Proper Clubhead Path

Most golfers are savvy enough to know that the ball goes what it goes due to a synergistic blend of clubface angle at impact and club head path. They’re also generally clever enough to understand that a steep, outside-in path is not what the golf doctor ordered. But more than a few are probably enamored with the idea of swinging in to out. They think to themselves “that’s what the pros do so it’s got to be right, right?”

Well, in reality, wrong. That’s not what the pros do at all and if they did do it, we wouldn’t know their names. An inside-out path comes with its own collection of shots and almost none of them are what you’re looking for.

If the clubface is perpendicular to this faulty path, we’ll see a block to the right (for the right-handed player). Eventually, after seeing one too many blocks, the misguided golfer will flip the clubface prior to impact and the ball hooks so far left that Marlin Perkins couldn’t find it.

Oh, and I’m not done. The more the clubhead comes from the inside the closer it is to the ground as it approaches the ball. This would be referred to as a shallow attack angle and it leads to both thin shots and fat shots. What it doesn’t lead to are divots on the target side of the ball and compression which is the ultimate key to hitting high quality irons shots.

When you see a photos of a premier ball striker at impact where are their hips? They are open relative to the target line. The right hip is closer to the target line than the left. The feel that they have is that they’re slamming the ball with their right hip as they swing through to the finish. It’s the exact same swing with all other hitting sports including a right cross in boxing.

With our inside-outer the left hip is closer to the target line than the right so he’s like a right-handed hitter in baseball trying to hit a line drive down the right field line. Is that powerful? Not in the least.

If you find yourself with these ball flight issues there are a couple of possible causes that might be worth exploring.

Envision a gate in a fenced in back yard. If the gate is attached to a vertical post, it opens and closes with ease. If the post is tilted in one direction or the other, maybe not so much.

The analogy here is if the left hip slides well past the left foot, the hips stall and the club head path heads out to the right.

Another cause can be early extension in the downswing where the hips move toward the ball. This can result in the shaft plane flattening and hip rotation stalling, again causing an inside-out path without much power.

So here are some things to work on to correct the path and get the ball flying long and straight. At the beginning of the downswing you’re going to move just far enough left (just a very few inches) with the lower body to get the left hip directly over the left knee and ankle. Now you’ve got a post to rotate around.

Feel like the left hip is rotating behind you and the club is traveling left of the target line. If you do this properly the body will be facing the target at the finish position and you’ll love where the ball is going!

Here is a visual that might help. Pretend there is a steel pole running from your head down to between your feet. Just rotate around the pole. Greg Norman famously said that the golf swing is just two turns and a swish. It worked pretty well for Greg!

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