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Do it in Practice Before Bringing it to the Golf Course
We know that opening the club face will yield a slice, and closing the face will hook the ball…but how much?
I feel it’s super important to fall back on a game plan, or at least to have practiced the shots before you deploy them on the golf course. I totally get that nobody has time to invest 8 hrs a day to hit every possible shot, but here’s what I mean.
We need to learn (by hitting a few shots in practice) about what the ball tends to do under certain circumstances…so that we can be more confident hitting the same shots on the golf course.
Simple Benchmarking Really Helps
What does “opening the club face” mean? Is is 5 degrees? 10 deg? 45?
Here’s what I do to make it consistent, or to benchmark my setup:
- Hold the club directly in front of you in the playing position, equidistant from each of your feet.
- Turn the club in your hands until the grooves of the club point to your left toe (or your right toe for a hook).
- Take your grip.
- That’s my benchmark slice and hook position – super simple
Calibrating the Curve and Other Things
Next time you’re on the range with a little time, set up an alignment stick toward a target in the middle of the range.
Grab your 7-iron with the club face in the benchmarked slice position.
Set up to the target and hit 4-5 shots with your open club face. We know the ball will curve to the right. The key is to observe where the ball starts, where it finishes, how high it goes, how far it goes, if it tends to run out when it lands, etc.
Do the same for the hook position with your 7-iron and note the differences. The ball should go lower, farther, and run out more when it lands. Valuable info to have.
Experiment with Every Golf Club in your Bag
Do this with every club in your bag. You’ll note that the longer clubs (i.e., driver, woods, long irons) react differently than the shorter clubs. Clubs with less loft will probably curve more than the short ones…but everyone is different.
This is an incredible exercise to get to know your tendencies and to learn all the different shots you’re capable of hitting.