Strengthen your weak ball flight | by David Laing

Many students come for lessons with the problem that their ball is leaking to the right and when it does fly straight it has a very high and short ball flight. This article will highlight the technical points that relate to this, the fixes and a simple drill for the range.


A WEAK left hand grip at set up directly links to these ball flights. If a player has 1 or 2 knuckles visible on the left hand at setup, that will promote an open face during the golf swing. This leads to an open face at impact or compensations leading to a scooping action.

Correct the grip by turning your left hand position so that you can see 2 ½ knuckles on the left hand at setup. If a golfer struggles a lot with the ball curving right, making 3 knuckles visible would do no harm. This grip promotes a square clubface during the swing and impact.


As we reach the top of the swing, the left wrist position tells a lot about where the clubface is. A player with a lot of angle in the left wrist will tend to have an open face at the top. We can see this within the picture, the open clubface is highlighted by the toe pointing down to the ground. A player with a fl at left wrist position tends to have a square clubface at the top of the swing. We can see this in the picture, the square face is highlighted by the face matching up with the left wrist and forearm position.


Just before impact when the club is parallel with the ground we are in the delivery position. An open face at delivery is clear to see when the face is pointing up towards the sky at this point. A square face will see the toe pointing directly vertical at this point in delivery.


Now that we are delivering the club with a square face we can return to impact with a strong position. In the picture you can see the shaft leaning slightly towards the target. An open face would lead to a golfer making compensations where a scooping action hits the ball straighter but has a far weaker ball flight. In the picture the shaft is leaning away from the target.


With more awareness of the position of the clubface throughout the swing we can look into creating more rhythm and power in the swing. A great drill to feel a loaded position of the club and then delivering that into the golf ball is a drill with a water bottle, which should be roughly 1/3 full.

  1. Turn to the top of the swing and as your wrists hinge the water will move to the top of the bottle.
  2. Halfway into the downswing, maintain your wrist angle and feel the water drop back to the bottom of the bottle.
  3. Feel like you are throwing the water out of the end of the bottle as your swing turns through impact. This will give you the feeling of releasing the club with power through the golf ball.
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