Monday, July 23, 2012

Mis-Hits and Ball Flight Video w/John Graham

Here’s a great video done by 3Jack Top-20 Golf Instructor, John Graham, showing how ball flight can sometimes be deceptive it what is actually going on at impact.

One thing…1-dimple on a golf ball is supposed to be roughly 0.14 inches. In the video, Graham clearly can tell that he hit the ball off the toe. He estimates that he missed the sweetspot by about ½-inch. Now remember, the sweetspot is about the size of a needle point. It is NOT an ‘area’ around the center of the club. It is extremely minute in size.

So when John misses by roughly ½-inch, he’s missing by roughly 3.5 dimples. Where ball flight can confuse golfers even more is when the golfer misses by less than 3.5 dimples because they tend to not even feel that mis-hit. It doesn’t mean you can’t hit great shots, but it can help explain some things more clearly about your swing and you can use that knowledge and work on your mechanics and/or change your equipment specs to start hitting the ball on the sweetspot. Of course, you could run into an issue of now hitting the ball on the sweetspot due to changing your specs, but hitting more inaccurate shots because your impact conditions are designed to hit that push-cut that John shows in the video.

In that sense, it’s much like fixing your aim in putting. One can certainly be a great putter despite mis-aiming their putter at address. But, it requires compensatory moves to consistently get that putter face pointing at the target at impact. And if they don’t, that can cause a myriad of other problems like hitting the ball harder or softer to get the ball into the cup. And from there, it can snowball into some awful putting.

Lastly, impact tape/spray is good to have and test out what is going on at impact from time to time. When I fit golfers for clubs, the last thing we fit is the lie angle.

The reason being is that there are many factors that go into fitting the lie angle that can alter where you strike the ball on the clubface. Typically we find the head, shaft and shaft length first. Then we figure out the MOI using a 6-iron and trying to find their approximate fitted lie angle for that 6-iron.

I’ve had golfers, including myself, mis-hit the 6-iron towards one part of the clubhead and start to think the club is too flat for them. But as we add weight and get their optimal MOI, they not only see their impact dispersion get smaller, but they start finding the sweetspot as well. So sometimes it’s not a lie angle issue, but a weight/MOI issue.

After we get the head, shaft, shaft length, grip and MOI fitted and I get the clubs, I then assemble the club and I instruct the customer to get the impact tape/spray out with each iron and hit 3-5 shots. The good part of the MOI fitting is that it will keep the impact dispersion small and in one area. So the golfer should not be too confused as to where they are striking the ball on the face. You won’t see them hit 3 shots towards the toe and 1 towards the heel. Generally if they are hitting a shot off the toe, they will now hit every shot off the toe. And we now know that they have to bend the lie angle upright to some degree.

I’ve also found that impact tape/spray is very helpful when you mis-hit a shot and miss the sweetspot low or high. Sometimes a shot can FEEL like a toe hit when instead you hit it up too high on the face, even off the heel.

So not only can a Trackman and some impact tape/spray help your swing, but it can help you find the right equipment for your game. You can find John at


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