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Why You NEVER Want To Hit The Ball Straight

In this video, PGA Professional Jack Backhouse explains exactly why you never want to hit the ball straight.

 

In lessons, golfers always say that they just want to hit the ball straight, but are they going about this all wrong? In the video below, PGA Professional Jack Backhouse explains why you never want to hit the ball straight.

The Straight Shot Is The Hardest Shot In Golf

Contrary to what most amateur golfers believe, the straight shot is the hardest one to play because of just how many things you have to do perfectly!

To execute a straight golf shot, you have to have a 0-degree club face, with a 0-degree club face, striking the ball exactly out of the sweet spot of your club. This is obviously extremely difficult to do, and if you are attempting to do this on the golf course, then you are setting yourself up for failure, as when you get this wrong, the ball is always curving away from the intended target.

mcilroy draw

Build Some Shape Into Your Shots

If you want to stop slicing driver and start lowering your scores, you need to build a predictable shape into your golf shots.

It is my preference that mid-handicap players work on hitting a draw as there are benefits to playing with that shape but hitting a draw or a fade is fine as long as you have picked one.

The reason this is better for golfers is that it builds some margin for error into your golf shots. In fact, the more curve you play with the more margin for error you actually have!

For example, if a golfer wants to play a moderate draw, their swing path should be roughly 5 degrees from the inside. For the ball to finish somewhere near the target, the club face can be anywhere between 1 degree and 4 degrees, giving us a 3-degree margin for error.

This is an awful lot more than the 0-degree margin for error when trying to play a straight shot, and if a golfer wanted to play a bigger draw, they would actually have a bigger margin for error.

The Higher Your Handicap The Bigger The Shape You Need

The more inside or outside the swing path, the less accurately you need to control the club face, making a bigger shape more appropriate for lower-skilled players.

The better the player, the more control they have over the club face in the golf swing, the smaller the curve they can play, or even manipulate the ball flight in both directions.

What golfers have to understand is that they need to control the clubface to make sure that the ball always starts on the side of the target it is curving away from (draw starts right to curve left).

The common slicer therefore is not that far away from having a predictable ball flight, they just need to learn how to start the ball left enough to make the curving golf ball finish near the target, not way right of it.

Drills

This might be a significant change of concept for you, but hopefully, you understand that you might not need a full-swing rebuild to start getting your shots to target more often. Going to the driving range and having a play around with some swing thoughts to either close the face more or open the face will make a world of difference to your game.

I like to practice with an alignment stick in the ground on my target line in front of me and work on hitting shapes around it to enhance my clubface control awareness which always leads to me hitting better shots out on the golf course!

Give this a try and let me know how you get on, or if you need any help.

shape around the stick

Give these tips a try and let us know how you get on! If you want to keep up to date with Jack’s instruction you can subscribe to his YouTube Channel here, or keep watching our instruction page!

If you want to watch some more of Jack’s driving instruction videos, you can get to his YouTube Technique Tips playlist by clicking here. Please check out our other instruction articles if you liked this why you should never hit a straight shot video!

If you are interested in seeking further information from Jack that is more specific to your golf game, you can book an in-person or online golf lesson by clicking here.

Jack Backhouse

Callaway Epic Max driver review

Jack is a PGA Golf Professional who specialises in coaching, teaching golf to beginners and top-level amateurs for 10+ years. He also loves his golf equipment and analysing the data of the latest clubs on the market using launch monitors, specialising in blade irons and low-spinning drivers despite having a chronically low ball flight.

Although Jack has no formal journalism training, He has been reading What's In The Bag articles since he started playing at 12 and studying golf swings since his dad first filmed his swing to reveal one of the worst over-the-top slice swings he reckons has ever been recorded, which set him off on the path to be a coach. His favourite club ever owned was a Ping G10 driver bought from a local top amateur with the hope that some of the quality golf shots would come with it (they didn't), and worst was a Nike SQ driver he only bought because Tiger was using it.

Jack is a member of Sand Moor Golf Club and regularly gets out on the golf course to prepare for tournaments. Jack uses a TaylorMade BRNR Mini driver, a half set of TaylorMade P7MB irons, MG4 wedges and a TaylorMade TP Reserve putter.

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