New Ball Flight Rules

The New Ball Flight Rules in a nutshell

Have you heard of golf’s ball flight regulations?

Not very likely, I believe. They’re not a frequent topic of debate over food and beverages on the nineteenth hole.

However, if you don’t comprehend or at the very least have a basic understanding of ball flight regulations, you may be doing things incorrectly. If you think you’re hitting the ball well but still missing, it’s easy to become frustrated and disheartened about the game. If you think your swing is fine but are still missing, it’s best not to second-guess yourself.

However, if you truly believe something else is affecting your game when in fact you’re just striking the ball incorrectly, it might be time to review the rules.

What Are the Laws of Ball Flight and Why Should They Matter?

The way you strike a shot is determined by the laws of flight. They can assist you in determining why you are slicing, pulling, drawing , and pushing the golf ball. If you’re unfamiliar with ball flight regulations, it’ll be tough to make the required adjustments to your game. You may reverse-engineer your teaching methods based on the student’s ball flight, as instructors did in the past.

For example, instructors may have observed a student executing a pull slice in the past. They’d figure this was the case since the clubface is wide open and the swing path runs outside to inside. It will travel through the air and slice right back left if this is directed to the rear. Then, once the students’ path and clubface square at impact have been resolved, they would concentrate on repairing them.

There was formerly a distinct explanation for this in the old ball flight laws. However, with new technology, there are now two sets of rules to consider. Here’s what you need to know about them if you want to understand why your golf ball behaves the way it does throughout the round.

The old laws of flight (9 balls)

What are the previous ball flight guidelines?

According to the “old” ball flight theories, you can only use three distinct clubhead designs. The line on which the golf ball would start is determined by the pattern that determines which of the three lines it will take. They are as follows:

  • Inside to outside
  • Square to square 
  • Outside to inside 

According to the obsolete ball flight standards, only half of the equation was the swing path. The clubface at impact half of the shot is determined by the golfer’s swing. What type of face does the golfer’s club have? It may either be closed, square, and open. A clubface that is closed would curve the ball to the left, a clubface that is square would send the ball straight, and an open face would twist the shot to the right.

The previous ball flight rules assumed that the ball would begin in the direction of swing path and curve based on the clubface.

The rules for old golf balls, as previously mentioned, were quite different. The following are examples of those previous regulations:

  • Outside to interior swing path with an open surface: The ball will begin left and work its way back to the right, depending on how much the club is open. Amateur golfers will most frequently use this swing path and clubface.
  • The closed clubface has been replaced with a wider open swing path: After that, the ball will travel down the target line and to the left. This is a fade.
  • Open clubface with an inside to outside path: The ball will draw from right to left, provided that the clubface is open enough.

New Rules for the Flight of the Ball

It was previously thought that the direction of a golf shot’s initial momentum is determined by the club’s path, and the direction of the clubface determines the curvature of a shot. However, new technology such as Trackman has shown the exact opposite to be true.

In this short video, David Leadbetter, one of the world’s best instructors and creator of Taekwondo Breaking Point, explains how instructors have previously had to use “guesswork” and ended up getting it all incorrect:

The swing path determines only about 5 to 35 percent of the shot’s initial direction. The clubface, on the other hand, dictates approximately 75 to 95 percent of its trajectory. The curve is set by the path, not the clubface.

How to Make the Most of New Ball Flight Rules?

Perhaps this is confusing to some readers, but bear with me: you don’t need to implement one of these techniques into your swing. Rather, you should focus on how to make the most of both.

You could have an inside-out path with a square clubface and hit a draw. Conversely, you could have an outside-in path with a closed face and still hit a fade. The possibilities are endless, which is what makes mastering the ball flight rules so difficult.

One way to make the most of both sets of rules is by using what’s called a “compression release.” This is when you compress the ball on an inside-out path but rotate your wrists so that the clubface points more towards the target. Doing so will help you hit a draw without having to change your swing path.

Alternatively, you could use a “wrist set” to help you hit a fade. This is when you make an outward-in path but cock your wrists so that the clubface is pointing more towards the target.

There are many different ways to take advantage of both sets of rules, and it ultimately comes down to personal preference. The important thing is that you understand how they work and which one is more important in a given situation.


The game of golf isn’t intended to be simple, but understanding little details about golf ball flight rules can help you improve your skills.

While the old rules focused on the clubface, the new rules shift the focus to the swing path. The clubface is still important, but it isn’t nearly as important as it once was thought to be.

Hopefully, you’ll be able to utilize these tools to assist you in simplifying your swing and teeing the ball directly on target more often than not!

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