Column: Distance in golf depends on an accurate strike

Column: Distance in golf depends on an accurate strike

Jennifer Greggain writes a bi-weekly column providing golf tips and analysis.

If you have ever had a golf lesson where you have worked on direction, you have probably discussed the club path and club face ball flight laws.

In general, the club path is the predominant ball flight law that controls the curve of your golf ball and the angle of your club face at impact controls the starting direction of your golf ball.

However, there is one very important additional variable that you may not have discussed during your lesson.

That is the ‘gear effect”’ that occurs when you don’t hit the center of the club face. And since not many of us find the ‘sweet spot’ of our club very often, specifically with our driver, it is definitely a concept to learn more about.

Simply put, for every off-center strike you make on a golf ball, your club will twist. This twisting motion will cause additional spin that will make your ball fade or draw more than expected. Shots hit more toward the toe will produce more draw spin, and shots hit more to the heel will produce more fade spin.

Additionally, did you know that for every one quarter inch off-center strike, you will lose 10 per cent in distance? Many people try to gain more distance by increasing their swing speed. But, if you don’t hit the center of the club face, you will lose even more distance.

This sounds complicated, and it definitely can be.

What every golfer can take away from this concept is the importance of center-strike hits. And this, surprisingly, is not a concept often discussed.

With that said, if you are having a hard time hitting straight shots, you should definitely check where on the club face you tend to strike the ball.

This can easily be done by using a can of spray powder that you can buy at any drug store.

Once you spray the club face, hit several shots and make notice of where you tend to strike the ball on the face.

Many golfers find a consistent pattern, whether it be mostly to the toe, heel, or inconsistently all over the club face with every swing.

If you find that you are not hitting the center of the club face often enough, try this simple drill.

Place two tees like a gate on the ground slightly wider than the width of your club head.

Practice by making some swings, and missing both of the tees in the gate.

Once you are able to make several swings and miss both tees in the gate, try hitting a ball placed in the middle of the gate.

Jennifer teaches golf to adults and juniors at the Chilliwack Golf Academy.

She played professionally on tour for over 10 years, won the 2016 LPGA Western Section Teacher of the Year award, and most recently has been named the 2018 PGA of Canada Junior Leader of the Year.

She can be contacted by phone at 604-798-9805 or email at Jennifer@chilliwackgolf.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kevin Davey with Heritage Village long-term care facility holds a bag open as Lucyanne Carruthers of Panago Pizza in Sardis stacks some of the 35 pizzas to be given to the seniors’ residence on Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Pizzeria owner continues to bring free lunches to Chilliwack seniors in long-term care

Even during COVID, Lucyanne Carruthers of Panago has been giving pizza lunches to Heritage Village

Chilliwack General Hospital. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress file)
Chilliwack mother upset about son’s alleged suicide attempt after hospital discharge

Rhonda Clough said 34-year-old son suffering with bipolar disorder should have been kept in hospital

Downtown Chilliwack BIA executive director Kyle Williams promoting the buy local ‘Shopportunity’ program that launched mere days ago. (Screenshot)
Downtown Chilliwack Business Improvement Association parts ways with Kyle Williams

BIA president Ruth Maccan said the association ‘will have a new look in 2021’

An anonymous person has decorated a tree and posted a sign encouraging others to do the same on the Teapot Hill Trail, and Bill Wojtun shared the idea on Facebook. (Facebook photo)
Could Cultus Lake’s Teapot Hill become Holiday Hill this Christmas?

An anonymous person is encouraging people to decorate trees on the local trail

Darwin Douglas, All Nations Cannabis CEO, and Cheam First Nation councillor. (Darwin Douglas/ Facebook)
Provincial reps a no-show at cannabis roundtable with All Nations Chiefs

Provincial snub was ‘disappointing but also somewhat expected’ says All Nations CEO

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

Grand Chief Doug Kelly, representing the Sto:lo Tribal Council, is one of five signatories on an op-ed issued Dec. 4, 2020 in response to Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond’s report: In Plain Sight Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in B.C. Healthcare. (Submitted)
OP-ED: Fraser Health and Indigenous leaders respond to report on racism in healthcare

‘We remain committed to real change, ending racism in our system’

Victoria-based driving instructors are concerned for their own and the community’s safety with the continued number of residents from COVID hotspots in the Lower Mainland coming to the city to take their driving road tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Students from COVID hotspots travel to Vancouver Island for driving tests

Union leader calls on government to institute stronger travel ban

Most Read