and greater distance covered by the ball.

#3: Swing path direction depends on the golf swing arc

The swing path is the direction that the club will take as it hits the ball. There are two ways the club can swing, either in to out, which is when the club swings to the right, or the out to in, which occurs when the club is swung to the left.

The point on the arc of the golf swing where you hit the ball will have a significant impact on the direction of the swing path.

Remember there are three positions on the golf swing arc; the low point, before the low point, and after the low point.

At the low point of the golf swing arc, the swing path and its direction are the same, while the angle of attack is level, meaning it is not striking down or up.

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However, before this low point, the swing path is inclined more to the right of the ball, and its angle of attack will be rightward facing. Furthermore, the club face will be facing farther from the swing path.

When the ball is struck after the low point, the angle of attack is generally more positive, and leftward facing, with the club’s face closer to the swing path than when striking happens before or at the low point.

For instance, if your low point is at the same level with the ball, you will find that you are able to strike the ball, but you will need a significant amount of swing height.

If you happen to drop the altitude even a little bit, the contact location on the ground will change, and this will have an adverse effect on the speed and direction the ball will take after being struck.

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In such a scenario, the lie will have to be teed up error-free, for the ball to be able to get to its target.

If you were to move the low point forward by, maybe adjusting your weight slightly towards the direction of the target, so that the swing arc moves forward in a lateral position without changing the swing direction, then the swing arc height would need to be lowered.

With the ball being hit at an earlier stage of the swing arc,  you might notice as a result of the adjustment, slightly less ball loft, deeper divots with sharper angle of attack, and diminished bounce on the club.

Furthermore, the path of the club will be more rightward facing, and the face to path relationship is more open.

It is imperative to note that the height of the swing arc, and the position of the low point need to correspond at all times.

How changing your golf swing arc can improve your game

With the information provided above, you can make simple changes to your golf swings to make them more effective.

For instance, if when striking the ball, you are doing it more with the lower parts of the club, and striking high against the face of the club, then the problem could be that you are striking the ball too far below the low point.

This means that the low point is too far beyond the ball. The same case applies when you are experiencing divots that are too huge.

You can adjust this by simply changing the low point depth, and bringing it closer to the front of the ball.

Swing direction, loft and ball flight, the arc of the golf swing, angle of attack, face to path relationship, contact height and strike spot on the face of the club will be improved for enhanced ball control and actual hitting of the target.

The same thing will apply when the ball is further ahead of the low point when striking. You will need to adjust the low point position, and consequently, the golf swing arc to enable you to make better putts and dives.

In many instances, you might not know how to adjust your golf swing arc in order to accomplish the desired ball flight, and hitting of the target.

That is why it is imperative to have a local golf instructor observe you as you play, in order to determine how effective your golf swing arc is.

From these observations, the golf instructor will be able to provide you with more guidance, based on the knowledge and tips above, on how to adjust your golf swing technique.

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