Home Month and Year May 2024 One Thing

One Thing

Scott Orban

If you were only allowed to teach golfers one thing, what would it be? 

At a golf-teaching symposium I was asked, “If you could only have one thing to teach a student, what would that be? My initial reaction is that there is not just one thing. All golfers are different and they all have different needs. I was continually pressed to give one answer and only one answer. Further, I was to discuss how my answer would affect a new golfer and a low handicap golfer.  


My mind raced in and around the fundamentals of which there are more than one. I saw flashes of new golfers, junior golfers, college kids I have taught, golfers getting tuned up for their first company golf tournament and those playing for the club championship. My answer: clubface angle. 


To be a little more specific: learning how to return the golf club squarely through the impact zone. Whether you are putting, chipping, pitching, hitting an iron shot or striking a drive off a tee, clubface angle and a golfer’s ability to return it properly through impact, has the most effect on the outcome of the shot. 


New golfers who have the awareness of squaring the golf clubface through impact learn the game quicker. This explains why many athletic junior golfers can get up and hit the ball with more success than their counterparts who have rarely swung a bat, racquet or hockey stick. It isn’t always pretty, but the simple concept of swinging the club through impact with a square clubface will improve the odds of hitting a good shot and leave the junior with wanting more. 


The clubface angle at impact has the most influence on the balls flight direction relative to the target. Clubface angle also dictates the trajectory, spin and the consistency of the distance. For the best golfers in the world, trajectory, spin and distance are critical to their games. 


Often amateur golfers spend a lot of time searching YouTube and working on their path or their plane of their golf swing, ignoring the simplicity and complicity of having a square clubface. You can put this theory to the test by hitting a few putts with an open and closed clubface, while watching the direction. Now square the clubface to the target line, change the path and watch where the ball goes. Face angle always beats path when it comes to direction.  


In our Academy programs, we will analyze our student’s clubface angle at various points of the swing. If a change is needed, we will teach golfers to learn spatial awareness and how to have a square clubface angle at various positions of the swing.  


Spatial awareness of a square clubface to the target at impact will help new golfers strike the ball, and this success will encourage them to keep playing and learning. A good golfer will benefit quickly by seeing how a square clubface angle can affect some of the other fundamentals they are working on. Answer: clubface is KING!