By Melvin Blair USGTF Member Tampa, Florida

Over the years, I invested in the launch monitor FlightScope, and now the Mevo+ is another part of the family. Now, things are better than  ever! At, we have the right numbers. The pros only play with the numbers, and you and your students can, as well! Students  ask me all the time, “What element of my swing do I need to change?”

My first question is, “How much knowledge or understanding do you have of the ball flight laws?” You would be surprised how many  students and coaches say, “Not much,” and that the numbers are confusing. My answer is, “Without the numbers, your golf swing is  confusing!”

Something I learned: the ball is an object! It cannot see how pretty your swing looks or how tall you are or how much you weigh or whether  you are playing well or poorly. It knows and responds to only one thing – impact, from the moment the clubhead strikes the ball to the  moment they separate. The ball collects all the information that it needs to determine which direction, what distance and what trajectory to  take. If the golf club strikes the ball with 120 mph of swing speed in the center of the clubface with same loft, clubface angle and swing path, it will go in the same place regardless of who is hitting it.

Ball flight laws are the most important information in which a teacher or student should have at least a reasonable level of knowledge. The knowledge gives us a great understanding of why the ball goes in the direction it is going. Without this knowledge, we can’t give such information as the true angle of attack, clubhead speed, club path, face angle, face-to-path or smash factor. I tell students, if you notice your  golf ball when it is in the air for a long time with your slice, there is a good chance your spin is high. If your golf ball lacks rollout and seems to stop immediately when it lands, you are probably playing with high spin. If it seems like the ball lands softly and reacts immediately when it  hits, there is a strong indication that you have high spin. And understanding how spin works and where your spin needs to be is the first step  in fixing your slice, which is the evil of golf!

Golf instructors now know the important relationships between two critical things – the clubface angle and the club swing path. They know this is the key to understanding the slice. This can be done only with a launch monitor, because your eyes are not that good!

Club Data • Club Speed • Attack Angle • Club Path • Swing Plane • Swing Direction • Dynamic Loft • Spin Loft • Face Angle • Face-to-Path

Ball Data • Ball Speed • Launch Angle • Launch Direction • Spin Axis • Spin Rate • Smash Factor • Height • Carry

Coach Melvin Blair is the golf coach for, is a coach for the First Tee of Tampa Bay, ran the Disabled Veterans Golf Association, Inc., passed the V1/PGA Education Teaching and Technology advanced course, and is a member of the USGTF. Blair credits the USGTF for changing his golf life and giving him the tools he needed to teach and play golf at a high level.
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