Golf Ball Flight Laws – Face Angle, Swing Path, Speed

Face Angle

When we address the golf ball, the club face gets set on the ground behind the golf ball and the face is pointing straight at the target (fairway or flagstick on green).

As we take the golf club back during the takeaway and up to the top of the backswing, we need to keep that club face angle straight (also known as “square”) relative to our swing plane path.

Most beginners tend to open the club face up too much relative to the swing path and this gets the club out of position throughout the swing if not corrected before impact, leading to a slice.

When the club face comes back to the ball on the downswing and is squared up to where it started, pointing straight at the target, the ball is hit straight. Any slight open or closed angle leads to the slice, fade spin or draw, hook spin.

Checkpoint: On the takeaway, when the club shaft gets parallel with the ground, the leading edge of the clubface should be vertical and the clubface itself should be pointing straight sideways if we drew an arrow.

Why You Slice: Your club face angle is open throughout the golf swing.

The Fix: Here are 5 simple steps to fix a golf slice

Swing Path

The club swing path also impacts the golf ball.

When the swing is on an outside to inside path, this pulls the golf ball left off the tee. If we can return the club on a straight path into the ball it will hit the ball straight.

For golfers who draw the golf ball, this requires a swing path coming from the inside to outside to start the golf ball to the right of the target and let it draw back center.

Check out this practice plan that works on shot types

Angle of Attack

Coming into the golf ball too steep is a bad recipe when combined with an open face and outside to inside swing path. These all lead to a nasty slice as well as chunked golf shots from time to time.

We need a downward angle of attack for the club face coming down to strike the ball on the ground to create lift and hit the golf ball high into the air. But we don’t want it too steep because this can leave a thin margin of error for other factors.

It also can lead to more chunks and deep divots.

Having too shallow of a golf swing is also not great. It can lead to hooking the golf ball from flipping the club face shut to catch up from the too shallow of swing plane.

We need to find an even balance so we have a more modest angle of attack on the downswing.

Thanks for reading today’s 3 major factors that control the flight of your golf ball. Watch the golf swing video above if you haven’t already to see in detail how each work together to create a straight golf swing.

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