Where does your ball go?
“I sliced it!”
The slice is the most cursed one of all shot patterns. The term is often used for any kind of off-target shot. While a real slice is sometimes tough to cure, other shots are easier to deal with.
Understanding what different shot patterns look like – and recognizing your own natural ball flight – has several advantages:
- It makes it easier to “fix” stray shots.
- It lets you use them “on purpose” to fit the lay-out of the hole.
- It helps you fend off confusion by “tips” from your well-meaning fellow players.
The straight shot is the most desirable, but also the least common. Being a short hitter with a slower swing speed can be an advantage in this case. With a lower clubhead speed, the spin effect on the ball will not be as severe, giving you a straighter shot.
How shot patterns are formed
The swing path, or the direction the clubhead travels on during the downswing, combined with the position of the clubface at impact determines the ball flight.
There are 3 swing paths:
Different shot patterns
On an outside-inside swing path:
On an inside-outside swing path
On an inside-inside or square swing path
How to set up for specific shot patterns
Sometimes the lay-out of a hole may favor a draw or a fade. Or you find yourself behind a tree and only playing a hook will advance your ball down the fairway.
To find out how to set up for specific shot patterns, read our sections on How To Set Up For…
- A fade
- A draw
- A hook
- A slice
- A push
- A pull
Return from Shot Patterns to Golf Instruction
Return from Shot Patterns to Golf Basics For Women