Swing path and face angle

This is going to be a short post with info many of you know already…but EXTREMELY important info in improving your shot making.

It was long thought that swing path was where the ball took off and face angle was how the ball curved.

Through technology (most of which I hate and think is detrimental to golf), they have proven things to be the opposite.

For instance, the push snap hook comes from being too far underneath the plane with a club coming in open and closing quickly.

The typical amateur pull slice comes from an outside to in swing path with a closed clubface at impact. Hanging back on the right side exacerbates this action.

Seems kind of counter intuitive, but knowing the facts can help you.

Apply these facts to your most often miss and you will be able to understand the flaw in your swing path and face angle. It is easier to fix when you know why it is happening.

I always tell my students whose misses are straight thin shots that they are close.,,although they all hate that shot with a passion, but it is technically closer to a good swing than other misses.




  1. Bob34

    This is extremely helpful when you combine it with your post yesterday about balance. It can be a bit technical and require some thought to understand but it all goes together. I think Steve is starting to work out a system at his site in regards to trouble shooting yourself by understanding the components of what affects face angle and path/plane but IMHO it’s missing balance which has to be fixed first if it’s bad. If your balance is good, the rest will be better.

    Bear in mind this comes from someone who struggles to break 80 consistantly (mostly because I still think too much and over complicate things) so take the above FWIW.

    The good thing is now I know that if I don’t want to think about it and take another lesson from Monte letting him know what my ball flight was on the swing I filmed, he can see whether I’m balanced or not & figure it out 🙂

    • Steve Bishop

      Indeed, I am working on something.

      A “Swing Fault Depository”.

      What Monte says is right on the money and precisely why some people make adjustments that only cause a worse ball flight.

      Take your typical slicer of the ball. Ball ends up to the right of their target so what do they do? Aim further left. Seems logical, but only causes the path to be more OTT and thusly imparts even MORE spin on the shot.

  2. Fred

    Hey Monte, now that you are focused on getting your game back in order, what is your normal daily practice routine like? I don’t know if you have a job outside of golf, so i am wondering if this is your full time job, and if so, how many hours do you dedicate daily towards practice, fitness and things like that?

  3. Gunnar

    Hi Monte!
    Thank you for your post.
    However, I have a question 🙂
    You are saying:

    “The typical amateur pull slice comes from an outside to in swing path with a closed clubface at impact.”

    I don´t get that. How is it possible, that somebody, swinging from out to in and having the clubface closed, hits a slice?! Normaly, or rather always, this would end up in a pull hook, wouldn´t it?

    • Monte Scheinblum

      Gunnar, I understand your confusion, but that’s how it works. Until recently I thought as you did but I have seen the data and actually done some personal tests on the range. At impact where the face is pointing is where the ball starts, so a pull means the club is pointing left or closed.

      • Christian

        I did a double take on this one as well. I think the confusion is over the clubface being closed to the target vs. closed to the swing path. You are talking about the club face being closed to the target, but still open to the swing path (e.g. the swing path goes further left than the clubface is aiming), right?

  4. Gunnar

    That´s it! I get it now.
    Christian, Monte and Bob34, thank you for your posts and explanations.


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