What is a good ball flight?
I would urge a really practical approach to this:
To be competitive off your handicap, a good ball flight is one that is relatively effective and predictable.
Whilst it is a useful skill to have to be able to shape the ball’s flight, most shots we face in the long game could be played with a stock shot. A key part of the recipe for the long game is to make decision on what is best for you, and then support it with matching ingredients.
Draw/Fade/Straight. The majority of expert players favour a shot with some curve as, given the inherent difficulty of controlling the clubface, a predictable shape can reduce the risk of a two-sided miss.
As long as the curve is repeatable (and not excessive), either could serve you well. That being said, it may prove that, for a period, making a straight shot the intent is the best way to keep unwanted tendencies at bay.
We also need to think of our shots flying a height and distance that matches the shots we face (custom fitting can help us achieve this). Trackman's software has an algorithm which calculates the optimal launch angle and spin rate for the speed you create.
With my clients we will establish average goals for 7 iron (it’s a good midway point for irons) and the driver to inform practice and bind the ingredients together. After maybe 2 or 3 sessions we'd have a good idea of what is possible and a good target (see below).
It is essential you learn to self-direct your practice, and understanding how the basics of how club behaviour affects ball flight (and having goals) gives you a big learning advantage. If your improvement is solely reliant on feel, without at least occasional feedback on this stuff, you are flying blind in learning terms.
Example of Impact and ball flight goals I set for clients
As your game evolves these goals may change, but we will ensure that any tweaks to equipment or set up, for example, match in.