Golf Ball Trajectory Chart – Golf Ball Flight Laws

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The golf ball trajectory chart is a practical tool that shows you exactly how to achieve this. By understanding and applying the guidance it offers, golfers can adjust their swing to avoid common mistakes like slices or hooks. We will discuss 9 golf shot shapes, how they happen, and what golfers need to do to fix them.

Golf Ball Flight Patterns

If you are a golfer or an aspirant, understanding the golf ball flight terminology is important for your knowledge and game. Because you can only fix a problem if you know the core problem.

By the end of this blog, you will be well-equipped with the knowledge to go out and practice different shots on the golf course.

In the image below, you can see 9 different ball flights with their initial shot direction.

Golf Ball Trajectory Chart
Golf Ball Trajectory Chart (https://canyougolf.com)
  • Straight Shot
  • Fade Shot
  • Draw Shot
  • Pull Shot
  • Push Shot
  • Hook Shot
  • Slice Shot
  • Pull Hook Shot
  • Push Slice Shot

Consider CanYouGolf’s chart as a road map that shows you 9 different shot shapes you can take to reach your destination — the perfect shot.

Factors Influencing Golf Ball Flight

Primarily, there are only 2 factors that affect the direction of golf shots.

  • Swing Path
  • Club Face Angle

The swing path and club face angle at impact are like the engine and steering wheel of a car.

Once grasp how each combination of swing path and club face affects the golf ball flight, the path of your golf shots becomes more predictable and controllable.

Factors Influencing Golf Ball Trajectory
Factors Influencing Golf Ball Trajectory (https://canyougolf.com)

Interestingly, your equipment and golf balls do not influence ball flight directly. However, this does not mean that it does not play a role. Our golf ball trajectory chart will help golfers understand how swing path and club face orientation can affect ball flight.

Now, let’s take a step back and understand the mechanics behind it.

Swing Path

The golf swing is comprised of two parts.

  • Back-swing
  • Downswing

However, the swing path is the direction in which the golf club moves, from the downswing to the impact with the ball.

It is a critical factor in determining the ball’s flight and direction.

The three primary swing paths in golf are in-to-out, straight, and out-to-in.

Golf Swing Paths Comparison
Golf Swing Paths Comparison (https://canyougolf.com)

These paths are like the lanes on a road. Depending on which lane you choose, your ball will follow a different trajectory.

These dynamics enable you to predict and manipulate your ball’s flight pattern.

Swing Path Comparison Table

Swing Path Characteristics Potential Outcome
In-to-Out Club moves inside target line Draw, Controlled hook, Increased distance
Out-to-In Club moves outside target line Fade, Slice, Reduced distance, Potential inconsistency
Straight Club moves along target line Straight shot, Predictable ball flight, Increased accuracy

In-to-Out Swing Path

An In-to-Out swing path is characterized by a club moving from inside the target line at impact. This promotes a draw or hook spin on the ball. Golfers achieving this path often enjoy greater distance and a controlled draw, ideal for avoiding obstacles on the course.

Straight Swing Path

A Straight Path involves the club moving directly along the target line at impact. This path is coveted for its accuracy and consistency, as it minimizes sidespin on the ball. Golfers aiming for a straight path benefit from predictable shot patterns and increased control over their ball flight.

Out-to-In Swing Path

An out-to-in swing path occurs when the club approaches the ball from outside the target line, leading to a fade or slice. This path can cause less distance and accuracy, making it crucial for golfers to refine their technique for better results.

Club Face Angle

Club face is the primary factor determining the initial direction of the golf ball and can be open, closed, or square relative to the target line. The club face at impact is like the steering wheel of a car.

There are three main types of club face angles.

  • Open Face
  • Square Face
  • Closed Face
Golf Club Face Angles
Golf Club Face Angles (https://canyougolf.com)

The alignment of the club face relative to the swing path dictates the curvature of the golf ball’s flight. By adjusting your wrist angles throughout the golf swing, you can manage club face direction, thereby influencing the golf ball’s trajectory and improving shot accuracy and consistency.

Club Face Comparison Table

Club Face Angle Characteristics Potential Outcome
Open Face Club face points right of target line Fade, Slice, Potential loss of control
Square Face Club face perpendicular to target line Straight shot, Increased accuracy, Predictable flight
Closed Face Club face points left of target line Draw, Hook, Increased distance, Requires precision

Open Face Angle

An Open Face occurs when the club face points to the right of the target at impact. This can lead to a fade or slice, making it crucial for golfers to manage this angle to prevent errant shots and maintain control over the ball.

