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Off-Center Hits and Ball Flight


3 November 2016
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What is the hardest part of playing golf? Many would say hitting the center of the club face. I definitely agree. Not only is hitting the center of the face important, but even more important is hitting the center of gravity on the club. The angular difference between Club Face and Club Path plays a major role in how the ball flies, however, an off-center hits bring Gear Effect into the equation throwing the ball flight laws into disarray. One might ask, what is Gear Effect? Quite simply, in golf, it is the result of off-center hits (off the center of gravity) and how they affect the spin axis of the golf ball.

Now to throw another wrench into this whole equation, not all clubs are the same and they’re also swung at different speeds. As the old saying goes, “Speed Kills” and that is also true for off-center hits. A driver face has bulge and roll an iron has a flat face. A driver face is smooth and an iron face has grooves. Does any of this matter? Absolutely.

Through the use of Phantom Cameras we have done some extensive testing on how different factors affect ball flight. The pictures below tell the story:

This Driver was struck slightly on the high toe of the club. Look at much much the club head deflects.

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Now let’s take a look at what happens to the club head when the center of the club face is struck.

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Striking the center of the club face is extremely crucial in getting the best ball flight possible as well as distance. The image below shows a ball being hit off the toe with an iron.

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If you would like more information on how center hits affect ball flight, please join us at a FlightScope Academy.