Ball Flights in Golf
There are many different types of golf hits— some desirable and some, not so much. Here, we break down each kind and how you can avoid the ones you really don't want to hit.
A ball hit straight travels directly on target to the hole without any bend in direction from the moment it is hit to when it lands. How much it rolls depends on the amount of loft on the club. For instance, a 9 iron rolls less than a 3 iron. This should be your goal in fair conditions.
A draw seems to be hit straight but then travels outside the straight line before landing center. Topspin created by this hit makes the ball roll a little more than you would get on a straight shot. Sometimes, to make that perfect shot, you have to turn a corner to angle yourself right. This hit can even add 5-15 yards to your shot.
This hit seems like it will be a hook but will end up right on target. It veers way off course and yet still ends up near the hole. You may execute this hit when trying to avoid trouble areas like trees, but it is hard to do in my experience. If you can pull this one off, you are one of few as most non-professionals haven't figured this one out.
A fade is basically a reverse draw. Instead of going outside the center path, it falls inside but lands center. The spin on this hit makes the ball roll less upon impact. Basically, you use this hit when the trees are on the right side this time.
These are shot on purpose and create an aggressive left to right trajectory. Use these to avoid trouble on the right or when the hole is crooked right. Just like a draw, this hit is tricky. Practice on the driving range before taking it to the course.
A pull is shot left and continues the trajectory, landing left of the hole. It does not correct itself like a power draw. Pulls land and roll like straight shots. Avoid at all costs or you'll consistently add to your stroke. A closed clubface at impact causes pulls so make sure you are staying open.
A push is shot right and continues the trajectory, landing right of the hole. It does not correct itself and there isn't a reason to do this on purpose. Pushes land and roll like straight shots. To fix this one, make sure you aren't lowering your body too much and that your body rotates open.
A ball that travels along a hook flight path starts outside of the target line before swinging aggressively towards the target and passing it before finally resting to the left. Hooks carry a lot of topspin and as a result will roll a considerable distance after landing. If a hook is common for you, make sure the angle of the clubface is correct.
The dreaded slice begins inside of the target line before swinging aggressively towards the target line but crossing it until finally coming to rest wayyyyy right of the target. These carry less topspin than hooked shot and will roll less distance upon landing. Click here to read our blog on slices.
Hopefully this gave you a clue into how you can use some of these hits to your advantage and how to avoid others all together. Practice makes perfect so make sure you try out your draws and fades at the driving range.