Impact Position

What is it that separates the really fine strikers of the golf ball from the average and the poor ball strikers? Is it something in their set up? Is it the way they execute their backswing? There is always a lot of talk about the plane of the golf swing. Could that be it? Is it a single plane or two plane swing path? Or is it simply some God given gift certain people were born with?

After decades of studying the golf swing, I’ve come to the conclusion that it isn’t any of these. The one similarity that all great ball strikers have is that they all get into a great impact position. That is, they all know how to put the club on the ball. There is a certain feel and sound to a ball that is struck well, which cannot be produced from a poor impact position.

Impact is the moment of truth and it is the most critical segment of the golf swing. Once a person learns to put the club on the ball correctly, the true spirit of golf is found and the real love of the game begins. From the first time golfer to the seasoned professional, when a golfer feels that magical click of a correctly executed strike, there is a feeling of unexplainable satisfaction felt from within. Some might even call it a spiritual experience.

My number one goal as a golf teacher is to help the student first learn how to put the club solidly on the ball. That is, to learn a great impact position. The student needs to learn to feel the compression of the ball, and sometimes that means beginning with little chip-type swings.

Now, obviously, it would be nice if all my students had a perfect backswing and a rock solid top of the backswing, etc. but all of this means absolutely nothing if we cannot strike the ball properly. Once we learn how to strike the ball correctly, then there are many things we can do to create more power and consistency in our swing. But, there is no point in working on those things if we cannot first make solid contact. Solid contact is what enables us to control the distance, trajectory and eventually the shape of each golf shot.

Now having said this, how do we get into a great impact position? Well, before we learn how to get into a great impact position, we must first learn what a great impact position is. The way to begin is simply to show and describe some of the most common poor impact positions, which most golfers at one time or another have been quite familiar with. These positions can only produce very weak shots.

We will show you a strong impact position and explain the movements that create solid contact, skywings and why it is the secret to hitting crisp, penetrating golf shots. Here are 3 commonly seen POOR impact movements and positions.

The Scoop

The scoop impact is perhaps the most common poor impact position in the game. The result is usually fat or thin shots, especially when the ball is on the ground. When a golfer is in this position at impact, getting the entire clubface on the ball is virtually impossible. The shot will lack power, compression and the correct trajectory.

Some characteristics of the scoop impact are as follows:

1. The handle of the club is behind the ball

2. The weight is on the back foot

3. The left wrist is broken down (cupped)

4. The hips and shoulders are looking at the ball

5. The arc of the club is bottoming out resulting in fat or thin shots

6. The entire clubface is not on the ball

The Chicken Wing

Another commonly seen poor impact position is the chicken wing. This is where a player’s left arm folds in such a way that the left elbow is pointing towards the sky at and after impact. It is commonly taught that this position is caused by stopping the body’s rotation while continuing the movement of the hands and arms past impact. This position also makes it very difficult to put the club on the ball with any power and consistency. Some characteristics of the chicken wing are as follows: affluentwords

1. The left elbow is bent and folding towards the sky

2. The left is wrist collapsed (cupped)

3. The strong body rotation has stopped

4. There is too much weight on the back foot

5. The arc of the club is bottoming out resulting in fat or thin shots

6. The entire clubface is not on the ball

The Over-the-Top Impact

The third commonly seen poor impact position is a player who has an over-the-top move in their swing. This usually results in pulled and pull sliced shots which lack both directional control and power. Some characteristics of the over-the-top impact are:

1. The hips, arms and shoulders are too open at impact as a result of incorrect sequencing early in the downswing

2. The path of the club is traveling on a line that is excessively out-to-in

3. There is too much weight still on the back foot

4. The club is traveling on an angle of attack that is too steep for the particular club being hit

Now these three poor impact positions are just a few of the ones that are out there. There are many more than this, but I think you get the idea. You will never see a really fine ball striker resemble anything close to these. From these impact positions it is impossible to put the entire center of the clubface onto the entire golf ball with any kind of proper speed, acceleration, compression and control.


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