What is Double Cross in Golf?

Golf is a sport renowned for its complexity and the myriad of terms that are used to describe different situations and shots. One such term that often crops up in golf conversations is the “double cross.” But what exactly is a double cross in golf, and how does it impact a golfer’s game? In this comprehensive blog post, we will delve into the intricacies of the double cross, exploring its definition, causes, consequences, and strategies to overcome it.

Rangefinder on Discount

Understanding the Double Cross

A double cross in golf refers to a situation in which a golfer intends to hit the ball in one direction but ends up sending it in the opposite direction. This unexpected outcome can be both frustrating and detrimental to a player’s performance. To grasp the concept better, let’s break down the key elements of a double cross:

  1. Intention vs. Outcome: The crux of a double cross lies in the disparity between a golfer’s intention and the actual outcome of their shot. When a golfer aligns themselves and aims to hit the ball in one direction but inadvertently sends it in the opposite direction, they have executed a double cross.
  2. Signs of a Double Cross: Identifying a double cross can be challenging, but there are common signs to watch out for. These include a golfer’s body position being incongruent with the target, an unintentional clubface alignment, and a swing path that diverges from the intended line.
  3. Causes of a Double Cross: Double crosses can occur for various reasons, including poor alignment, swing flaws, misjudgment of wind or terrain conditions, and mental factors such as anxiety or pressure.

The Consequences of a Double Cross

Experiencing a double cross during a round of golf can have significant consequences for a player’s score and confidence. Here are some of the key repercussions:

  1. Errant Shots: The most immediate consequence is the wayward shot itself. A double cross often leads to the ball landing in an undesirable location, such as in hazards, rough, or out of bounds.
  2. Increased Score: When a golfer encounters a double cross, it usually results in extra strokes to recover from the poor shot. These additional strokes can inflate a player’s score and diminish their chances of achieving a good round.
  3. Mental Strain: Double crosses can be mentally taxing. They can erode a golfer’s confidence and composure, potentially affecting their performance on subsequent shots and holes.

Strategies to Overcome the Double Cross

Overcoming the double cross is a crucial skill for any golfer looking to improve their game. Here are some strategies to help you avoid or recover from this frustrating situation:

  1. Improved Alignment: Pay close attention to your alignment before each shot. Ensure that your body, feet, and clubface are all aimed at your intended target. Proper alignment reduces the likelihood of a double cross.
  2. Consistent Swing Mechanics: Work on developing a repeatable and consistent golf swing. Regular practice can help iron out swing flaws that contribute to double crosses.
  3. Mental Resilience: Golf is as much a mental game as it is physical. Develop mental resilience by staying focused and composed, even after a double cross. Learn to move on and concentrate on the next shot.
  4. Course Management: Assess course conditions, including wind, terrain, and hazards, to make informed decisions about your shots. Adjust your strategy accordingly to minimize the risk of double crosses.

Advanced Techniques to Tackle the Double Cross

  1. Video Analysis: Utilize technology to your advantage. Recording your swings and analyzing them frame by frame can reveal subtle flaws in your technique that might be contributing to double crosses. This visual feedback can be invaluable in making necessary adjustments.
  2. Professional Coaching: Consider seeking guidance from a qualified golf instructor. They can provide personalized feedback, diagnose swing issues, and prescribe drills and exercises tailored to your specific needs. A professional coach can be instrumental in helping you overcome the double cross.
  3. Shot Shaping: Develop the ability to intentionally shape your shots. This means being able to work the ball both left and right on command. By mastering shot shaping, you can counteract the effects of a double cross mid-flight, redirecting the ball back toward your target.

Expert Insights on the Double Cross

David Smith, PGA Golf Instructor: “The double cross can be one of the most frustrating things in golf, but it’s crucial to remember that even the pros encounter it from time to time. The key is in your recovery. Don’t compound the mistake by making rash decisions. Take your medicine if needed, play smart, and focus on getting back on track.”

Emma Johnson, Mental Coach for Golfers: “Managing the mental aspect of the double cross is paramount. Golf is a game of highs and lows, and everyone makes mistakes. Embrace the challenge, stay present in the moment, and use mindfulness techniques to regain your composure. Remember, a single bad shot doesn’t define your entire round.”

John Davis, Course Management Expert: “Course management can be your best defense against the double cross. Assess the risk-reward of each shot carefully. Sometimes, it’s wiser to play conservatively and avoid potential trouble. Stay patient and stick to your game plan.”

Incorporating these advanced techniques and insights into your golf game can help you not only prevent double crosses but also elevate your overall performance. Golf is a sport that rewards dedication and continuous improvement, and by honing your skills in these areas, you can navigate the challenges of the course more successfully.

Common Causes of Double Cross Shots

MisalignmentGolfer’s body and clubface are not aligned
Swing PathIncorrect path of the golf club during swing
Clubface AngleIncorrect angle of the clubface at impact
Wind and ConditionsMisjudgment of wind and course conditions
Mental FactorsPsychological factors affecting the shot

Impact of Double Cross Shots

Lost DistanceShot goes off-target and loses distance
InaccuracyDecreased accuracy in hitting the fairway
High ScoresPotential for higher scores on the hole
FrustrationGolfer’s confidence and morale affected
Swing AdjustmentMay lead to adjustments mid-round

Strategies to Correct Double Cross Shots

Pre-shot RoutineDevelop a consistent pre-shot routine
Alignment CheckEnsure proper alignment before the swing
Club SelectionChoose the right club for the situation
Swing AnalysisAnalyze and adjust swing mechanics
Mental ToughnessDevelop mental resilience and focus

Practice Drills for Avoiding Double Cross Shots

Alignment DrillPractice aligning body and clubface
Swing Path DrillFocus on a correct swing path
Clubface Control DrillWork on controlling clubface at impact
Wind SimulationPractice in varying wind conditions
VisualizationMental imagery for better shot outcomes

Famous Double Cross Moments in Golf

Rory McIlroy2011 Masters
Phil Mickelson2006 U.S. Open
Tiger Woods2004 Masters
Jordan Spieth2016 Masters
Greg Norman1996 Masters


The double cross, though vexing, is a challenge that every golfer can overcome with the right approach. By combining fundamental principles like proper alignment, consistent swing mechanics, and mental resilience with advanced techniques such as video analysis, professional coaching, and shot shaping, you can significantly reduce the occurrence of double crosses in your game.

Remember that golf is a journey filled with ups and downs, and learning from your mistakes is an integral part of the process. Embrace the opportunity to grow as a golfer, and with persistence and dedication, you’ll find that the double cross becomes a less frequent visitor to your game. Enjoy the journey, and may your rounds be filled with great shots and memorable moments on the course.

What is Double Cross in Golf?


  • Ryan Spino

    Ryan Spino, our Executive Editor since January 2022, has been instrumental in shaping The Golf Mine. His vision, backed by a Golf Management MBA and extensive editorial expertise, has expanded our coverage, ensuring that every article upholds our commitment to quality and accuracy in the golfing realm.

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