PGA Series: Ironing out accuracy issues
So you’re a good player, your technique is sound, you practice all the time. Now you want to make sure you hit your irons dead straight.
Take this example with a six iron, you make a great swing, at impact your ball is struck with a perfectly square (at the target) clubface – your club is travelling perfectly on plane towards the target, horizontal plane is at the target.
Avoid greenside bunkers with better iron accuracy
You hit a straight shot right at the target don’t you? WRONG. You have just hit a hook and missed the green!
Let me explain why you’re now playing your next shot from the bunker and not the middle of the green.
Like all good players hitting an iron shot off the grass you correctly hit the ball and then take a divot – demonstrating that you are hitting the ball with a downward strike.
When your club is swinging down towards the ball it is also travelling out.
If you hit the ball and then take a divot your club is actually striking the ball when your path is travelling slightly out to the right (actual path is the path the club is travelling on during the impact interval).
If your clubface is at the target at this point you will hit a hook because of what we call the D-Plane.
The ball with a six iron will start about 70 per cent towards the direction of the face and then curve up the D-Plane away from the actual path – there’s your hook.
The problems for the good player are they see the ball flight going left and think they have ‘come over the top’ and then adjust their swing and ‘drop it in’.
The good player instinctively squares the clubface to the target therefore making the above example even worse.
To adjust things so that you can fly the ball straight you need to swing down a different path so you can move your actual path more to the left, keep the clubface at the target at impact – now the clubface and actual path are not divergent – your D-Plane is no longer tilted.
If you want to seriously improve your ball flight, make sure you visit a PGA Professional to help you understand what the club is doing and how it affects your golf ball.
Duncan Kegg is an AAA Golf Professional teaching at the Mount Lawley Golf Club in Perth, Western Australia he is also the creator of the iSlice Golf range of Apps for the iPhone.
Duncan is available for lessons please contact the Professional shop on 08 9271 4033 to book a convenient time.