How To Hit The Golf Ball Straight

Hitting a straight Golf Shot


How to hit the golf ball straight is probably the most sought after skill in the game of golf, especially for new golfers. Everything from an unintentional draw or fade to a wicked hook or slice, is caused by only one thing. The face of the golf club is not square at impact. This causes side spin on the ball and a curved shot to the left or right, depending on which direction the side spin is, will be the result. If your club head is traveling along the target line at impact, and the club face is square to the target line, then you will hit a straight shot in the direction of the target line. That's all there is to it.


I've written before on how to cure a golf slice or golf hook, but some golfers, especially new golfers, get a bit confused. Sometimes their golf swing produces shots that go way to the left or right without any curvature on the shot, they are really good straight shots that end up in the rough or the trees and not in the middle of the fairway, and they wonder why this should happen. They are used to producing the dreaded golf slice or hook and can't figure why one should go straight but fly off left or right with no curvature in the shot.


I'll be talking about right-handed golfers from here on, sorry lefties but I'm sure you are used to sorting this out by now. If you take an imaginary straight line from the spot you are aiming at, through the ball, and all the way back to the horizon on your right, we will just call this the "target line".


When "out-to-in" and "in-to-out" swing paths are discussed, new golfers in particular tend to get a bit lost, Ill try my best to explain this as it is a really crucial concept in the game of golf to get right. During the downswing, if the club head crosses over the target line, it will produce an out-to-in swing path, if the club head does not cross the line until after impact with the ball then an in-to-out swing path is being used. The club head should never fully cross the "target line", at any point, in the normal golf swing.


When you are at address, the golf club head is square to the golf ball along the target line, as we draw the club back during the backswing, the club head never fully crosses this line, it comes back on the inside and at the top of the backswing it is well inside this target line. During the downswing, the club head should return to the address position with the club face square to the ball at impact without fully crossing over the target line. This will give a straight shot down the target line towards the spot you were aiming at.


If, during the downswing, the head of the club crosses over the target line this will produce an out-to-in swing path. Now, the squareness of the club head is all important, if it remains square to the target line, the club head will come across the ball and will not make square contact, this will impart side spin on the golf ball and a golf slice will result. If the club face is square to the out-to-in swing path, then the club head will make square contact with the ball and a straight shot will result, but not in the direction of the target line, it will be a straight shot off to the left in the direction of the out-to-in swing path.


An in-to-out swing path follows the same logic, if the club face is square to the "target line" at impact, it is moving across the ball and will produce a hook or draw. If the club face is square to the in-to-out swing path it will produce a straight shot off to the right in the direction of the in-to-out swing path.


I hope this clears up a few things about swing paths and straight shots for new golfers. The important thing about the golf swing here is the squareness of the club head at impact, if the club head makes square contact with the golf ball, you will get a straight shot, it's that simple and is how to hit the golf ball straight. So now you should have no more problems trying to correct a golf slice.

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