Square Face Angle

A Square Face position is when the club face is perpendicular to the target line at impact. This ideal alignment minimizes sidespin, resulting in straighter shots and increased accuracy. Golfers often strive to achieve a square face angle for consistent and predictable ball flight.

Closed Face Angle

A Closed Face position is characterized by the club face pointing to the left of the target at impact. This can induce a draw or hook, offering golfers an advantage in achieving greater distance. However, controlling this angle is essential to prevent excessive hooking and maintain accuracy.

Resulting Side Spin

The side spin is created from the relative angles of the club face and the swing path at the moment of impact. Think of it as the gear shift of a car. It affects the ball’s curvature and trajectory, determining whether the ball curves left or right mid-flight.

Golf Ball Flights (Right-Handed Golfers)

As described above, there are nine shot shapes. Let’s discuss each flight path.

Straight

Straight Shot Flight
Straight Shot Flight (https://canyougolf.com)

The straight shot is the epitome of accuracy and control. When executed perfectly, the ball travels in a straight line, without any noticeable curve in its trajectory. The flight path is predictable and allows golfers to aim directly at the target line. It is a sought-after shot in various golfing scenarios.

Aspect Key Points
Description Predictable, straight trajectory
Swing Path Relatively straight along the target line
Club Face Square at impact, perpendicular to target line
How to Fix Focus on a balanced and controlled swing motion, ensure a square club face at impact

Swing Path and Club Face Dynamics

For a straight flight path, there should be a target line alignment of the swing path and golf club face. The golfer’s swing path should be relatively straight, moving the club along the target line. Simultaneously, the club face must be square at impact, perpendicular to the target line. This alignment minimizes sidespin, resulting in a straight golf ball flight with maximum ball speed.

How to Fix It

The Straight Shot is often the desired outcome, so there’s typically no need to fix it.

Fade

Fade Shot Flight
Fade Shot Flight (https://canyougolf.com)

The fade shot is characterized by a controlled curve from left to right. The ball starts slightly left of the target and gradually moves back towards it, creating a gentle fade. This shot is valuable for navigating obstacles and adding versatility to a golfer’s bag of shots.

Aspect Key Points
Description Controlled curve from left to right
Swing Path Out-to-In, club approaches from outside target line
Club Face Slightly open at impact, pointing right of target
How to Fix Emphasize Out-to-In swing path, adjust club face or grip for controlled fade

Swing Path and Club Face Dynamics

Achieving a fade involves an Out-to-In swing path, where the club approaches the ball from the outside of the target line. Simultaneously, the club face should be slightly open at impact, pointing to the right of the target. This combination imparts a left-to-right spin on the ball, producing the desired fade.

How to Fix It

To enhance or fix a fade, golfers can further emphasize the Out-to-In swing path. Adjusting the club face to be slightly more open at the address or working on a controlled grip can also influence the fade. Experiment with these factors on the driving range to achieve a consistent and controlled fade when needed.

Draw

Draw Shot Flight
Draw Shot Flight (https://canyougolf.com)

The Draw shot is characterized by a controlled curve from right to left. The ball starts slightly right of the target and gently moves back towards it, creating a subtle draw. This shot is valuable for adding distance and navigating certain course layouts.

Aspect Key Points
Description Controlled curve from right to left
Swing Path In-to-Out, club approaches from inside target line
Club Face Slightly closed at impact, pointing left of target
How to Fix Emphasize In-to-Out swing path, adjust club face or grip for controlled draw

Swing Path and Club Face Dynamics

Achieving a draw involves an In-to-Out swing path, where the club approaches the ball from the inside of the target line. Simultaneously, the club face should be slightly closed at impact, pointing to the left of the target. This combination imparts a right-to-left spin on the ball, producing the desired draw.

How to Fix it:

To enhance or fix a Draw Shot, golfers can further emphasize the In-to-Out swing path. Adjusting the club face to be slightly closed at the address or working on a controlled grip can also influence the draw.

Pull

Pull Shot Flight
Pull Shot Flight (https://canyougolf.com)

The Pull shot involves a straight trajectory, but the ball starts left of the target and remains on that line, missing the intended target to the left. This shot can be unintentional and is often attributed to misalignment or swing path issues.

