Dive into the intricate world of golf with this in-depth exploration of the enigmatic “double cross.” Discover the mechanics of this unintentional swing and its impact on your game as we unveil the secrets to mastering the art of golf and avoiding this common pitfall.


Golf, an intriguing and skill-demanding game, is laden with nuances and terms that often bewilder many. One such term is the “double cross.” Unpacking this concept, the double cross is an unintentional shot that moves in the opposite direction of what a golfer attempted.

Golf Swing Basics

Regarding the fundamentals of a golf swing, the club face, swing path, and target line are crucial. The swing path is the direction your club head travels during your swing relative to the target line.

Understanding Double Cross

Digging deeper into the notion of a double cross in golf, it’s a situation where a golfer aligns for a specific ball curve – typically a draw or fade – but the ball flies in the opposite direction. For example, if a right-handed golfer sets up for a fade (intending the ball to curve left to right) but hits a draw (the ball curves right to left), they’ve hit a dreaded double cross.

Double Cross and the Golf Ball

The double cross has a noticeable effect on the golf ball. In the tee shot, the ball starts in one direction, then sharply curves in the opposite direction. Recognizing a double cross from the ball’s flight path is key to diagnosing the issue in your swing.

Swing Path and Double Cross

The swing path plays a significant role in a double cross. It’s this path that guides the golf ball toward the intended spot. If the swing path and club face alignment doesn’t match, it can result in a double cross, causing the ball to move in the opposite direction.

Causes of Double Cross in Golf

One common mistake leading to a double cross involves the club face being open or closed relative to the swing path at impact. For instance, if you’re trying to hit a draw, you aim right of the target and swing along this line, but the clubface is closed relative to this path, and the ball will curve to the left, resulting in a double cross. Early wrist rotation can also lead to a double cross.

Golf Swing Terminology and the Double Cross

Understanding the terminology associated with the golf swing can help comprehend the phenomenon of the double cross. Terms like ‘pull draw,’ ‘push draw,’ and ‘snap hook’ are all related to the double cross in one way or another.

For instance, a ‘pull draw’ for a right-handed golfer is a shot that starts left of the target and curves even more to the left – a prime example of a double cross when the golfer is aiming for a fade.

The Double Cross and Left vs. Right Side

In a golf swing, the coordination between the left and right sides of the body is crucial. The lower body, especially the left side for right-handed golfers, initiates the downswing. A common mistake is to start the downswing with the right side, leading to an overactive upper body and early release of the wrists, both potential causes of a double cross.

Avoiding the Double Cross

Correcting your golf swing is essential to avoid a double cross. Many golfers, especially when on the driving range, find themselves comfortable hitting shots aimed left with a clubface open to the target line and path, intending for a fade.

However, a closed clubface relative to the path results in a double cross. Analyzing your swing by an instructor can help identify and correct these issues.

Double Cross at the Tee Box

The tee box can be a hotspot for double crosses. The open space and pressure to hit a perfect drive often lead to overcompensation in the swing.

Aiming left to hit a fade but ending up with a snap hook is common. Knowing how to align properly and controlling the swing path and club face can help alleviate the problem.

Golf Tools to Mitigate Double Cross

Specific equipment adjustments can counteract double crosses. Using clubs that match your swing speed and style can make a considerable difference.

Furthermore, modern technology such as swing analyzers and simulators provide a clear picture of your swing path, ball position, and club face at impact, helping to identify and correct any issues.

Impact of Double Cross on Your Golf Game

Double crosses can significantly impact your golf game, often leading to bad shots that veer off course.

For instance, a right-handed golfer might aim right to avoid it if you’re playing a hole with a water hazard on the left. The ball will end up in the water if they unintentionally hit a pull draw due to a double cross.

Role of Power in Double Cross

In golf, power is important, but when not properly controlled, it can lead to issues like the double cross. A common mistake many golfers make is trying to swing faster to hit the ball harder. However, swinging faster often leads to early wrist rotation and a snap hook.

