Connect with us


Analyzing golfers’ “favorite” shots on Trackman



In a previous article, I showed you how the face and path interact in order to produce curvature on a golf ball. In this article we will examine the numerical data from the Trackman while I hit a few of our “favorite” shots!

The only thing I want you to focus on here is the relationship between the face and the path. When the face and the path diverge, curvature is created. The new rules of ball flight tell us that the ball starts in the direction of the face and curves away from the path. You will see these factors demonstrated below.

In the shot diagrams below: the blue line represents the path, the red arrow represents the face angle at impact, the purple line is the curvature of the golf ball, and the straight right line is your target line.

One note: Please assume that I have hit the ball in the center of the blade on each shot; thus there is no vertical or horizontal gear effect acting upon the ball the might skew the spin axis number a touch.

The Push Draw


  • The path is 4.9 degrees from the inside
  • The face is 2.1 degrees to the right of the target
  • When the face is left of the path (-5.6 degrees) but right of the target (2.1 degrees) the ball will begin the right of the target and curve back towards the target
  • Draws are hit with an OPEN face so the ball begins to the right

The Pull Fade


  • The path is -3.5 degrees from out to in
  • The face is -2.2 degrees left of the target
  • Whenever the face is right (1.2 degrees) of the path (-3.5 degrees) with the face being left of the target (-2.2 degrees) the ball will begin left of the target and curve back to the right
  • Fades are hit with a CLOSED face so the ball begins to the left of the target

The Push


  • Sometimes when hitting a fade people will “hold on” to the face too much through impact and this causes the ball to begin too far right of the target and curve further away from it
  • To numerically see this, you can see that the face is 11.8 degrees to the right of the target which is 13 degrees right of the path…the bigger the face to path relationship the bigger the curve in a perfect world
  • When the face is right of the target the ball will begin too far to the right…to begin the ball left of the target you would need a face that is left of the target but right of the path

The Pull


  • As we all know, committing to hitting a draw is tough under pressure thus allowing the club to naturally release left of the path can be an issue
  • It is impossible to time the “release” of the club in the 1/10,000 of a second during impact; however, the over-emphasis of releasing the club can move the face too far left of the target and path
  • The path is from the inside at 4.5 degrees while the face is -8.5 degrees left of the target which is -13.0 degrees left of the path…thus the ball starts way left and hooks even further left
  • The key to learn here is that the face “releases” left of the path but NOT left of the target

The Double Cross Left


  • Sometimes when hitting a fade you can get a touch handsy and pull the ball, “double-crossing” as it’s called.  When this happens the ball begins left of your target and never moves back to the right
  • As you can see the path is -9.8 degrees from out to in but instead of the face angle being RIGHT of the path, it is currently -3.6 degrees left of the path creating a pull hook
  • As stated the ball begins in the direction of the face and curves away from the path and if you turn the face left of the path then the ball will never come back

The Over the Top Slice


  • I’ve saved the best and most common of our favorite shots for last…the over the top slice!!!!
  • Here you can see that the path is -9.4 degrees from out to in yet the face is 1.3 degrees right of the target which gives us a 10.8 degree difference between the face and the path
  • Whenever the face is right of the path with a centered hit the ball will fall to from left to right
  • Anytime you swing left your mind knows that the target is right of your path thus you will tend to “hold on” to the blade in efforts to move the ball back towards the target…this puts the face right of the target and well right of the path and this will cause the big slice we all hate

Hopefully with these few sample shots you now understand now HOW these shots are created with centered impacts. As always, when we add in gear effect from toe and heel hits it can render the face to path numbers irrelevant as they can actually counteract one another. This is the reason why using face spray to audit your impact location can help you better chart your impact point, face, path, and spin axis number in the end.

Your Reaction?
  • 7
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW0
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK1

Tom F. Stickney II is the Director of Instruction and Business Development at Punta Mita, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico ( He is a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, and has been honored as a Golf Digest Best Teacher and a Golf Tips Top-25 Instructor. Tom is also a Trackman University Master/Partner, a distinction held by less than 15 people in the world. Punta Mita is a 1500 acre Golf and Beach Resort located just 45 minuted from Puerto Vallarta on a beautiful peninsula surrounded by the Bay of Banderas on three sides. Amenities include two Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses- with 14 holes directly on the water, a Golf Academy, four private Beach Clubs, a Four Seasons Hotel, a St. Regis Hotel, as well as, multiple private Villas and Homesites available. For more information regarding Punta Mita, golf outings, golf schools and private lessons, please email:



  1. Rich

    Aug 27, 2014 at 12:27 am

    I don’t understand what you mean by a draw is hit with an open face. As to my knowledge the way to hit a push draw is to have the face between the original target and path. But the more the path is right the more closed the face is? Just curious as to what you mean by an open face.