Aspect Key Points
Description Straight shot missing left of the target
Swing Path Out-to-In, club approaches from outside target line
Club Face Square or slightly closed at impact
How to Fix Work on a more neutral swing path, ensure proper alignment and a square club face

Swing Path and Club Face Dynamics

A Pull Shot typically results from an Out-to-In swing path, where the club approaches the ball from the outside of the target line. The club face is square or slightly closed at impact, causing the ball to move left. This combination creates a straight shot that misses the left of the target.

How to Fix It

To correct a pull shot, golfers should work on achieving a more neutral swing path, avoiding an excessive Out-to-In motion. Ensuring proper alignment and a square club face at impact can help in directing the ball toward the target line.

Push

Push Shot Flight
Push Shot Flight (https://canyougolf.com)

The Push shot features a straight trajectory, but the ball starts right of the target and remains on that line, missing the intended target to the right. This shot can occur due to misalignment or swing path issues.

Aspect Key Points
Description Straight shot missing right of the target
Swing Path In-to-Out, club approaches from inside target line
Club Face Square or slightly open at impact
How to Fix Work on a more neutral swing path, ensure proper alignment and a square club face

Swing Path and Club Face Dynamics

A push typically results from an In-to-Out swing path, where the club approaches the ball from the inside of the target line. The club face is square or slightly open at impact, causing the ball to move right. This combination creates a straight shot that misses the right of the target.

How to Fix It

To correct a push, golfers should work on achieving a more neutral swing path, avoiding an excessive In-to-Out motion. Ensuring proper alignment and a square club face at impact can help in directing the ball toward the target line.

Hook

Hook Shot Flight
Hook Shot Flight (https://canyougolf.com)

The hook shot is characterized by a pronounced and uncontrollable curve from right to left. The ball starts to the right of the target but sharply veers left, often beyond the intended path. This shot can pose challenges due to its unpredictability.

Aspect Key Points
Description Pronounced curve from right to left
Swing Path Exaggerated In-to-Out, club strongly inside target line
Club Face Excessively closed at impact, pointing left of target
How to Fix Moderate In-to-Out swing path, adjust club face for a more neutral position

Swing Path and Club Face Dynamics

A hook typically results from an exaggerated In-to-Out swing path, where the club approaches the ball strongly from the inside of the target line. Additionally, the club face is excessively closed at impact, pointing significantly to the left of the target. These dynamics create excessive right-to-left spin, leading to the hook.

How to Fix It

To reduce or fix a hook, golfers should moderate the In-to-Out swing path. Focusing on a more neutral swing path and adjusting the club face to be less closed at impact can help control the hook.

Slice

Slice Shot Flight
Slice Shot Flight (https://canyougolf.com)

The Slice shot is marked by a pronounced and uncontrollable curve from left to right. The ball starts to the left of the target but sharply veers right, often missing the intended path. This shot can pose challenges due to its unpredictability.

Aspect Key Points
Description Pronounced curve from left to right
Swing Path Exaggerated Out-to-In, club strongly outside target line
Club Face Excessively open at impact, pointing right of target
How to Fix Moderate Out-to-In swing path, adjust club face for a more neutral position

Swing Path and Club Face Dynamics

A slice typically results from an exaggerated Out-to-In swing path, where the club approaches the ball strongly from the outside of the target line. Additionally, the club face is excessively open at impact, pointing significantly to the right of the target. These dynamics create excessive left-to-right spin, leading to the slice.

How to Fix It

To reduce or fix a slice, golfers should moderate the Out-to-In swing path. Focusing on a more neutral swing path and adjusting the club face to be less open at impact can help control the slice.

Pull Hook

Pull Hook Shot Flight
Pull Hook Shot Flight (https://canyougolf.com)

The Pull Hook combines a straight trajectory with a pronounced and uncontrollable curve from right to left. The ball starts left of the target but sharply veers right, often beyond the intended path. This shot can pose challenges due to its unpredictability.

Aspect Key Points
Description Straight trajectory with a pronounced right-to-left curve
Swing Path Exaggerated In-to-Out, club strongly inside target line
Club Face Excessively closed at impact, pointing left of target
How to Fix Moderate In-to-Out swing path, adjust club face for a more neutral position

Swing Path and Club Face Dynamics

A Pull Hook results from an exaggerated In-to-Out swing path, where the club approaches the ball strongly from the inside of the target line. Additionally, the club face is excessively closed at impact, pointing significantly to the left of the target. These dynamics create excessive right-to-left spin, leading to the pull hook.

