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Golf Question: Why Is Golf Club Face Alignment So Critical To The Direction Of My Golf Shots?A good golf swing does not always lead to good golf shots or give the perfect direction. The club face angle has to be compatible with the swing path in order to create certain directional shapes or shots towards the desired targets.

The club face is the determining factor for where the ball will finish in conjunction with the swing path. For example, an in to out swing path is synonymous with a drawing, right to left golf shot. To create this shot the club face needs to be closed (pointing left) in relation to the swing path but open to the target. If a player hits a block (straight right) then the club face is pointing straight in relation to the in to out path, which is right of the target creating a very straight shot but starting right and staying right.

For a player to then hit a hook, the club face needs to be pointing left of the swing path and the target, so the ball starts left and moves further left. This example shows that with one swing path, the ball can go three ways with three different shapes of shot.

This is why club face alignment is critical, so you need to decide what golf shot already exists in your game and then work backwards to determine where the club face is pointing at impact and how your swing path is affecting the outcome. On the range you should learn to identify different shots being hit and relate them back to your club face and swing path for a better understanding of your game and how the ball flights work.

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The club face will determine where the ball starts as it is struck. The shape and height of shot after that is dependent on the angle of approach combined with the swing path relative to the club face alignment.

For example, a steep angle of attack will add back spin and will cause the ball to gain more height, as opposed to a shallow angle of attack where the club comes in very close to the ground promoting less spin, therefore potentially hindering the height on the shot.

The most common shot amongst amateur golfers is the slice which is caused by an out to in path with an open club face. With this shot, the angle of attack can be very steep, therefore hugely increasing the balls spin rate, combining that with a face open to the path will lead to high shots lacking in distance.

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Every player needs to be able to identify between what parts of the body help provide power in the golf swing and which parts provide accuracy. The hip turn during the golf swing will help a player strike the ball consistently as the angle of approach will be steeper providing a downward blow into the ball.

The hips are pointing more towards the target when the club head makes contact with the ball. This creates the majority of a players power because the core strength of the player will provide more speed and tension through the hitting zone.

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Good direction on the ball will not make the ball travel further. If the club face is not pointing at the target it can make the ball travel with increased distance or less distance due to its angle in relation to the swing path. For example, a slice golf shot will be a combination of poor direction and less distance. Hitting the ball straight at your target line will not make the ball go further. Club selection and ball striking will have a profound impact on this aspect.