The Ball Flight Laws

This Page will contain comments on the Ball Flight Laws – the Old,the New and a Personal Point of View!

A case for reducing the BFL from 5 to 4!

So, if Ball-Flight descriptions themselves are surplus-to-requirements (see previous post), how about the  Five Ball Flight Laws:

1) Club speed

2) Club face angle (these days in both horizontal and vertical directions)

3) Club path

4) Club angle of approach

5) Club centeredness of contact?

In physics there are 2 types of quantities – fundamental and derived. Similarly, could ‘centeredness of contact’ not be considered a ‘derived’ quantity?

For instance if club face angle and path are square with a normal shallow angle of approach can contact be anything other than centered?

Are there any known instances where club face centeredness is INDEPENDENT of the other Laws?


The 9 basic Ball-Flights

Comment: How come the dreaded ‘shank’ in not included as a ball-flight? Simply because it is not a desirable one and need not be mentioned? If that is the case, the entire ‘pull’ group should be excluded too (pull, pull hook, pull slice).

After all, the mechanism of making a pull shot is with an over-the-top downswing – the is no other way to swing a club out-to-in through impact.

Also, why not simply aim to the left of target and make a straight shot, or a plain slice or hook, with the desired target left of the actual one!

So many strange descriptions exist regarding both ball-flight and the ‘Laws’ that govern it!

Scientific insights, anyone?

3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Valrick Harris on April 23, 2012 at 10:38 am

    A shank is not included as a ball flight because it is caused by the hosel of a club coming in contact with the ball at impact. The rest of the ball flight pattern depicts the possibilities when the ball is struck solely on the clubface. However, ball flight patterns could include different trajectories i guess, if we look at it from a different angle.


  2. Posted by Pro on December 11, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Quote “After all, the mechanism of making a pull shot is with an over-the-top downswing – the is no other way to swing a club out-to-in through impact.”

    Question for you, what has the most say over the balls horizontal launch? I’m pretty certain I can pull it by not ‘coming over the top’ and just to clarify, a pull is a ball which flies straight left with no deviation (right handed player). Also, can you define ‘over the top’?



    • Heard it said at the March 2012 World Scientific Congress of Golf that there are 12 definitions out there for over-the-top (OTT). My definition is when the club does not contact the ball on it’s inside right (for a right-handed golfer) quadrant and below its equator, the club is coming over the top – OF THE BALL (that’s where the term ‘topped’ shot comes from).

      So, if the path were to be out-to-in or even square-to-in, the club could be said to be arriving over-the-top (of the ball), and would not make flush contact with the ball. Many strong golfers don’t even realize they’re OTT because they simply bludgeon or smother the ball, either way moving a lot of dirt and/or air around the ball as well as the ball itself!

      And yes, a ‘pull’ is a shot that goes straight left with no curve, and must have an out-to-in path. Now, if the path is out-to-in or even along-to-in (with face square to path, blah, blah, blah), it will not only pull the ball, but in my opinion be arriving over-the-top of the ball.

      To my mind the ‘pull’ group of shots makes no sense, who would want to have an out-to-in ball-smothering path and therefore less-than-ideal ball-flight? Why not simply aim left and hit it straight?

      And yes, I do understand that the 9 Ball Flights describe every possible flight of the ball made with center-contact, but honestly, what a colossal waste of time! The LPGA uses the term ‘playable ball flight’ and only describes straight, push-draw/hook and pull-fade/slice ball flights. How much more sense that makes.


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