Student Lorie Alibrio practices her swing with a teaching aid. She must hit down, under the teaching aid, for the ball to go up. JEAN HARRIS

Many beginners have difficulty understanding the game of golf because it doesn’t make sense to them. However if they learn the laws of physics, their golf game will improve.

Golf is really a game of cause and effect. Beginners need to learn what action causes what reaction. Once they do, they will know why golf is said to be a game of opposites.

Opposites in golf include:

• Swing easy to hit the ball hard.

• Aim to the right to make the ball turn to the left.

• Aim to the left to make the ball turn to the right.

• Hit down on the ball to make it go up.

The typical beginner’s mistake is the slice. There are two basic reasons for the ball to slice.

1. The clubface is “open” to the target line at impact.

2. The direction the clubhead is moving at impact is “outside-in” relative to the target.

Most beginners put the wrong bandaid on their swing problems because they find it difficult to understand that the same swing path can cause the ball to go in opposite directions depending on whether the clubface is open or closed.

For example: The longer the club is, the more difficult to “square up” the clubface at impact. That is why the same person will pull their short irons and slice their long irons and woods.

A pull is an outside-in path with a closed clubface, which is easier to achieve with a short club. A slice is also an outside-in path, but with an open clubface, and usually done with longer clubs.

To improve, try to learn how to hit the shot opposite of your normal miss.

How to hook or draw the ball for a right-handed golfer:

• Aim your body and clubface to the right

• Move your ball position back in your stance

• Rotate your hands on the grip slightly to the right (stronger grip)

• This will help you with an “inside-out” swing path

How to slice or fade the ball for a right-handed golfer:

• Aim your body and clubface to the left

• Move your ball position forward in your stance

• Rotate your hands on the grip slightly to the left (weaker grip)

This will help you with and “outside-in” swing path.

If you have difficulty making these swing corrections, I recommend that you see a qualified golf professional.

Dr. Jean Harris is an LPGA Master Professional and teaches at local courses. jean.golfdoctor.harris@gmail.com; golfdoctorjean.com