Here we are yet again with some terminology that makes the game of golf considerably more challenging to figure out.
With all of the words you must know to become a great golfer, it is certainly hard to keep everything straight.
A double cross is something you have probably heard a playing partner say when they are very frustrated with their shot.
Chances are the shot they hit was not the one they intended, and they started yelling about a double cross.
If you have ever wondered what exactly a double cross is, you are in the right place.
What Is a Double Cross?
A double cross in golf is when you decide on a specific shot and then end up hitting the exact opposite of that shot.
This is a bit different from just trying to hit a hole in one and having it fail to happen.
When you hit a double cross, you will be set up to hit something like a fade, but instead, at the last second, you flip your wrists and end up hitting a large hook.
The double cross problem is that your miss can sometimes be even worse than it is with a standard miss.
Let’s look at some examples of a double cross and why this problem is going to cause issues for golfers.
Example of a Double Cross
Let’s take the example of a golfer who wants to hit a fade.
One of the easiest ways to hit a fade is to aim your body a bit to the left, and at impact, keep the club face slightly open.
All you will need to do is hold the club face open a second longer, and you should get a very nice fade in your ball flight.
The problem is that some golfers start to get nervous as they make their way to the golf ball.
All of a sudden, the idea of a slice creeps into their head, and instead of trusting the fade ball flight, they quickly flip their wrists and end up hitting a large hook.
What happens is the golfer will close the club face down in fear of the right side of the course, and in turn, pull the ball directly to the left.
This is a double cross because the golfer not only went against what they were originally planning to do, but now they are in trouble on the other side of the golf course.
A double cross is a frustrating problem because the miss that it creates is often twice as bad as the original nicely planned shot.
Golfers who aim way left of a target because of their slice sometimes happen to not slice the ball.
If the golfer hits a hook while aiming left, chances are their golf shot is going to end up out of bounds.
Overall, the double cross is a miss of a better player.
If a player is setting up to hit some kind of a fade or a draw, it means that they have a general understanding of how to play the game.
In other words, in order to double cross, you probably are a decent golfer.
Understanding why these misses happen can certainly help players to learn how to fix them.
Why Does a Double Cross in Golf Happen?
The better you get at golf, the more you realize how much the mental game is going to impact your overall performance.
The major reasoning behind the double cross is the mental game.
Players start to doubt their alignment and the way they are set up.
When they have these doubts, they then start to make small changes to their swing as they are coming through the golf ball.
One of the best things you can do to eliminate hitting the double cross is to trust yourself when you play.
If you trust yourself, you will have much more success in your golf game.
When you decide on a shot, commit to that shot, and continue to trust it until the shot is complete.
Trying to change things as you get near the impact position will only cause you to double cross and get into more trouble.
Another problem many golfers have is they tend to overcorrect.
What Happens When You Overcorrect in Golf?
Overcorrecting in golf is when you try and plan for a bad shot or a miss, but you actually put yourself into more trouble.
Let’s take, for instance, a golfer who typically slices the ball.
If you are this player, you know that, in order to prevent the slice from getting you into a lot of trouble, you should aim down the left side of the golf course.
The theory is that, by aiming down the left, the ball will turn slightly back to the right and end up on the right side of the fairway or in the right rough.
This is the way many golfers play every round of golf.
It is done to help make the misses a bit better and because, for the most part, you are not going to be able to fix a lifelong slice while you are out on the golf course.
The problem is that many players take this planning for a slice to an entirely different level.
They aim down the left side to help themselves, and it ends up hurting instead.
When you aim left on a hole that has trouble to the left, what happens if you hit the golf ball straight?
You never want to punish yourself for hitting the ball straight.
Most golf professionals and great players would tell you that you need to fix your slice.
Realizing that this is not realistic for all golfers, we highly recommend that you at least make sure you are not setting yourself up for trouble.
On a hole that has trouble all down the left side, aim towards the middle of the fairway.
If you end up in the right rough, you are still going to be in a position to have a great hole.
If you are a player who only occasionally slices the ball, aim down the center more often.
Start to get some confidence in your ability to hit the ball straight.
Sometimes all it takes is a positive mindset and a little bit of proper alignment in order to start pulling off great shots.
The worst thing you can do is set yourself up to avoid trouble and wind up hitting it directly into the trouble.
Take your time, pay attention to alignment and aim, and make sure you pull off the shot you intend to hit.
How to Avoid a Double Cross
Aside from making sure you are trusting yourself, there is another trick you can do to avoid a double cross.
You will want to make sure you are maintaining your wrist angles as you would in a normal shot.
When we are afraid of the result of a shot, our hands and wrists tend to take over.
They will try to fix the swing and work against what the larger muscles are doing.
Overall, this can be a rather dangerous move, and you never want your hands and wrists working independently of the rest of your golf swing.
If your last swing thought before you hit your shot is to make sure you maintain your wrist angle, this is certainly acceptable.
For golfers who are trying to avoid the double cross while hitting a fade, you can also put the ball just slightly further back in your stance.
Sometimes this little bit of distance back will give the player less time to shut the club face down and double cross.
You won’t want to exaggerate this ball position as placing the ball too far back in your stance could lead to other issues.
Again, if you are a golfer who wants to start hitting fades and draws and playing with ball flight, you must spend some time working on these things at the range.
If you find that you double cross each time you try and pull off one of these shots, sticking with hitting the ball straight for now is going to make the most sense.
Should I Try to Hit a Draw and a Fade, or Should I Hit the Ball Straight?
There are some different theories which apply to this question, and most of the answers are going to depend on your current golf handicap.
For lower handicap players, it is essential to learn how to hit the ball both left and right.
The reason behind this is that you can’t get that close to the hole if you are only able to hit the ball straight.
Sometimes there will be pin locations which call for a shot to be faded or drawn into the pin.
If you are not capable of playing these types of shots, chances are your overall scores are going to remain a bit higher.
For higher handicap players who can barely hit the golf ball straight, taking on the fade and the draw type shots may be a bit too overwhelming.
The one concept to consider is that, if a higher handicapper can learn to hit a draw or a fade, they should be able to learn how to hit the ball straight as well.
Sometimes as golfers, we put so much emphasis on learning to hit the ball straight that we forget to play to our strengths.
If your natural golf swing creates a five-yard fade, you should play it.
You can play this fade all the way around the golf course and score relatively low.
The key is to find something you can repeat, something that is consistent.
If you lack consistency, you will score relatively high.
That five-yard fade is not what hurts you.
What hurts you is when you hit a five-yard fade followed by a ten-yard draw followed by a snap hook.
Try to work on getting your golf game to the point where there is some consistency.
If you can do this, you can certainly work on hitting a fade or a draw on demand.
Hopefully, you now have an understanding of what a double cross is and how you can avoid it in the future.
Try to trust yourself when it comes to your golf shots.
Although you may not always pull them off, you will have a much greater chance if you commit to a shot and trust it.
When you try and fix things with your wrists as you come through the golf ball, chances are you will end up with a result that gets you into a bigger problem.
The double cross is a terrible miss, but it certainly can be avoided.