Our tee shot takes off with a soul-pleasing whack – but then, woe, at 100 yards it takes a hard right, sucking the distance right out of the drive. It bounces even further right when it lands. Welcome to Slice-land.
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With knowledge comes understanding … and maybe a straighter drive. Here are 5 simple things to know about ball flight and the slice.
- In an amateur’s perfect world, a ball is hit square on the club ace, sailing straight and long. It flies through the air with BACKSPIN..
- Once upon a time golf balls were smooth… until players noticed that battered balls traveled farther. Dimples are born – they create little pockets of suction that grab the air as the ball spins.
- “Grab the air” doesn’t sound good, but it is! As the ball spins BACKWARDS in flight, dimples grab air molecules on the top of the ball, propelling them backwards and speeding them up. Meanwhile on the underside, air molecules are slowed down. Now in physics we trust… low pressure is created on top in comparison to underneath and we get LIFT!
- So how about slice? When a clubface does not meet the ball “square” (see picture at right) ,the ball starts spinning sideways. All the physics – ball rotation, dimples, air pressure – work to create “lift”, but it’s SIDEWAYS.
- Picture this. Throw a tennis ball with horizontal spin. See how our arm moves from the outside to the inside. That’s exactly our club’s path when we slice. Fix that and things will be straight, long and true in our golf world.