Don’t you hate it when your ball doesn’t end up where you intended and aimed? I’ve heard all your shouted frustration, as if the miss wasn’t caused by you! Time to FACE the fact that you have no correct clues about what made the ball misbehave! Just like FACEBOOK, there are influencers that are responsible for the direction your ball travels. Those main “influencers” are  the FACE of the club, #1, and the PATH of that clubface, #2.

First, let’s make sure your aim is “spot” on. In a previous article, you learned about aiming your clubface, getting perspective from behind your ball and picking a “spot” on the ground 2-3 feet in front of the ball in line with the target. Use that  visual spot to align the FACE of your club. The FACE of the club gives the ball the initial direction information. Keeping the FACE square and perpendicular to the PATH should be on your intention list. Hit small shots at a slow speed with no wrist involvement to allow your hands and wrists to get a feel for their role just before, during and just after impact. Educate your hands by having intention and putting attention on the position of that club FACE in this critical zone!!

Next, it’s important to identify the optimum PATH of the club in a regular full swing. The white wooden plank in the pictures represents the target line. Many of you mistake this white plank as the path or “road” you’re trying to swing your club on. You forget you are standing to the side of the ball to propel it. The croquet guy might have success sending his mallet down the white plank to produce a straight ball, but you can’t utilize his same path and expect straight!

Stand tall and hold a club chest high with straight arms extended out. Notice as you twist your body swinging the club horizontal to the ground that the club head traces an arc around you. This is the path for the clubhead, indicated by the alignment sticks in the photos.  You probably thought you were supposed to swing the club along the plank! Experience how awkward that feels, making the club swing along the straight white plank! The angled alignment rods define lanes on the ground that identify the more effective path to straighter hits.  Notice how the club FACE is square and perpendicular and in the lane defined by the alignment rods through the swing motion. Think of it as your new “waze” routing… for the road to straighter shots!