How To Stop Pulling The Ball In Golf (Causes and Fixes)


Tired of hitting that dreaded shot that starts left and stays left? 

We have all been there!

You are lined up to hit the perfect shot and something happens where you pull the ball into the rough, a water hazard, a bunker or worse of all you pull the ball out of bounds. 

However, it doesn’t feel that much different, in fact sometimes it is some of our best contact, but we miss left.

When the pull shot starts to creep into your golf swing it can be a scary miss as you have essentially created a two way miss and there is potential for some high scores.

The true secret to golf is establishing a stock shot!  

One where you know where the ball is going to start at least 70% of the time and you have a predictable score.

The good news is that with some of the simple drills below we can help better understand the pull, what the fixes are for the pull shot and then take it to the next level with a drill on how to hit a stock shot.


Here at golfjourney365, I love the game of golf. 

It provides an opportunity to challenge myself both physically and mentally over a 4 hour round of golf, while being outside with family and friends.  Overall, golf is a lifetime game and we all want to be more consistent.

I used to struggle with the pull shot until I learned how to hit the ball from the inside and build a stock shot that I can rely on throughout a 4 hour round of golf.

Tired of hitting and still not getting better. Make sure you check out the fundamentals section and how to build a stock shot below!

How To Stop Pulling The Ball in Golf?

The key is to ensure that your club face is aimed slightly to the right or is open at impact.  The ball will generally start where the club face is aimed and we want the ball to start slightly right and draw back towards the target.  Understanding the ball flight laws is essential to any golfers success.

Golf can be a wonderful game, but it is even more wonderful when we have a stock shot and can understand the ball flight laws. 

Once we reach a general level of understanding of the ball flight laws, we can read our ball flight and make adjustments as needed throughout the round of golf.

Below, I will dive into the following questions/topics:
  • Understanding the ball flight laws
  • What causes the pull shot in golf
  • What are the fixes for a pull shot in golf
  • What are the fundamentals of golf
  • Building a stock shot in golf
  • How to measure your golf swing
  • BONUS DRILL: How to gain 5-8% in swing speed with a simple training system

Understanding the Ball Flight Laws

Why? If you understand the ball flight laws you can start to become your own swing instructor and make corrections on the range or the course by reading the flight of your golf ball and also understand why the game of golf is so difficult.  

Too often golfers turn to the video of their swing when everything you need to know can be read off of your ball flight.  Did you know that your ball flight can tell you the following:

  • Where your club face was at impact.
  • If your swing path was left or right of the club face.

Once you know these two items you can make the corrections by checking out our 2nd Tip on understanding what swing thoughts can help you get the proper matchups.

So let’s dive into the ball flight laws:

  • Generally speaking, the golf ball will start where the club face is aiming.
  • The golf ball will then curve away from the swing path.

There are two different lines that we must understand.  The target line and the start line.  The best golfers start the ball left or right of the target line and then curve the ball back towards the target.

Let’s go over some examples to help you better understand the ball flight laws.

Example A:  Let’s say that the club face is 3 degrees right of the target line and the swing path is 5 degrees right of the target line.  What will the ball do?

Answer: The ball will start right of the target line and draw back towards the target.  This is known as a push draw.

Example B: Let’s say the club face is 3 degrees right of the target line, same as in example A, but the swing path is only 1 degree right of the target line.  What will the ball do?

Answer: The ball will start to the right of the target line and will fade to the right.  Keep in mind that the ball will curve away from the swing path.  In this example, both the club face and the swing path are to the right and the ball will curve away from the path.

Example C: Let’s say the club face is 3 degrees to the left of the target line and the swing path is 5 degrees left of the target line.  What will the ball do?

Answer: The ball will start to the left and curve to the right.  This would be a pull fade or pull slice.  Keep in mind that even though the face is closed to the target line, it is open to the swing path and the ball will curve away from the swing path.

Example D: Let’s say the club face is 3 degrees to the left and the swing path is only 1 degree to the left.  What will the ball do?

Answer: The ball will start left and curve left.  This shot would look like a pull draw. 

Hopefully, these examples help you understand the club face and swing path correlation and how they match up.  Once you understand these ball flight laws, it will help you read your own shots and possibly make in round adjustments.

What Causes The Pull Shot in Golf?

The pull shot occurs from when the club face is closed to the target line and the swing path is somewhere around the same amount closed.  For example, if your club face is 3 degrees closed or left of the target line the ball will start in that direction. 

If the path is also around 3 degrees closed or left of the target line the ball will stay on that line.

If the path were left of hte club face the ball would fade or slice back to the right.  If the path was just slight to the right the face the ball would start left and curve left.  Either shot is not that great of a shot.

The key to any golf game is hitting the ball from the inside and being able to control the curve of the ball (see fundamental 2 below).

The closed club face can be a result of the trying to close the path or coming over the top.  Instead be patient from the top and left the club drop to the inside and hit the ball as the club is moving more towards the right.

What Are the Fixes For A Pull Shot in Golf?

The key here is to hit the ball with a path that is going out to the right.  This will take patience and allow the club to drop down to te inside and keeping  your head behind the ball. 

You want a path and a club face that are right of the target line.  Below is wonderful video and drill you can use to build skill. 

Check out the video at around 10:00

Bottom line is that we need to the ball starting right of the target line.  This is the key to golf.  There aren’t too many quality golfers that hit any type of pull shot. 

Even the best golfers that play a fade are often hitting the ball with an inside pattern.  They are often aiming a bit to the left and then hitting a push fade instead of a pull fade.  Too often the pull fade can turn into a pull shot.

