Why squaring the clubface is so important, according to the ClubTest robot

A golf swing robot testing golf clubs in a lab

Swing robots can determine the slightest changes in face angle at impact.

Jonathan Wall

We’ve all been told to “square the clubface” to hit the ball straight. The question is how much should we square the clubface and how does face angle — defined as the angle that the face is open or closed at impact — impact ball direction?

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To test this out we set up the ClubTest robot with a 6-iron at 80 mph. We hit the ball straight down the target line to establish a baseline shot. We measured all head delivery and launch data with a Foresight GC Quad launch monitor.

We then opened and closed the face equally 2 degrees and 4 degrees. At the 2-degree open and closed settings, the ball went 10 yards off target to the right on the open shots and to the left on the closed shots. At 4 degrees open and closed, the ball dispersion increased to 20 yards right and left.

The average amateur fairway is 40 yards in width, so an average player has to be within 4 degrees of a face angle to target to hit the fairway.

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This test highlights the importance of knowing your clubhead delivery and launch data. Once you have this information, you can see how much your face was opened or closed and then start to work on drills to hit the ball more consistently with a square face.

Learn more about our partnership with Gene Parente and his Golf Laboratories robot for ClubTest 2022 here.

Want to overhaul your bag for 2022? Find a fitting location near you at GOLF’s affiliate company True Spec Golf.

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