What is a Double Cross in Golf?

Every golfer wants to hit the ball straight and true towards their intended target on every shot. However, the golf swing is a complex motion and even slight errors in your setup, takeaway, transition or impact can send your ball veering offline in the blink of an eye. One of the most frustrating ball flights is the “double cross” – a shot that starts left of your target (for right-handed golfers) but curves back to the right in mid-air.

A double cross occurs when the clubface is closed relative to the swing path at impact, but then opens up through the hitting area, putting sidespin on the ball in opposite directions. At first, the closed clubface imparts right-to-left sidespin, sending the ball left of the target. But as the clubface rotates open, it applies left-to-right spin, curving the shot back to the right.

What Causes a Double Cross?

  • Holding Off the Release – If you delay unhinging your wrists through impact, the clubface stays closed initially but then must open sharply to release. This flips the clubface from closed to open, double crossing the ball.
  • Over the Top Move – When the downswing comes too much from outside-to-in over the plane line, you must flip the face closed to square it at impact. This closed face then opens as you exit left, creating a double cross.
  • Casting from the Top – Allowing your wrists to break down too early from the top drops the club into a closed position on the downswing. You then must hastily release to catch up, resulting in a double cross.
  • Grip Issues – A weak left-hand grip makes it harder to control the clubface through impact. The face can move from closed to open more easily, especially if you release too late or cast early.
  • Ball Position Too Far Forward – When tee shots are struck too far forward in your stance with driver, the clubface tends to close then open as you swing upward to make contact. This can create a double cross.

How To Fix a Double Cross

  • Don’t Hold Off – Allow your wrists to hinge naturally to square the face in the downswing. Avoid manipulating the release or trapping the club.
  • Improve Your Plane – Keep the club on plane on the downswing, neither too inside or outside. Let the proper swing path deliver the face squarely.
  • Maintain Wrist Hinge – Focus on keeping your wrists cocked as you start down to prevent casting and holding off.
  • Check Your Grip – Ensure your hands are neutral and able to control the clubface throughout the swing.
  • Set up Properly – Verify ball position is not too far forward at address, promoting a square strike.
  • Seek Feedback – Ask a teaching pro to analyze your swing and identify any mechanical fixes needed.
  • Groove with Alignments – Place alignment sticks on the range to monitor your path and release with different clubs.
  • Try Impact Drills – Practice impact positions and releases to learn proper wrist action and face control.
  • Swing Easy – Increased effort often makes flaws more pronounced. Focus on balance and rhythm.

Golf Clubs That Can Help Stop Double Crossing

  • Higher lofted fairway woods add backspin for straighter shots. The rounded sole glides through impact.
  • Hybrids around 20 degrees loft with offset design square the clubface easily at impact for straight ball flight.
  • Cavity back irons position weight low and deep for higher trajectories and added forgiveness.
  • Counterbalanced putters allow for a more pendulum-like stroke. The added weight limits face rotation and manipulation.

3 Key Swing Techniques

Strengthen Grip

Turning both hands slightly clockwise on the club to promote closing the face through impact. This prevents an open clubface and slice.

Limit Wrist Action

Minimize excessive wrists hinging or flipping, which leaves the face open at impact. Keep wrists quieter.

Swing More Around Your Body

Make a wider backswing by maintaining arm and club connection to your torso. Initiate downswing with the lower body. This inward-outward swing path squares the face.

Conclusion

Double crosses can occur due to various factors, such as poor swing mechanics, improper grip, or misalignment. Golfers typically try to avoid double crosses as they can lead to a loss of accuracy and distance, and may result in the ball ending up in difficult positions on the golf course. Golfers should focus on quieting the hands, strengthening the grip, and swinging more around the body to prevent the clubface from getting out of sync with the swing path. With proper technique, golfers can eliminate the double cross and produce consistently straight shots.

FAQs

Why am I double crossing?

  1. Poor Alignment: Incorrect alignment of your body and clubface can cause the ball to start in the opposite direction of your intended shot shape.
  2. Swing Path: A faulty swing path can lead to an unintended ball flight. For example, an over-the-top swing can produce a slice (or fade) instead of the desired draw.
  3. Grip Issues: An improper grip can make it challenging to control the clubface, resulting in an unpredictable ball flight.
  4. Weight Shift: Inconsistent weight shift during the swing can cause the clubface to open or close at impact, leading to a double cross.

How do you stop a double cross?

To reduce double crosses in golf, it’s essential to address key aspects of your game. Firstly, work on your alignment and swing fundamentals to ensure you set up correctly for each shot. Secondly, focus on controlling the clubface at impact, as this greatly influences the direction of the ball. Lastly, seek guidance from a golf instructor to receive personalized tips and practice regularly to develop muscle memory and gain confidence in your swing. By honing these skills, you can minimize double crosses and become a more consistent and reliable golfer on the course.

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