When Club Path & impact location vary, a multitude of resulting ball flight options present themselves. Let’s discuss the 3 combinations which help produce a straight ball.
*Face Angle on TrackMan is measured where the ball is contacted. Not in the center. Toe=Open. Heel=Closed.
A) Method 1
Club Path = 0. Face Angle = 0. Center Contact. This would obviously be the preferred method and leaves little guess work surrounding where the golf ball will finish. This will produce the shot traveling the furthest distance.
B) Method 2
Club Path right | in to out. Face Angle = closed. Heel impact.
Remember, the face is only closed because the ball is being contacted on the heel. The center of the face on this particular shot is assumed to be square to the target line. Out of the 3 methods, this will produce the ball traveling the least distance. All things equal.
C) Method 3
Path left | out to in. Face Angle = open. Toe impact. The face is open only because the ball is being contacted on the toe. The center of the club face is assumed to be square to the target. Out of the 3 methods, this will produce the ball traveling the second farthest of the three. All things being equal.
The Big Miss & Off Center Hits
If you take a look at method 2 and 3 and reversed the contact point, thus also reversing the Face Angle (Face Angle changes as you move the contact point from toe to heel) but kept Club Path the same it would produce the big misses. Club Path left and heel impact produces (assuming center of club face is 0) a slice while Club Path right and toe impact produces the big hook.
The miss left I see with a lot of tour player’s is a path slightly right with a slight toe impact. This miss will often be diagnosed by the commentators and even sometimes by the player as a double cross. However, when looking closely at the Contact Point you see a slight toe impact. Based on the ball flight being a hook finishing left of target, it’s fair to theorize the Club Path of the golf club is right. The biggest determinant in the variations of ball flight for any one tour player, on any given day, is not Club Path or Face Angle but Contact Point on the Club Face.