The ideal is to get the clubface to the ball square at impact. Picture a line extending straight forward from the ball on the target line. Now picture a line extending along the clubface, from the heel to the toe and out. If the club is square at impact, those two lines will be perpendicular, forming a right angle.
However, with an open face (a k a, a club that is open at impact), the toe of the club is turned a little rearward. At impact, the heel of the club reaches the ball before the toe of the club does, in other words. So the angle that is 90 degrees when the clubface is square is more than 90 degrees with an open face.
An open face is the opposite of a closed face.
An open clubface is sometimes desirable, however. Some golfers open the face in order to intentionally hit fades or slices; and opening the clubface is common on many types of sand shots and with some other wedge shots.
Return to Golf Glossary index