On the Course | AspenTimes.com

On the Course

Eben Harrell

Let’s talk ball flight. From tee to green, it’s all that counts. In the end, how you swing makes no difference; all that matters is how the ball flies after you swing.For some golfers, a good ball flight is simply that: a shot in flight rather than one that scuttles along the ground. But any golfer who takes him or herself seriously has a predominant ball flight. Jack Nicklaus said if he hit the ball straight it was an accident. Most golfers, including Nicklaus, can count on their ball swerving either from left to right or right to left in the air.The question for golfers is: Do you go for the powerful draw or the weak but more accurate fade?As a scratch golfer, I for years hit a draw. It was powerful and impressive and I could count on it under pressure. The problem is, I’m not a scratch golfer anymore. I hardly get the chance to play, and when I do, my deadly accurate draw turns dreadfully awful hook.Duck hook, snap hook, kamikaze curve ball – whatever you want to call it, I’ve been hitting it recently. So I’ve decided to give up on the draw and hit a fade.This will not be easy. It will require relearning the entire Aspen golf course; I’ve always approached it with a left-to-right ball flight in mind (I’m left-handed). It also will require a great effort of humility. 90 percent of golfers hit fades. A fade, in its exaggerated form called a “banana ball” or “slice,” is the entrance ticket to hacker heaven. It’s the shot all duffers hit. How can I expect to be taken seriously now that I’ve joined their ranks?Hopefully I’ll start turning in better scores. That’s the best way to get respect.

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