Thursday, January 29, 2009

D-Plane and Ball Flight Laws

I've received some e-mails asking about D-Plane. Well, I would answer it, but I simply still do not understand the concept or at least to the level I want to understand it. Hopefully more and more reading will finally get me to understand it (or 'own it' as Brian Manzella likes to say).

Instead. I'll talk about the 'new ball flight rules' which are really just the 'old ball flight rules' correctly stated. Here's a post from Logan over at on the 'new ball flight rules (

Simple ball flight laws. The face angle determines where the ball starts and the path determines where the ball curves. The numbers are slightly more technical, and both face and path play small roles in both starting line and curve, but the majority lies in what I told you.

So, if you are starting it to the right and it is staying out right or even slicing, then your path isn't in to out enough.


If your path is 10 degrees in to out, then your face can be as much as 9 degrees open (to the target line) and it will still be closed to path resulting in a draw.

This is how people hit push draws, and basically the basis for S&T. Swing in to out a controlled amount with a face that is both open to the target line yet closed to the swing path. A good example is swinging 10 degrees in to out with a 5 degree open club face. Ball will start right due to the open face and curve left due to the open face being closed to the swing path (10-5=5)

I had this discussion earlier today via PM and am going to copy and paste the rest of it. ....

My instructor always uses a model and draws a picture showing a path that is 10 degrees in to out. Then shows the result of that path with 4 different club face positions.

-15 degrees open results in a push fade.
-Ball starts right because face is open and then fades because face is open to path

-10 degrees open results in a straight push (my preferred miss)
-Ball starts right because face is open and stays on that line because the face matches the path

-5 Degrees open results in a push draw (money shot)
- Ball starts right because face is open and then draws back to the target because face is CLOSED to the path. See how although the face is 5 degrees open to the TARGET line it is still closed to the PATH of the swing? Once you understand this you will REALLY understand the golf swing and what makes the ball do what.

-0 degrees results in a straight overdraw
-The ball starts on target and draws low and left of I think you know why.

Hope that helps. Sounds to me like your face is either far too open to your decent path, or your face is a decent amount open but your path is not in to out enough.

This goes against the 'old ball flight laws' or as I call them, the 'wrong ball flight laws' which used to say the ball started out in the direction of the path of the swing and then was supposed to curve depending on the angle of the clubhead.

So let's say I want to hit a hook where the ball starts to the right and then hooks to the middle of the fairway. I will just aim right of the target with the CLUBHEAD at the point where I want the ball to start. Then I will aim my body to the right and swing along the path of where my body is aimed. The more I want to hook the ball, the more right I will aim my body (which gives more of an inside-out path. If I want to hit a lesser hook or a slight draw, I'll aim less to the right.

And the same works with fades and slices. Strangely, I can hook and draw it on demand, but I struggle a bit with hitting a fade on demand.

Still, it goes much more beyond hitting draws and fades on demand. If you're making solid contact and hitting a push slice, now you know that the face is open (causing the ball to go to the right) you're cutting across the ball.



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