Can you hit it too straight?

Our fearless leader and golfing legend, Jim Goddard, does not hit the ball straight! That’s right; his ball flight is as crooked as a barrel of fish hooks. I’ve had the privilege of playing many rounds with JGod (as we affectionately refer to him) and watched as most of his shots curve left and then curve back right. Sometimes they curve a lot and sometimes they curve a little. It is as artistic as it is exciting.

Jim can hit it straight, if he wants, but straight or not most of JGod’s shots end up exactly where he intends them to. Jim, as with most of the better players, has a selection of shots in his bag: straight, fade, draw – even a slice or a hook to get out from around those pesky trees. The stronger the player, the more shots in his or her bag.

So what can the average golfer learn from this? You can break par (or improve your handicap) without hitting straight shots.

Take a minute and check out the ball flight on these 2 shots. 

 Both of these tee shots have a considerable amount of curvature and both find the fairway beautifully.

I think it’s safe to say that most of us try too hard to hit the ball straight, both on the course and when practicing. The golfers I see generally fit neatly into 2 categories – faders and drawers (aka: slicers and hookers). Knowing and understanding your ball flight tendencies will help you score better.

When you play, dance with the one you brought - be it the fade or the draw. When you practice, work on curving the ball in the direction that challenges you most. Intentional curvature can not only help you improve your ball striking, it can get you out of trouble too. Remember this?

Knowing your natural shot shape and learning how to curve the ball will help you play better golf and have more fun.

Drew Pearcey is a Teaching Professional here at Cordova Bay Golf Course.  For more about our Teaching Professionals and our lesson programs please visit