By Graham Stewart
Did you know that even with a square club face to path you can slice and hook?
The reason an off centre hit causes an unwanted shot is a phenomenon called “Gear Effect”.
Imagine the club head and ball are cog wheels.
The driver the big cog and the ball is the small cog.
If ball is struck from the toe of the club, the resistance causes the club face to open at impact. The clubhead will rotate in a clockwise direction, causing the ball to spin in an anti clockwise direction. This spin causes the ball to hook. The exact opposite is true for a heel strike.
The good news is that club makers design drivers to compensate for gear effect. That’s is why theface of a driver is slightly rounded.
Allowing a toe hit to start further right of target.
During practice, we can either mark the face with a dry wipe pen or with some masking tape. After each shot note where the club struck the ball.
A centred hit will have no gear effect and the ball will fly further.
Ask the pro: send your questions to Graham Stewart at [email protected]. Published letters win a free golf lesson.
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Graham Stewart is a British PGA professional with over 30 years’ experience. Based at Pestana Vila Sol, he is available for golf instruction for players of all levels, from complete beginners to tour winners.
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