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Sunday, September 22, 2013

How to Hit a Draw for Lefties 5

This is the last day of "drawing class," folks. There's just a few loose ends left to tie up. One last reminder...

Each day has 2 posts -- one for righties and one for lefties --which are identical except for the diagrams and some instructions that might be clearer if I write them specifically for each type of player. The posts will be scheduled one minute apart so both posts will show up at almost the same time. Any of you who have questions can leave them in the comments of the appropriate "handedness post," which should eliminate a lot of confusion. And yes, this is the post for left-handers.

If you've followed the previous posts in the series, you should have a good handle on how to get a consistent draw on your shots. The aiming method we've used -- simply aiming the club face down our aim line and closing our stance to create the necessary sidespin -- will give you a simple method to consistently aim your shot where you want it to go. It's true that, if you aim the ball directly at the flag, the ball will tend to land on a line with the flag and scoot past it, giving you a slightly bigger draw than you intended. The simplest fix for this is to just aim a bit to the left side of the flag; then the ball will land to the left side of the flag and scoot toward it.

Aiming to get the ball close

The reason the "new ball flight laws" seem so strange is that they try to take this aiming problem into account. In the drawing above, your club face is aimed along the dotted line while your body -- and therefore your swing path -- is aligned on a path to the left of the ball flight. 
One of the quirks of the "new ball flight laws" is that we now know the ball starts out on a flight path much closer to where the club face points than to where the swing path is aimed. The draw you're actually hitting with our setup doesn't make as big a curve as I've shown in the diagram above, but I needed to make it big enough for you to see it clearly.
What the "new ball flight laws" suggest -- and what instructor Joseph Mayo was explaining in the video that started this whole series of posts -- is that you can take this whole scenario into account without changing your setup from what we've been doing by making one simple change. If you set up the way we've been doing in this series BUT turn the club in your hands so the face is aimed slightly to the left of your aim line (but not enough to aim it farther left than the flight path), the ball should start out farther to the left and draw back to the pin. With this method you can still set up directly at your target BUT the ball shouldn't draw past the pin.

You can use either method you choose to hit your draw -- the one we've been using or the altered one Mayo explains in the video -- and get good results. I do think my way is simpler, and that's why I taught it to you.

But if there is something between you and your target (like a tree), THE ONE THING YOU SIMPLY MUST REMEMBER TO DO regardless of which method you choose is to make sure the face of your club is aimed around the tree (or whatever) so you don't hit it. I guess that should be obvious -- you're all intelligent people -- but that's really the big change the "new ball flight laws" have shown us. (Under the old understanding of ball flight, we all thought you could aim at the tree and the ball would curve around it as long as your swing path was aimed around it. It won't. Science marches on...)

Now, to answer the last of the questions Peter left on the video post:
  • How much further right is the swing path ?
  • If club face is 10 degree, swing path 15 degree ?
The answer to both of Peter's questions is the same (and since he's right-handed I'll rephrase these answers for lefties)... There is NO SET AMOUNT. If you need a small draw, you close your stance less; if you need a big draw, you close your stance more. As long as your swing path is aimed farther left than the club face, you'll get a draw. The bigger the difference is between the two, the bigger the draw will be.

There's a certain amount of trial and error here, and there's no way around that. You'll figure out how much you need for your normal shots pretty quickly because it's just a matter of comfort; how do I need to set up to be sure I'll get a draw? For trouble shots, you'll have to experiment a little. But if you start trying to reduce it to a formula ("10 degree face, 15 degree path" for example) you'll just drive yourself nuts because there's no way to be that accurate with your swing.

And I think that pretty much covers everything. You now have a method to help you learn how to hit a consistent draw, and you know how to aim it. If you guys have any more questions, just leave them in the comments and I'll answer them.

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