ball flight laws

What are Ball Flight Laws? (Golf Science You Need to Know)

I’m sure you’re probably thinking about this. What’s the big deal about ball flight laws? This simple and quick read will tell you everything you need to know about it. It’s not like the ball flight laws are ever going to be the hot topic around the table, right?

You need to get that information for yourself. The fact that it may impact how you play golf is critical. You can’t keep making mistakes and not knowing why you did. Golf’s a pretty tough game as it is. You don’t need more grief. These simple ball flight laws are just what you need!

Don’t worry. I’m not going to throw you in the deep end of the pool. I’d like to divide this article into 3 essential parts. You’ll know your reasons for playing correctly. What’s changed? And what is new about the ball flight laws? With all this information, you’re obligated to play better golf.

Ball Flight Laws – The Basics


Playing golf is not a game about guesswork or speculation. It’s deliberately calculated data, factual specs, and of course, ball flight laws. It is the only explanation of how every shot is hit the way it is. No matter by a rookie, intermediate, or a proficient golfer.

This is why ball flight laws matter. They’re instructive, convincing, and accurate. Hitting a ball in golf contains not one but many approaches. There’s pushing, pulling, slicing, drawing, squaring, or power fading a golf ball.

So you see, as a golfer, you need ball flight laws to keep your game in check. And to improve your shots and be well on your way to become a professional golfer.

Have ball flight laws been around for long? The truth of the matter is that golfers had instructors before to better their game. An instructor would tell you when you’re hitting the ball off. When the clubface is open, when the swing path is outside, etc.

These instructions would make you more vigilant when hitting correctly. So you’d fix your technique by hitting squarely at impact. These instructions were a part of the old ball flight laws. But with newer approaches to hitting a pull slice or power fade. You want to elevate your tactics to get a better shot.

It’s because of ball flight laws that you understand your every shot on the turf. It also lets you in on the best golf swing with data analysis and facts. So you’re not embracing guesswork as your only tool for bettering your golf game. It’s all calculated and effective!

The elements that you’d be tapping into with the new ball flight laws are these. How the body and the golf club interact with each other before, during, and after impact. The focus on the golf club movement, the impact, and the golf swing flight. These dynamics are critical for any golfer.

Ball Flight Laws – What Was


‘What Was’ refers to the old ball flight laws. Hitting a golf ball in 3 different clubhead approaches. That is what the “old” ball flight laws instructed. They are ‘inside to outside’, ‘square to square’, and ‘outside to inside’.

What do these patterns imply for golf ball flight? Well, they set up the line from which you’d hit the golf ball. As simple as this sounds, the old ball flight laws took only half of the matter into consideration.

The first half being the golf swing path. The other and most complete half being the clubhead. Even the clubhead can be said to have 3 different patterns. A closed clubhead, square, or open.

A closed clubhead is responsible for curving the ball to the left. A square clubhead is responsible for hitting a forward or a straight shot. And an open clubhead is responsible for curving the ball to the right.

Based on these patterns, here’s how the golf game would pan out.

  • The swing path is outside to inside. The clubhead is open-faced. The ball curves to the left or it either slices or swings back to the right. According to the old ball flight laws, this is the most common route. It’s what beginners or intermediate players do.
  • The swing is square to square. The clubhead is closed. The ball goes straight and forward down the line. The impact would be less, especially with a wedge. But if you’re using a driver, there’s an expected 10-15 yard draw.
  • The swing is inside to outside. The clubhead is square-faced. Here’s when the ball stays and curves to the right. While maintaining a straighter push down the line.

Based on the above-mentioned approaches. These are the old ball flight laws that golfers looked at. They determine various golf swing techniques and their ball flight laws.

Push: The swing path is inside to outside. The clubhead is square-faced.
Push Slice:The swing path is inside to outside. The clubhead is open-faced.
Push Hook:The swing path is inside to outside. The clubhead is closed.
Straight:The swing path is square to square. The clubhead is also square-faced or straight.
Pull:The swing path is inside to outside. The clubhead is square-faced.
Pull Hook:The swing path is outside to inside. The clubhead is square-faced.
Pull Slice:The swing path is outside to inside. The clubhead is open-faced.
Slice:The swing path is square to square. The clubhead is open-faced.
Hook:The swing is square to square. The clubhead is closed.

Ball Flight Laws – What Is

‘What Is’ refers to the new ball flight laws. The new ball flight laws give more impetus to the clubface than the swing path. It dictates that the swing path determines the curving to the left or the right. It has little to nothing to do with the clubface.

Based on these new laws, here’s what you need to know.

The new ball flight laws are best-employed as instructions. It’s not really a foolproof technique to improve your game. But it’s what you need to look at to observe how you take your shot.

If you do have that level of freedom while playing. You can access different clubface techniques. Adjusting your swing path by adjusting how you impact with your clubhead. By making sure you know the necessary jargon – open, square, and closed clubface.

What these new ball flight laws do is to help you improvise, compare, and implement. If you don’t have the proper tools to get you there. You can rely on extra golf tools such as a magnetic lie tool. It will help you determine the positioning of your clubhead and its impact.

This may seem perplexing to try out by yourself. But as you go along with it, you’d be able to understand every golf flight approach. And the line your ball starts on.

Factors that Influence Ball Flight

1. Speed


The speed of the ball is calculated from the moment of impact. This tells you how far the golf ball would go. So a slow speed means shorter distance. And a fast speed means longer distance.

It doesn’t matter if the ball is slow or fast when your technique is all wrong. The best way to work your way around the new ball flight laws is to take things slow. As soon as you hit the right spot in terms of technique.

2. Angle of Approach


This is also known as your ‘launch angle’. It’s calculated in degrees or the loft of impact or the centeredness of your shot. You hit at an incorrect spot, it spoils everything. You can contact the clubface at the center, toe, or heel.

It also dictates the arc of the clubface during impact. So what’s your angle of attack in relation to the slope of the turf under the ball?

3. Spin Rate


At least for this factor, it’s not about how it looks. Your shot may look professional as it zips back off the green. But that’s not the best way to go about it. A good spin rate can either make or break your ball flight. And not just that, it can also influence the golf distance.

Where you’re hitting the ball affects the spin rate. The new ball flight laws, and how you use it, affects the spin rate. If you strike the ball on the face, at the sweet spot, it is ideal. This means there should be no more or no less distance between the clubface and ball.

This also includes ground contact. That is when you hit behind the ball. How much grass do you pass through between the clubface and ball? This determines spin friction, rate, and distance.


So what does this mean for you? Understanding the basics of ball flight laws. How it influences the speed, friction, flight, and distance? And how you can control the ball flight laws to improve your distance?

All these questions are critical for any amateur golfer. If you want more accuracy in your game. And simple conjecture or guesswork isn’t cutting it anymore. Rely on these ball flight laws to help you get through.

It has a solid plan, the correct technique, and practice drills. To help you observe your golf game a bit more each time. And implement new tactics to get to your best golf game yet!

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