Understanding How the Clubface Works
Missouri University, Jess Yuen hits her tee shot on the first hole during the first round of the 2021 PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship held at TPC Sawgrass on May 3, 2021 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Photo by Montana Pritchard/PGA of America)
- Take a quick look at your grip. Believe it or not, your lead hand can control the direction you hit the ball. The relationship between that grip and the face is very important. When you look down at the back of your lead hand, how many knuckles do you see? If you see three, that means the face is set to pull the ball. Two knuckles define a neutral ball flight or straighter trajectory. One knuckle and that weak grip will send the ball out with a push from your target line.
- How does the face sit on the ground? When you lay the club down, which way is the face pointing? It should be pointing toward our target, but as a PGA Coach I can tell you that’s not always the case. When you lay that club down at address, make sure the grooves sit perpendicular to the target line.
- The direction of the face changes throughout the swing. This is why ball position becomes so important. When you rest that clubhead down behind the ball, make sure it is in the correct position between your two feet. Experiment with moving the ball around in your stance. Then lay the club behind the ball. You will quickly see how important ball position becomes with respect to the face direction.
- Stand directly behind the ball.
- Draw a line in your mind from the target back to the ball. That’s your target line.
- Walk into your address position alongside the ball and point the clubface down that imaginary target line.
- From there, set your trail foot down. By placing the back foot in the address position first, we can still see easily down our target line.
- Now step in with the lead foot. Make sure those lead toes do NOT look any closer to the ball than the trail ones.
- Now it’s time to swing