The gear effect: many have heard of it, but few actually understand what it is. Fewer still realize that not understanding the gear effect can hamper their efforts to improve their golf game.

Whether we hit a good shot or a bad one, we assume we know what happened. Maybe we think we came over the top of the ball, or came too far from the inside. However, what we think happened can be very different from what is actually happening and this misunderstanding can greatly affect how we swing.

Here’s an example. A right-handed golfer might hit a drive and notice that the ball starts to the left and then fades right. This golfer might understandably presume that their swing came over the top and struck the ball on an out-to-in path causing the slice. This golfer might start tinkering with their swing, trying to eliminate the imagined “over-the-top” movement to fix the slice.

But what if their slice was caused by where they struck the ball on the clubface and not by their swing path? Making changes to their swing to fix a problem that isn’t there is only going to lead to more problems. That’s why it’s important to understand the gear effect and how striking the ball with different parts of the clubface has such a profound effect on the ball’s trajectory.

Sounds complicated, right? Watch this quick video where I explain the gear effect so you can better understand your swing and the ball’s flight path.

Be sure to check out some of my other videos to improve your game, such as how to hit a ball below your feet and this drill to improve your upper body rotation.