    • chase

      Aug 28, 2014 at 9:48 am

      its open to the target line yet closed to the club path if that helps

  2. Brian

    Aug 22, 2014 at 12:37 am

    Would love to see the numbers for the “snap hook” and “pull hook”

    • tom stickney

      Aug 22, 2014 at 10:28 am

      Snaphook would be path way left of target…face further left of path. The pull hook is shown above under the term “pull.”

  3. Pingback: Analyzing golfers’ “favorite” shots on Trackman |

  4. Jeff

    Aug 18, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    I was wonder if you were working on shots for a tournament what would you do in your practice to make them predictable and reliable. Would you hit a push draw and then a pull fade changing the path more than the club face for curvature of the ball or would you hit a push fade and draw so that both club paths were more similar and it was the club face angle that is changing more? I need to get tournament ready in two months for the next season in Palm Springs and I get different answers depending on which local pro I talk to.

    • Tom Stickney

      Aug 18, 2014 at 8:40 pm

      I’d practice my stock shot until it moved too much the hit the opposite one for a bit. Come see me in pd this winter. I’m at bighorn. Back in late October

  5. hidraw

    Aug 18, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    The push draw is my go to….and pretty much my only. Hard part about this is it creates a fairly shallow angle of attack and my miss is normally thin….good news is that thin is straight and helps keep my scores in line with a lower handicap golfer. However, there is nothing better than a solid strike with a nice divot in front of the ball. Any advice to address? Thanks!

  6. ILMHoosier

    Aug 18, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    Very nice article Tom. Just out of curiosity what club were you hitting?

    • Tom Stickney

      Aug 18, 2014 at 3:58 pm

      6 iron I believe. Early am, swinging easy

  7. Dakota

    Aug 18, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    I have worked at Dick’s for around the last year seeing the numbers on the launch monitor has really helped to understand a lot about the golf swing.

    • Tom Stickney

      Aug 18, 2014 at 3:59 pm

      Numbers help as long as you focus on the feeling you have to achieve them.

  8. Philip

    Aug 18, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    I like the descriptions with the numbers. This seems to be something I can wrap my head around. Until now I kinda knew what I was trying to do, but not with the confidence to pull it off.

    Much appreciated.

    • Tom Stickney

      Aug 18, 2014 at 2:19 pm

      Thx. I thought it would be cool to show both as well.

  9. NaborsX

    Aug 18, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Great info. Nice to see the swing feel in actual numbers. It’s always hard to get someone to understand the whole “swing right to go left” mentality.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Brooks Koepka’s grip secret



Here is a great video on understanding what allows a great player to get through the ball and deliver hardcore to his targets. Without this part of his grip, he would be hard-pressed to deliver anything with any kind of smash factor and compression. See what you can learn from his grip.

Your Reaction?
  • 4
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP3
  • OB2
  • SHANK16

Continue Reading


Swing speed vs. quality impact



In today’s age of hitting the ball as hard and as far as you can on tour, I am amazed at the number of amateur golfers who totally disregard the idea of quality impact. In fact, you can hit the ball further with better impact than you can with poor impact and more speed (to a point.) Sure, if you can kick the clubhead speed up 10 MPH-plus versus your normal speed, then this is not a requirement, but in reality most players only swing a few MPH faster when they actually try. Yes, this is true, I see it day after day. You might think you can swing 10 MPH faster but rarely do I see more than 2-3 MPH tops.

I had a student that came in the other day and was obsessed with swinging harder but when he did his impacts were terrible! When I put him on Trackman and showed him the data he was astounded that he could swing slower yet produce more distance.

Here was a typical swing he made when swinging faster 105.8 mph where the impact was low on the face and the ball carried 222.3 yards.

Here was a typical swing he made when swinging slower 102.9 mph where the impact was much better on the face and the ball carried 242.7 yards.

Now, obviously we know that this works to a certain degree of swing speed but it does show you that focusing on quality impact is a key as well. I’m always telling my players that I want them to swing as hard and as fast as they can AND maintain quality impact location — if you can do both then you can have it all!

The best way to understand impact quality without dismantling your swing is to use foot spray to coat the face of the club then hit a few balls to see where impact normally occurs and see if you can adjust.

If you can, great, if not, then go see your teaching professional and figure out why so you can find quality impact once and for all!

Your Reaction?
  • 126
  • LEGIT21
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT3
  • FLOP2
  • OB0
  • SHANK2

Continue Reading


How to warm up for golf PROPERLY



Leo Rooney, Director of Performance at Urban Golf Performance, shows you how to get ready to hit balls and/or hit the golf course.

Who is Leo Rooney?

Director of Performance at Urban Golf Performance
B.Sc Exercise Physiology

Leo Rooney played 16 years of competitive golf, in both college and professionally. He got a degree in exercise physiology and has worked with anyone from top tour players to beginners. Leo is now the Director of Performance at Urban Golf Performance and is responsible for the overall operations but still works closely with some elite tour players and the UCLA Men’s Golf Team.

He also has experience in long driving with a personal best 445-yard drive in the 2010 European Long driving Championship.

Your Reaction?
  • 2
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW1
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK21

Continue Reading

19th Hole