Golf pro Scott Sackett on why you should pay more attention to your ball flight
The game of golf has lots of moving parts. Sometimes, parts of the game are given more attention by both teachers and students. In my opinion, the most commonly overlooked part in teaching is ball flight. Where and how the golf ball flies where it does is dictated by one thing––impact. Understanding the components of impact—that is, how the club and ball interact to produce certain ball flights—is extremely important in furthering a player’s knowledge, skill, and most importantly, wisdom.
What can you do today to help yourself understand ball flight better? The first step is to learn to question what you think you know, without judgment. When I purchased Trackman three years ago, the most difficult thing was taking what I thought I knew and getting it out of the way so that I was able to question without bias what was really happening at impact.
The second thing you can do is bring awareness to where the golf ball is starting in relation to your target line. Often, I see players up and down the range hitting golf balls with no real conscious awareness of where the ball is starting. This will give you valuable information about where the clubface is pointed at impact. The clubface is primarily responsible for where the golf ball starts. An open face results in a ball starting at right, and a closed face results in a ball starting at left, assuming center contact in both instances. Tuning in to this information is of great benefit. Note in the picture that it is best to start at the front of the alignment rod and work straight backward to the end and then start a new row. This ensures that your eye is seeing the target the same way each time. The red line in this picture would represent your divot line working back from the front of the alignment stick.
Finally, make your alignment perfect. Every time you practice, you have 100 percent control over having perfect alignment. Having perfect alignment while practicing is the most important thing a player could ever do to understand the resulting ball flight better. This will make sure that the input a player is giving himself or herself as to where the golf ball starts is indeed correct.
If your perception of the target is that you’re aligned correctly but you’re actually 20 yards right, the information you give yourself regarding where your ball starts will be wrong because your perception of the target is incorrect.
Have you tried one of America’s toughest golf courses?
- The Ocean Course, Kiawah Island Golf Resort, South Carolina
- Oakmont Country Club, Pennsylvania
- Spyglass Hill, California
- Whistling Straits, Wisconsin
- Winged Foot Golf Club, New York
- PGA West (TPC Stadium), California
- Butler National Golf Club, Illinois
- Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, New York
- Pacific Dunes, Oregon
- Desert Mountain Club (Renegade), Arizona
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.