This decreases accuracy and leads to the dreaded double cross, especially for right-handed golfers, where the ball curves left instead of right.

Learning from the Pros

Even professional golfers aren’t immune to the occasional double cross. However, they are quick to recognize and correct the issue.

Many professionals use their knowledge of the swing, gathered from countless hours on the driving range and working with swing instructors, to correct their mistakes and avoid a repeat of the double cross on subsequent holes.

Practice Makes Perfect

Consistent practice is key to avoiding double crosses. Regularly hitting shots on the driving range will help you understand the ball position, aim, and swing path needed for your desired shot shape.

It allows you to develop a clear picture of what a good shot feels like, which is crucial for avoiding a double cross on the golf course.

Practice Techniques to Prevent Double Cross

There are several techniques that you can practice to prevent the double cross. One effective method is to work on starting the downswing with the lower body, keeping the right side passive for right-handed golfers. Practicing a proper release of the club, where the clubface is not overly closed or open at impact, can also help.

Mental Aspect of Avoiding Double Cross

Golf is as much a mental game as it is a physical one. Understanding what a double cross is and how it happens is the first step toward managing it. Being able to picture the correct swing path and clubface alignment mentally, and keeping calm even when things go awry, are crucial elements in avoiding the double cross.

Aiming Correctly to Avoid Double Cross

One crucial aspect of the golf game is the aim. Often, golfers set their aim to hit a fade or a draw but end up hitting a double cross due to the incorrect alignment of the body and clubface relative to the target.

Proper alignment, with both the body and club aimed at the start line of the intended shot shape, can help prevent a double cross.

The Impact of Wrist Position on Double Cross

The wrist position plays a significant role in causing or preventing a double cross. Over-rotation of the wrists early in the downswing can result in a closed clubface at impact, causing a right-handed golfer’s shot to curve left – a typical double cross scenario when the golfer was trying to hit a fade.

The Role of Body Rotation in Double Cross

The rotation of the body, particularly the lower body, is another factor in preventing a double cross. An effective downswing starts with the rotation of the lower body, followed by the upper body. This sequence ensures the clubface remains square to the swing path, helping to prevent a double cross.

Misunderstandings about Double Cross

A common misunderstanding among many golfers is that the ball’s initial direction off the clubface is always where the clubface was pointed at impact, and the subsequent ball curve is solely due to the swing path.

However, both clubface and swing paths influence the initial ball direction and curve, and misunderstanding can lead to double crosses.

Improvement Strategies for Double Cross

Strategies to improve and avoid the double cross might include working with a golf instructor, using swing analysis technology, and practicing specific drills designed to improve clubface control and swing path. Regular practice with these strategies can help golfers understand their swing better and reduce the occurrence of double-crosses.

Double Cross and Its Impact on Scoring

The double cross can have a significant impact on a golfer’s scoring. A double-crossed shot is often unexpected and can lead to challenging situations, such as landing in hazards or out of bounds, leading to penalty strokes and higher scores.

Common Mistakes Leading to Double Cross

Some common mistakes leading to a double cross include aiming too far away from the target line, overly aggressive swings, and poor body alignment. By recognizing and correcting these mistakes, golfers can reduce the likelihood of hitting a double cross.

Conclusion: Double Cross, a Challenge to Overcome

The double cross remains one of the most challenging aspects to overcome in a golfer’s journey. Yet, it offers valuable lessons and opportunities to understand one’s swing better. While frustrating, dealing with a double cross can eventually improve a golfer’s game.


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  3. Hardy, Jim, and Proctor, Scott. “The Plane Truth for Golfers.” McGraw-Hill Education, 2005.
  4. Pelz, Dave, and Mastroni, Nick. “Dave Pelz’s Short Game Bible: Master the Finesse Swing and Lower Your Score.” Broadway Books, 1999.

Chris is an accomplished health and fitness writer with a strong passion for helping others optimize their physical and mental well-being. With a degree in Exercise Science and a diverse background in the wellness industry, Chris brings a depth of knowledge to his writing that is both comprehensive and compelling.

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