How to Hit Straight Golf Shots
But it really doesn’t matter what you do before you strike the ball (Look at Jim Furyk). What matters, in physics, is the point of impact and direction the club is going at that spot.
The basic idea behind this is that you really only need your club to do 2 things to send a ball straight to your chosen spot.
1. Have the clubface square at impact
2. Have the end of the club follow along the target line until a release “point” where the club will then follow through naturally over your shoulder to a finish.
For instance, when you use the driver, since the swing with the driver is the flattest (closest to horizontal), the point where you release the club to finish will be sooner than if you use a sand wedge. The wedges generally will have a more upright, vertical plane and so I find myself actually having the wedge and higher irons following all the way down the target line until, at one spot, it actually points at the target before releasing to a finish.
The longer the club, the less likely it is to actually hit the spot where you are literally “pointing at the target”, however, it is still valuable for those longer clubs to start a little practice swing by first pointing at the target and then bringing the club back to “find” the right backswing.
Why is this concept important or even worth considering for my game?
Because if you are going to try and improve without spending hours on the range practicing every intricate move a teaching pro gives you over a period of time, then you need something SIMPLE that your unconscious can take, understand, and run with.
If you try to do Mental practice for the list of things you need to keep in mind while trying to achieve the perfect swing, your unconscious mind is likely to get confused and give up, just like you do when you hear too many things at once. Square and point is SIMPLE!
Also, if you have an uncontrollable hook, you might find this concept helpful in straightening out some. Pointing the club at the target more will make your swing a bit more vertical which will necessitate more of a fader’s path.
Part of square and point is talked and written about when you see references to keeping the clubhead on line for the first couple feet after striking the ball. I totally agree but it’s only part of the story.
Here is a question one of the members asked specifically about this:
“ I do have a question on the square and point.
Are you talking about squaring the club face to the target and then with
your arms pointing the head of the club at the target (at which point the
shaft is parallel to the ground) or are you talking about simply moving the
club face ahead of the ball a couple of feet while maintaining its alignment
to the target?
That part was a bit hazy to me. “
And here is my answer:
“Square and point” means as you mention: “squaring the club face to the target and then with your arms pointing the head of the club at the target”. (with caveat in paragraph 2 above)
Now, having said that, the way I use this concept, is to think about it during my practice swing. Mentally see a “freeze frame” of these 2 spots in your swing occurring. Direct your unconscious to accomplish these two positions with your club and the ball has to go straight since you understand the physics of it that necessitate that result if successful. The swing is really happening too fast to try to manipulate your hands to “square” the clubface. You just need to give a good message to your subconscious along these lines and over time and let IT accomplish that.
Just like you ride a bike you don’t consciously think about all the muscle contractions necessary to balance and pedal and steer.
Depending on the person, you can go so far as to focus your whole swing around this even while doing your regular swing, or you can subtely (sp?) let it sink into your unconscious over time and let it slowly become a part of your swing that you built using a good swing method taught to you by a pro or other instructional swing system.
If you’ve ever seen a golfer swing the “Natural Golf” way, (originated by Moe Norman) then you might notice that they really understand this concept. They actually almost finish their swing pointing at the target.
However, I and others take our regular swing and let the swing finish naturally AFTER having the clubface point toward the target at one point. And don’t forget that to help set it up, you can begin a practice swing by starting with the club pointing at the target and then bring it backwards to help “set” and feel where the backswing should go to be on a good plane as I described in the CD.
When I’m on the range warming up for a round is when I really work on this concept and then when on the course, I just say outloud or think “square and point” to direct my unconscious to make it happen. Off the course, I do this in my head.
Here’s the kicker: When visualizing this as you nod off to sleep, imagine yourself doing this in slow motion. Slow your swing down so that you can actually see the clubface at the moment of impact with the ball, in a perfectly square position and then freeze the vision again at the perfect spot of release so that the ball HAS TO GO TO THE TARGET. You will then be sending clear, direct messages to your subconscious of what you want it to accomplish! Use any of the techniques on the CD’s for visualizing.
Greens and fairways!