What Is A Banana In Golf? – Explained!

what is a banana in golf

Golf is known to be a technical sport full of technical terms that you may not know the meaning of. One of those golf terms rarely mentioned on golf courses and TV broadcasts is the term “Banana”.

If you are reading this article, you may wonder: What exactly is a “Banana” in golf?

In this article, we will explain to you exactly what the term “Banana” means in golf.

What Is A Banana In Golf?

In golf, a “Banana” is a golf ball hit in such a way that it has a curved trajectory. The trajectory goes from left to right for right-handed golfers, and from right to left for left-handed golfers. A “Banana” is essentially the same shot type as a “slice” in golf, and generally to be avoided.

In the great game of golf, the expression “Banana” is seldom mentioned on golf courses and on TV broadcasts.

In golf, the expression “Banana” is the name given to a golf shot with the same curved trajectory as a “slice” shot. A “Banana” curves from left to right for right-handed golfers, and from right to left for left-handed golfers.

You generally want to avoid “Banana” slices in golf, as they reduce the distance the ball travels, and are likely to curve too much and into an area with a bad lie.

“Banana” shots are very common in golf, and often not intentional. In many cases, it is preferable to hit a straight, predictable shot in golf. Beginners often hit “banana” shots unintentionally, and land their ball in the rough, which can be incredibly frustrating.

On the other hand, the best golfers on the planet sometimes intentionally use curved shots such as “Bananas”, depending on the situation and their position on a specific golf hole.

However, one caveat to note is that “Bananas” feature quite a dramatic curve, and pros will often prefer a more docile “fade” shot when they require a curved trajectory.

If you yourself are performing many “Bananas”, you need to fix them and turn them into “fades” in order to become a better golfer with lower scores. “Fades” in golf are like “Bananas”, but with a curved trajectory that is less sharp, easier to control, and more accurate.

Later in this article, we explain how to turn your “Bananas” into “Fades”.

Down below is a real-world example of the curve a Banana Slice shot follows.

banana slice curve
Curve a Banana Slice Shot Follows In Golf

In the image above, you can see the approximate curve that a banana slice will follow if you hit the ball in a certain way.

This type of curved trajectory can be extremely damaging to your golf score as it reduces the carry distance your ball travels, and can land it in the rough or other hazards.

However, in a few specific cases, the “Banana” could be useful for getting around a dogleg golf hole, or avoiding certain obstacles.

For a right-handed golfer (as most golfers are, such as in the image), a banana slice will send the ball flying far to the right.

For left-handed golfers, a banana slice will do the opposite, and send the ball flying far towards the left. You can literally mirror the image to know what a banana would look like for a left-handed golfer.

The curved trajectory of a “Banana” shot is caused by an open club head face at ball impact, along with a club head path that brings the club head in closer to your feet.

For a right-handed golfer, the open club head face gives the golf ball an initial trajectory towards the right side, and the club head path towards the left side brushes the ball in such a way that its trajectory curves to the right.

If you are hitting many “Bananas” and want to turn them into “Fades”, you will generally want to work on the club head path.

Instead of brushing your club head aggressively inwards, try giving your club head path a more neutral, straighter path towards your target, with a slight inward bias.

If that does not fix your “Bananas”, you should also try closing your club face a bit more upon ball impact. Try to give your club head face a more neutral point of impact with the golf ball.

It is possible that your club face is too open because you have a bad golf club grip technique; your wrist may simply be turned too much around the grip by default, which will curve all your shots outwards too much.

To learn the best and correct golf club grip technique, you can read our guide: How To Hold A Golf Club?. Holding your golf club correctly will give your club head face a more neutral position by default, or a slightly closed bias, which will help your entire golf game.

These 3 fixes should turn your “Bananas” into the “Fades” the Tour professionals commonly love to use.

If you would like to get better at turning your “Bananas” into “Fades”, and improve your golf score, read our guide: How To Improve Your Golf Score? – 9 Pro Tips.

Origin Of The Term “Banana”

The origin of the expression “Banana” in golf is quite simple.

When you hit a “Banana” shot, the curved trajectory the ball follows has a curve similar to the curve of a banana.

Essentially, the trajectory of a “banana” shot looks exactly like a banana.

For this reason, it makes perfect sense where the term “Banana” shot got its name from in golf.

Conclusion

There you go! After reading this article, you have learned exactly what a “Banana” is in golf.

Do you have any other golf expressions you wish to know more about? Do you get hungry when you hit a “Banana” shot in golf? Let us know in the comments down below!