In this video swing tip we are going to discuss the information that you can get from looking at the markings on the club face and sole of your club head.
This information can provide you with valuable evidence about what is happening during impact and understanding what the markings mean can help you to diagnose your golf swing and what to improve to achieve straighter, longer and more consistent golf shots.
If you look at the club face of your golf club, you will see that there are marks left on it from where the club head impacts with the golf ball. When you swing the club head and strike the golf ball with it you want to get the middle of the club face, or the sweet spot to strike the ball. The sweet spot is about the size of a medium coin and shots struck from this area will give you maximum distance and accuracy. For every quarter inch that the strike happens away from the sweet spot you lose 10% of the distance that you could have achieved. The further away the strike is from the sweet spot, the less accurate your shot will be due to 'gear effect'. Gear effect is where the club face twists due to an off centre strike.
If you look at your club face and notice that the majority of strike marks are from the toe area of the club, this end of the club will be slowed down due to the area striking the golf ball. However, the heel area of the club face will continue to travel at the higher speed and the club face will twist, resulting in it aiming right and the golf ball being hit to the right. Similarly, if the strike marks can be seen more towards the heel of the club head, this end of the club face will slow when it strikes the golf ball, but the toe end will continue at the higher speed and the club face will twist and aim left of target, producing shots that fly left.
Looking at marks on the club face can really provide you will a great deal of information about why the golf ball flew the way it did when you hit it. If you notice that your strike marks are towards the toe of the club face, try standing closer to the golf ball for a more centred strike. If the marks are towards the heel, stand slightly further away and your strike should be much more from the middle and sweet spot.
Looking at the sole of the club head can also provide information about the path that you are swinging the club head on through impact. Shot direction is influenced by two factors. The first factor influencing shot direction is where the club face was aiming as it struck the golf ball. But the direction that the club head was travelling in, or its swing path, as it struck the ball also influences the golf ball’s flight.
If you notice that the marks are at a right angle to the club face, then you are swinging the club head along the target. If your shots are flying to the right or left of the target, this means that it is a club face issue that needs correcting. However, if you notice that the marks on the sole of the club head are angled from the club face side of the heel to the outside edge of the toe then you have an 'out to in' swing path. This means that the club head is approaching the ball from the far side, or the outside of the target line and then crossing the target line to the inside, or the side of the target line that you are standing on through impact. This will give you directional issues with your golf shots.
To correct this, place a range basket one inch to the right of the golf ball and two inches outside the target line. Swing the club head away from the golf ball and then swing back on the inside of the basket. This will get you swinging much straighter along the target line, allowing you to hit straighter golf shots if your club face is aiming at the target.
If you notice the sole marks are the other way across the sole then you have an 'in to out' swing path and this will give you directional issues with your golf shots. To correct this swing path, place a wood cover one inch to the right of the golf ball and two inches inside the target line this time. Swing away from the golf ball and this time as you approach the ball, swing around the head cover. This will get you swinging the golf club much straighter along the target line and with your club face aiming at the target you will hit much straighter golf shots.