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An Amazing Game

November 12, 2010 - Steve Anderson
Even after teaching this great game for the past 30 years I'm still constantly amazed at the overall concept of how a golf club swings and how the ball goes the amazing distances that it does and every once in a while it actually goes straight. It's amazing that you, me or Tiger Woods ever hits the ball straight when you think of this description.

If you thought quickly about how far the head of a club travels during a swing you'd probably say 20 feet or so. The answer is it's more like 100. Think of yourself at address. When you start your backswing and swing back only a yard, your clubhead has already traveled 3 feet. Then another 3 feet then another, all the way up to the top of your backswing which ends up being 12-15 yards or 45 feet. Then your club travels the same 45 feet down into the ball, then another 45 feet or so into your follow thru and finish position, so, over 100 feet. Your clubhead is behind your head, you can't see it, it goes from 0-90 mph in a 1/4 of a second then hits the ball. Realzing that if your clubface is even a 1/3rd of an inch open the ball won't go straight and will slice 25-30 yards. If your clubhead comes down and it's even a 1/2 inch too high you'll hit the belly of the ball and top it down the fairway. Again, it's amazing that anyone ever hits the ball far and straight. A test showed that on the 200-yard shot, if the clubface is only a 1/4 inch open the ball will be 12 yards off line. There's simply no other game that a 1/4 of an inch is so crucial. Think of a tennis raquet hitting the ball. You can hit the ball most anywhere on the raquet and it'll still go over the net anyway. Plus, the longest shot in tennis is from one base lne to the other, something like 90 feet. Some tour pros can hit a golf ball 350 yards which is over 1,000 feet. A major league homerun over the fence goes 400 feet or so. This is a pitching wedge distance for most pros.

So, next time your drive cures a few yards left or right, don't be so hard on yourself.


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