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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Joseph Mayo on Aiming the Clubface (Video)

I've done posts on this before, but this is important enough that I'm doing it again. Here's instructor Joseph Mayo on how to aim your club so the ball goes where you want.



Yeah, I know -- it's a little counter-intuitive. I'm going to rephrase what he says so we approach it backwards -- that is, we'll look at why your ball flies the way it does now. It'll make sense, I promise.

First, let's get Joe's basics:
  • The ball starts out in the same direction the clubface is pointed.
  • Then the ball curves in the opposite direction of the clubhead's path.
That's simple enough, although it may be hard at first to imagine how it works in your swing. Let's try it with a couple of standard "bad swings."

First, here's the standard pull slice, aka the over-the-top slice. Imagine there's an aimline running from your ball straight to your target:
  • For a right-hander, the ball starts out to the left of your aimline and then curves back to the right, toward the aimline. That means your clubface is pointed to the left of your target when it contacts the ball, and the path of the clubhead is even farther to the left. Remember, the ball curves in the OPPOSITE direction of the clubhead's path.
  • For a left-hander, the ball starts out to the right of your aimline and then curves back to the left, toward the aimline. That means your clubface is pointed to the right of your target when it contacts the ball, and the path of the clubhead is even farther to the right. Remember, the ball curves in the OPPOSITE direction of the clubhead's path.
In both cases, the ball is pulled to the same side of the aimline that you're standing on -- the "near" side.

Then there's the push slice, aka the "banana ball":
  • For a right-hander, the ball starts out to the right of your aimline and then curves even farther to the right. That means your clubface is pointed to the right of your target when it contacts the ball, and the path of the clubhead is right of your aimline but still left of where the clubface is aimed.
  • For a left-hander, the ball starts out to the left of your aimline and then curves even farther to the left. That means your clubface is pointed to the left of your target when it contacts the ball, and the path of the clubhead is left of your aimline but still right of where the clubface is aimed.
In both cases, the ball is pushed to the opposite side of the aimline that you're standing on -- the "far" side.

And the difference here is that the pull slice may get somewhere near the hole but the push slice will end up out in the boonies somewhere.

That's a lot to digest, isn't it? I'll talk about the hooks tomorrow. For the time being -- and you can do this indoors -- just put a ball down and practice moving the club from about a foot behind the ball to a foot in front of the ball. Don't swing the club, just move it so you can push the ball a few feet along the floor. It's not that the ball will necessarily make the shot shape; I just think it will be easier to imagine the face angle and path direction with a ball to help you aim.

You might even want to lay a yardstick down to show your aimline. If you do, when you try the pull slice angles, the clubhead should finish on the same side of the yardstick that you're standing on. And when you try the push slice angles, the clubhead should finish on the opposite side of the yardstick that you're standing on.

Getting these angles straight in your mind will do wonders to help you straighten out a slice. And as I said, we'll do the same thing with hooks tomorrow.

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