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The Golf Ball Goes Where the Club Face Is Pointed!

Written by Bobby Lopez


Posted on December 30 2013

Let’s put this in simple terms that even a dumb Cuban from Miami can understand. 

One of our very esteemed Quick Fix Members, (Dennie Pritchard) came up with a great question.  He mentioned an article he read on line at about club face rotation.  I thought this might help all our members so here it goes.

If the club face is going to have the maximum influence on it’s ultimate resting place, (this is according to the Trackman studies which is very expensive launch monitor and of course Ben Hogan, before they invented these high tech contraptions) then it makes sense that the more you move or change the angle of your golf club face during a given swing motion the higher the risk of hitting a shot where you didn’t want it to go!  Maybe that’s why Mickey Wright said, “if you don’t know where your club face is you can’t play golf.”

The article in Golfwrx talks about reducing club face roll. I think the golfer in question was confused with the rolling of the forearms over through impact and was intentionally rolling the forearms open on the back swing thinking you roll both ways?  That ain’t how it goes.  You hinge your wrists on the take-a-way and then yes it is preferable to roll the forearms over through the impact area, as if you were putting top spin on a tennis shot. However when you’re going to just pop the ball over the net lightly, (similar to a 40 yard golf shot) you don’t roll your racket over like you do when you hit a hard top spin shot in tennis. (I’ve included some drills to do below)

Same thing applies to golf.  If you’re going to hit a short shot of maybe 40 yards, you would swing the shaft on a line headed for the intended target and maintain the golf club face on that same line throughout the shot.  Now, you will loose club head speed by not rotating your forearms through impact but who cares, it’s only 40 yards.

On a tee shot, you swing the golf club slightly right of the target, (for righties) and rotate your golf club over with your forearms before and through impact and your golf club face should be slightly closed to the path at impact or facing the fairway, (your intended target).  This scenario would produce a ball flight starting out to the right slightly and then drawing back to the center. (you wish!)

Now, your swing with a driver has considerable more risk of traveling off line than does that 40 yard shot where you were holding the golf club face as still as possible.  You rotate your wrists to put what feels like top spin on the shot, (there is no top spin because of the loft on our golf club, which is not like a tennis racquet) in order to gain club head speed and you’re willing to take on the risk of an offline shot by rotating your forearms for additional speed.

Also, you must consider that the golf club, (unlike the tennis racquet) has the shaft under the golf club head.  The tennis racquet has the shaft or axis in the center.  Imagine how much effort it would take for you to rotate your tennis racquet over to create top spin if the surface of your tennis racquet was above the handle!  Now increase that by making the racquet 46 inches long!!!  (typical driver length)

Now you know the rest of the story, (this is why most all golfers slice).

Moral of the story is, the more accuracy becomes and issue, the less risk you should take on in hand action, forearm rotation, release etc. You don’t get something for nothing.  The more active the hands the more speed but also the most risk.

If you’re playing a tight par three with water on the left and right, try a punch shot with one more club than usual.  Less hand movement = less risk.