Golf Terms

Angle of Approach
The angle at which the clubhead approaches the ball on the forward swing. For shots when the ball is on the ground, the angle of approach should be slightly descending or down through impact ensuring ball first then ground contact. For tee shots with your driver, the angle of approach should be slightly ascending or up through impact. We don't want to take divots with our driver.

Intended Line of Play
For the purpose of fair rulings the line is considered to be straight, from your ball to the ultimate target.

Initial Line of Play
Where you initially want the ballís flight or roll to start, followed by any intentional shape which you hit your shot.

Open Stance
A positioning of the feet at address that has the left foot withdrawn from an imaginary line across the toes which is parallel to the intended line of play.

Fat Contact
Fat is when your club strikes the ground prior to striking the ball. The farther behind the ball you hit the worse the shot. Fat shots don't fly high or far.

Thin Contact
Thin is when you contact the ball below its equator but the club misses the ground. The result, the club contacts the ball on the bottom grooves producing lower trajectory.

Square Clubface
A square clubface is one where the leading edge or bottom groove is perpendicular to the Initial Line of Play

Divot
A portion of turf which is ripped out of the earth by the clubhead during the forward swing. The remaining hole is also referred to as a divot. It is ideal for a divot to be after the ball (see Angle of Approach).

Release
The act of allowing or causing the club, on the forward swing, to return the clubface squarely to the ball.

Swing Plane
There are 2 concepts you have to grasp to understand swing plane.

The first concept to understand is the inclination or tilt of the swing. This factor will determine the clubs angle of approach. The angle of approach has influence on the trajectory of the shot. This tilt is described in three ways, flat, upright/vertical, and on-plane.

To visualize an upright/vertical plane, picture the club swinging vertically, like a ferris wheel. An upright/vertical swing has a steep angle of approach and produces a high trajectory shot.

To visualize a flat plane picture the club swinging around your body like a merry-go-round. A flat swing has a shallow angle of approach and produces a low trajectory shot. To visualize an on-plane swing picture a ferris wheel leaning to its side on an angle, not straight up and down. This angle is determined by many factors of your set-up and equipment.

Important - Not every great player has the same inclination or tilt to their swing. The goal should be to swing within margins which require not to swing too upright/vertical or too flat.

The second concept to understand is the direction the clubhead travels through impact. This is often referred to as the swing path. The path has influence on direction. Path is referred to in three different ways, inside, outside, and down-the-line.

An inside path can be visualized as the clubhead traveling away from the body and swinging out, crossing the intended line of play from left to right through impact. This is referred to as an inside-out swing and produces ball flight which is described as, a push or push slice when the clubface is open at impact, a draw when the clubface is square at impact and a hook when the clubface is closed at impact.

An outside path can be visualized as the clubhead traveling toward the body and swinging in, crossing the intended line of play from right to left through impact. This is referred to as an outside to inside swing or over-the-top and produces a slice when the clubface is open at impact, a fade when the clubface is square at impact and a pull or pull hook when the clubface is closed at impact.

A down-the-line path can be visualized as the clubhead traveling toward the intended line of play from the inside as it approaches impact, on the line through impact, and returning inside past impact. This is referred to as swinging down the line and produces ball flight which is described as; a draw or hook when the clubface is closed at impact, a perfectly straight shot when the clubface is square at impact, and a fade or slice when the clubface is open at impact.

Path
Swing path is the direction the clubhead travels through impact relative to the intended line of play. The path has influence on direction. Path is referred to in three different ways, inside, outside, and down-the-line.

An inside path can be visualized as the clubhead traveling away from the body and swinging out, crossing the intended line of play from left to right through impact. This is referred to as an inside-out swing and produces ball flight which is described as, a push or push slice when the clubface is open at impact, a draw when the clubface is square at impact and a hook when the clubface is closed at impact.

An outside path can be visualized as the clubhead traveling toward the body and swinging in, crossing the intended line of play from right to left through impact. This is referred to as an outside to inside swing or over-the-top and produces a slice when the clubface is open at impact, a fade when the clubface is square at impact and a pull or pull hook when the clubface is closed at impact.

A down-the-line path can be visualized as the clubhead traveling toward the intended line of play from the inside as it approaches impact, on the line through impact, and returning inside past impact. This is referred to as swinging down the line and produces ball flight which is described as; a draw or hook when the clubface is closed at impact, a perfectly straight shot when the clubface is square at impact, and a fade or slice when the clubface is open at impact.

Closed Stance
Positioning of the feet that has the right foot withdrawn from an imaginary line across the toes which is parallel the intended line of play.

Square
A term with several uses in golf. May refer to the clubface when it is positioned at right angles to the intended line of play or to the stance (positioning of the feet) when a line drawn across the toes is parallel to the intended line of play.

Grip Down
The placing of the hands down the shaft to effectively shorten the club. Often this term is said, choke up. There should be no choking in any part of your game.

Visualization
The thought process of using picture imaging as positive reinforcement and stimulation. It is important to visualize every shot prior to executing both in practice and on the course.

Visualization is a key to creating conscious and subconscious confidence.

Tension
Excessive pressure or tightening of muscles. Most tension during a swing or round is created by the subconscious.

Carry
The distance the ball travels in the air.

Bump & Run
A low trajectory shot that flies a relatively short distance and relies more on the roll to control the overall distance.

Flop Shot
A high trajectory shot from relatively close to the green which relies more on height and carry and less on roll to control the overall distance.

Draw (right-handed golfer)
A shot which curves slightly in flight from right to left.

Fade (right-handed golfer)
A shot which curves slightly in flight from left to right.

Hook (right-handed golfer)
A shot which curves significantly in flight from right to left.

Slice (right-handed golfer)
A shot which curves significantly in from left to right.

Heel of the Club
A section of the clubhead which is closest to the shaft.

Toe of the Club
A section of the clubhead which is farthest away from the shaft.

Sweet Spot
A point on the clubface between the heel and toe. When the clubs sweet spot connects with a ball there is no torque imparted on the clubhead and contact feels really good.

Sole of the Club
The part of the club which rests on the ground as you prepare to swing.

Kinetic Energy
Kinetic energy is the form of energy associated with the speed of an object like a golf club.

Kinetic energy = 1/2 x mass x velocity squared.

Because velocity is squared in this equation, it has the greatest effect on the amount of kinetic energy transferred from the club to the ball. The faster you swing, the farther the ball can go.

Symmetry
A precise and well-defined concept of balance or "patterned self-similarity" that can be demonstrated or proved according to the rules of a formal system geometry through physics or otherwise.

Good golf swings have a lot of positions on the backswing which are symmetrical to the positions during the follow through. An example of symmetry in a swing is the arm position when viewed from down-the-line: (right-handed golfer) nearing the top of the backswing the left arm should bisect your neck and right shoulder, past impact, nearing the finish of the swing, the right arm should bisect your neck and left shoulder.

Conservation of Angular Momentum

Maintaining the angle formed between the club shaft and the left arm (right-handed golfers) during the forward swing. Maintaining this angle longer in your forward swing promotes a better angle of approach, more distance, and more consistent ball striking. The opposite of conserving the angle is called "Casting". Casting results in a loss of distance and inconsistent contact.

Casting

An early release of the angle between the club shaft and the left arm (right-handed golfers) during the forward swing. Casting results in inconsistent contact, both thin and fat, and a loss of power.

Bounce

The measure of the angle from the front edge of the club’s sole to the point that rests on the ground when addressing the ball.

Bounce
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