What is a Arc and the Swing Path?
A swing path is dictated by the arc the club-head follows during a golf swing! The arc starts in the takeaway and works around the body until the club-head reaches the top of the swing. As the club head works back down to the ball toward the target the club 'should' follow the same arc down. When the bottom of the arc reaches the impact zone the arc dictates what path the club will follow.
The swing path is the direction the club-head is traveling towards the target at impact. The swing path at impact can be either traveling right, left or straight at the target.
Swing paths that move too far left 'or' right of the target line are considered to be caused by faults in posture, set-up or the swing motion.
The perfect swing will have a swing arc that travels along the ideal swing plane, does not deviate from that swing plane and has a swing path traveling straight at the target.
Ball Flight Laws
The path of the hands in the hitting area provide the initial direction of the ball and the club-face angle at impact provides the curve or final destination that the ball will seek. The ball can start either towards the target, to the right of the target (push), or to the left of the target (pull). Off each path the ball can curve right (slice), left (hook), or continue straight. This gives us nine possible flight patterns of which only one is straight, as seen in the diagram to the left.