Now that we have a general understanding of the ball flight laws and the causes and fixes of the pull shot in golf, let’s quickly dive into the fundamentals in the golf swing.

What Are The Fundamentals of the Golf Swing?

The Stack and Tilt Instructors said it best when they described what they believed were the fundamentals of golf.  They explained it somewhat similar to this:

  • The first fundamental is the golfer’s ability to control the bottom of the golf swing.  The best golfers will hit the ground in the intended spot, close to 100% of the time.
  • The second fundamental is the golfer’s ability to control the curve of the golf ball. The best golfers are able to start the ball to the right or left of the target line and have the ball curve towards the target without the ball over curving past the target.
  • The third fundamental is the golfer’s ability to have enough power to play the golf course.  This means they are able to hit the ball far enough to play the course in regulation.

They explained that among the greatest golfers of all time there were different grips and different aim points. The fundamentals in golf are not grip, and alignment. 

Ben Hogan played with a weak grip, while Lee Trevino had a strong grip.  Lee Trevino and Fred Couples aimed way to the right, while Sam Snead and Arnold Palmer aimed well to the right.

So much time is spent in golf instruction on the grip, backswing, and different positions. We have found the fundamentals above to the real key!

Building A Stock Shot in Golf

This is the ultimate key.  Combining the drill found above in the youtube video linked with the drill below and you will be on your way to fixing the pull shot in golf and building a stock shot! 

There are some great possibilities here!

Drill – Building A Stock Shot:

A key is to control your start line and your curve, which is the 2nd fundamental in golf.  I would recommend the stock draw shot.  Here is a drill you can practice at the driving range:

  • Setup an alignment stick about 7 to 10 yards in front of you on the target line. 
  • See how many shots out of 10 you can start to the right of the target.
  • Track this data over time and continue to work on your start line.

The key here is to be able to this 70% of the time. From here we can improve our course management, stop worrying about the two way miss and actually start having fun scoring on the course.

How To Measure Your Golf Swing

It can be helpful to know your swing path and club face direction at impact.  In today’s golf world, even amateurs can have access to this technology and data with the technology now available.

The professional golfers of today all have access to some great technology including launch monitors to help measure their swing and know their numbers. 

Can an amateur use this same or similar technology for game improvement?  Yes, absolutely and I would highly recommend it.  

Even if you aren’t going to go all out and build an indoor golf simulator like I did (see below), you can still pick up a launch monitor at a reasonable price and use it in your indoor net or taking to the course or driving range with you!  

Know numbers like spin rate, ball speed, spin axis and other key information is vital to your growth.  Sharing these numbers with your instructor can be helpful and help with equipment selection as well.

I would recommend one of the three launch monitors listed below:
The SkyTrak can be used indoors or outdoors and provides quality feedback!

BONUS DRILL:  Increase your swing speed through overspeed training

  • Check out SuperSpeed Overspeed Training Protocols
  • Train every other day for 10-15 minutes.
  • See a 4-6% increase in swing speed as early as the first training protocol.

The number one thing that has helped me gain significant distance is the SuperSpeed Training System.  This overspeed based system where you train every other day for about 10-15 minutes with different swing sticks can help you increase your swing speed by 5-8% which can be 20-30 yards.  Who wouldn’t want an extra 20-30 yards.  Plus it helps improve your mechanics.

SuperSpeed Golf – Use Discount Code Golfjourney365 for some savings!

The analytics are pretty clear on the importance of speed in the game of golf.  Would you rather hit your approach shot from 130 yards of 160 yards? 

The answer is pretty simple!  We know that over the course of time, we will hit shots from 130 yards much closer than from 160 yards, whether we are an average amateur golfer, a scratch golfer, or a PGA Tour member!  

The key is having shorter approach shots, so we can hit the ball closer to the hole and then make more putts!  Speed is king in the game of golf!  Make sure you check out SuperSpeed Golf!

Final Thoughts: My Secret To Golf Improvement

Let’s face it, in order to get really good at golf, we must practice frequently.  About three years ago, I made the leap and invested in a golf simulator build for my garage. 

I went with a SkyTrak Launch Monitor and the TGC software and can now play over 100,000 courses including Augusta, Pebble Beach, Bethpage Black, Whistling Straits. St. Andrews and many other of the top 100 courses in the world.

This golf simulator setup, which is more affordable that you might imagine, has been a game changer.  I can now play golf everyday of the year regardless of rain, snow, cold weather or time of day.  I can practice or play rounds of golf. 

I can stand in the 11th fairway at Augusta and with the auto-rewind feature I am able to practice my approach shots from various differences.

Some amazing golf on a golf simulator!

It is worth checking out through Rain or Shine Golf as they offer some incredible packages along with financing offers that are difficult to beat.

Some direct links to Rain or Shine Golf for pricing and financing:

Take Action – What You Can Do Today to Get Better

What does this mean for you?  I believe in the following recipe to get better:

1 – Improve your motion in the golf swing by identifying a golf instructor.  Here are some options:

Here is a list of golf instructors that we have reviewed:

2 – Train to swing faster and improve your swing speed.  Here are some options:

Looking to gain more Speed and Distance in your swing. Two Options:

3 – Understand course strategy and work to break through your next barrier.  Here is a series on breaking through:

We have provided guides on how to break 100, 90, 80 and 70. Check out more below, if interested.

4 – Practice Frequently

Did you know that I build a golf simulator in my garage and have played over 500 rounds of golf on my SkyTrak system?  It has been a game changer and one worth checking out. Here are some of my other posts on golf simulators frequently asked questions:

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