Retro Entry No.8 – Daily Diary: 9 Golf Paths

[Stardate: sometime last late-spring/early summer.]

SVG Practice Target Tidbit – who knew? There are 9 fundamental golf swing paths of ball flight.

A picture

A picture

 Logged sometime last spring/summer….. (side note: the constant discovery of fundamental truths in golf just kept coming as I continued working on my pitch shot) sidenote2: actually – a lot more than just a tid bit but a very usefully chunk of information).

Maybe it’s common knowledge but it wasn’t to me. Knowing these 9 fundamental golf swings and fundamental ball flight paths will help me practice smarter. Instead of just aiming for a target with my long irons, I can aim and practice deciding the best ball flight to get these.

Step 1, however, what the heck are these 9 ball flights and why ONLY 9 not more or less?  Basically, I guess it’s like the other “small object” sports – I’m thinking baseball and tennis. There are only so many pure ways to strike the ball efficiently and place it within a targeted space. Dead straight, slight right or slight left on slight up and slight down.

So in tennis you can hit a ball flat straight, down the line or cross-court. You can hit it topspin straight, down the line or cross court. And same for underspin or drop shots. These are similar in concept to the fade, draw, dead-on etc. (side note: gotta love my vocabulary huh?).

Same could be analogged when thinking about pitching in baseball and strike zone and such.  Why it gets to 9 I guess has something to do with the 3×3 strike zone boxes kind of thing.

Plus I remember watching a Golf Channel special with Bernhard Langer on flight paths and he kept showing how by shifting your toe-line’s relationship with the ball’s target line (dead-parallel, closed or open) you could consistently change your ball flight path from fade to draw, push or pull, high fade/ high draw, etch.  It was quite uncanny and all how deceptively simple it was to do that – for him at least, on camera no less – by just swinging the same but just changing the alignment of his toe line by some 20 degrees – facing inwards or out from parallel..

So maybe that’s why those practice line-sticks are so important! (SN – funny, I ended up buying a pair of yellow sticks about three months ago when picking up some used Titleist performance enhancing clubs in preparation for my first set of golf lessons. I think they really help with immediate corrective feedback).

Go figure. It was totally news to me. (SN: I really should be thinking more in terms of those fundamental flight curves when visualizing ball flight and breathing so I can play more with my heart and lower body tension like my new instructor is saying)

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