Golf, Part Five: The Truth of Ball Location

This is the fifth article in a series. It would be helpful to be familiar with previous installments.

Ball location is an important factor in determining the direction the golf ball takes.

There are two workable ways (covered in future articles) to propel the ball forward: to produce a flywheel action by rotating the upper torso around the spine or to push or thrust the club into the ball. As previously discussed, the rotational method produces more energy and should be considered to be superior. This is said because each method has its own center. The center is the point where the clubhead would be closed without manipulations that render inconsistent results, and would be a great condition to be in when the ball leaves the clubhead.

Point #1: Upon collision the clubhead carries the ball: for about ¾ of an inch as the ball goes through its rebound process. The clubhead is always closing to the ball from the top of the swing: then upon collision, around the ball.

Point #2: The lead shoulder (left for right-handers) is the center of the flywheel technique. The trailing elbow (right for right-handers) is the center for the thrust method.

Point #3: The golfer’s head should be behind the ball in usual situations when contact is made, the same as in any other athletic endeavor.

Point #4: There are three stance possibilities: referred to as squared, open, or closed. A squared stance is taken when feet and shoulders are parallel to the intended ball flight line. Pulling the trailing foot slightly back with longer clubs does not change this description. An open stance occurs when the lead foot and shoulder are set further away from the intended ball flight line than the trailing foot. An open stance is taken by moving the trailing foot and shoulder closer to the ball flight line. Shorter shots, and longer shots that fade away from the original ball flight line, are usually played from an open stance. A closed stance is taken by moving the trailing side slightly away from the ball flight line. Longer shots that draw are usually played from a closed stance.

Point #5: Great golfers can be seen to apparently use the forward inside heel as a point of reference for shots (Hogan, Nicklaus, Tiger). The ball is always in front of or on their forward cheek for all but unusual shots. Too many high-handicap golfers position the ball under or behind their noses.

Suggestion: The golfer who is following these articles will need this knowledge in order to compile with swing & clubhead path requirements that are covered in future articles. Try understanding and complying with the points as soon as possible, especially if a slice is characteristic ball flight.

Look for these future articles: Breathing & Tempo, A Dynamically Correct Grip, etc.


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Michael Lucas
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Pete Williams
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Posted on Jan 12, 2009