How to Fix It

To reduce or fix a Pull Hook, golfers should moderate the In-to-Out swing path. Focusing on a more neutral swing path and adjusting the club face to be less closed at impact can help control the pull hook.

Push Slice

Push Slice Ball Flight
Push Slice Ball Flight (https://canyougolf.com)

The Push Slice involves a straight trajectory, but the ball starts right of the target and gradually veers to the right, missing the intended path. This shot can be unintentional and is often attributed to misalignment or swing path issues.

Aspect Key Points
Description Straight shot gradually veering right of the target
Swing Path Out-to-In, club approaches from outside target line
Club Face Square or slightly open at impact
How to Fix Work on a more neutral swing path, ensure proper alignment and a square club face

Swing Path and Club Face Dynamics

A push slice typically results from an Out-to-In swing path, where the club approaches the ball from the outside of the target line. The club face is square or slightly open at impact, causing the ball to move right. This combination creates a straight shot that gradually slices the right of the target.

How to Fix It

To correct a Push Slice, golfers should work on achieving a more neutral swing path, avoiding an excessive Out-to-In motion. Ensuring proper alignment and a square club face at impact can help in directing the ball toward the target line.

Old Ball Flight Laws vs New Ball Flight Laws

Old ball flight laws suggested that the initial direction of a shot was solely determined by the club face angle at impact. Whereas new ball flight laws suggest that the relationship between the club face and the swing path influences the direction and curvature of the ball flight.

Aspect Old Ball Flight Laws New Ball Flight Laws
Primary Influence Club Face Angle at Impact Combined Influence of Club Face and Swing Path
Model Linear relationship between Club Face and Ball Flight Interaction between Club Face and Swing Path influencing Flight
Shot Shaping Club Face angle determines shot shape (e.g., closed face = draw, open face = fade/slice) Consideration of both Club Face and Swing Path for nuanced shot shaping

Enhancing Club Head Speed and Launch Angle

Club head speed and launch angle are like the horsepower and aerodynamics of a sports car. They are crucial for achieving greater distance and accuracy in golf shots. Club head speed at impact, which is essential for greater driving distance, is influenced by controlled acceleration coupled with power generated into stabilized body rotation.

Active development of club head speed includes coordinated arm swings and maintaining wrist cocking for optimal leverage and speed generation.

Power and Precision

Physical conditioning can impact swing consistency in several ways.

  • Fatigue can slow down clubhead speed
  • Fatigue can decrease the ability to compress the ball
  • Fatigue can lead to sloppy mistakes
  • At impact, the kinetic energy transfer from the club head to the ball causes a sudden loss of club head speed
  • At impact, the kinetic energy transfer from the club head to the ball can cause involuntary flattening or bowing of the leading wrist toward the target.

Enhancing your physical conditioning and sustaining body rotation stability aids in boosting your swing consistency and club head speed.

People Also Ask

What is the Golf Ball Trajectory Chart?

The golf ball trajectory chart is a guide that shows how swing paths and club face orientations can impact the ball’s trajectory.

How Does Club Face Angle Affect My Shots?

The club face alignment greatly affects your shots, as it determines the initial direction of the ball and the curvature of its flight based on its alignment relative to the swing path.

How Can Understanding Ball Flight Laws Improve My Game?

Understanding ball flight laws can help you fix common issues like slices or hooks, leading to a better game overall.

How Can I Control the Distance of My Pitching Wedge Shot?

To control the distance of your pitching wedge shots, vary your swing length and speed while considering a high loft for increased spin and better control.

How Does the Spin Axis Affect the Flight of the Ball?

The spin axis affects the ball’s curvature, influencing whether it curves left or right during the flight. This can make a significant difference in the ball’s trajectory.

Learning to understand and control the trajectory of your golf shots is like learning a new language. At first, it might seem daunting and complex, but with a little practice and patience, you will start to see the patterns and rules that govern the golf ball trajectory chart.

Read More:

Golf Club Length Chart
Golf Club Lie Angle Chart
Youth Golf Club Size Chart
Iron Distance Chart

Hasnain

Hasnain

Hasnain Ali Tarar is a passionate golfer with a journey in the sport that began in 2016. With a golf handicap of 15, he brings a unique perspective to the world of golf blogging. His deep love for the game has driven him to explore every facet of it, from perfecting his swing on the course to evaluating the latest golf products. As the Content Manager at CanYouGolf, Hasnain combines his writing skills with his golfing expertise to provide readers with valuable insights, tips, and reviews that enhance their golfing experience.

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