Archive for the ‘Long Game’ Category
Few golfers are aware of what really happens when a clubhead collides with a golf ball at high speed, not to mention how much an off-center collision can effect the flight of the ball. My hope is that this article and the accompanying video footage will give each of you a much better understanding of the importance of solid contact.
I would encourage you to watch the following PGATour.com video a few times…
As you can see a strike away from the center of gravity of the clubhead will lead to twisting of the clubhead. While most of the twisting occurs after impact, a portion of it does occur during the impact interval. It is this twisting during impact that leads to gear effect which can greatly alter the flight of a shot.
An off-center collision will twist the clubface in any direction.
A hit high on the face will tilt the face upward and reduce the amount of spin on the ball, while a low strike point will deloft the face and increase spin rate. A strike towards the toe will open the clubface and increase draw or reduce fade and a strike towards the heel will close the face and increase fade or reduce draw. Interestingly, the clubface will tilt vertically (top/bottom) almost as much as it will horizontally (toe/heel).
There are seven shots in the video and if each of them had a neutral club face and club path during impact, the results of each shot due to gear effect would have been as follows:
Shot 1 – A strike above the “equator” of the clubface and slightly towards the toe. Ideal if you would like to hit high launching, low spinning, draws that go a long way.
Shot 2 – A more pronounced high, toe side strike. This strike point is too far from aligning with the center of gravity of the clubhead to be beneficial. This flight due to gear effect would have been fairly high launching, low spinning and would not have faded as much as it might have appeared.
Shot 3 – Another extreme high, toe side strike along with a heavy descending blow – not good. High and right, but a fairly straight flight.
Shot 4 – A severely off-center hit where the collision is with a very low portion of the face and in the heel. Believe it or not this ball gets airborne and will almost always be an unimpressive high spinning, low fade with very little distance.
Shot 5 – Charley Hoffman: I have seen numerous clips of high speed driver footage like this and I don’t think I have ever seen one where I cannot detect any twisting at all. A slight downward attack angle. Appears to be very close to a perfect center of gravity strike – a truly rare event! Very straight.
Shot 6 – Matt Kuchar: A neutral attack angle along with a high, toe side strike. High launch, lower spin and a slight draw – boom!
Shot 7 – Luke Donald: About as solid as Charley Hoffman’s shot, but the interesting thing about this clip is the attack angle – quite severely down. Solid and straight, but not optimal for maximum distance.
It is interesting to note that today’s larger clubheads will resist twisting due to having a higher moment of inertia. MOI is a measure of a body’s resistance to angular acceleration or twisting. MOI really comes into play when the ball and the clubface meet someplace other than the sweet spot. The MOI of a club is higher for heel/toe mishits than it is for high/low mishits and therefore tends to be more forgiving on heel/toe mishits. However, golfers tend to mishit a shot further towards the heel/toe than they do high/low so the clubheads’ resistance to twisting tends to even out.
Please know that physics is not selective and any golfer, pro or amateur, can hit any shot solidly or severely off-center. Also – no golfer can “stabilize” the clubface during or after impact due to an off-center strike.
This article shows you which part of the clubface is best.
I love this video footage and from here on out it will be required viewing for all my long term and golf school students. Would love to hear your thoughts….
It’s always nice to get an unbiased opinion from an expert. As a result I recently spent some time with friend and clubfitting guru Ian Fraser from Modern Golf in Toronto Canada, discussing what he deemed to be the top driver and shaft options available for 2013. Ian has no affiliation with any one club or shaft manufacturer so I really value his opinions. Here are his selections for the top shafts available this year:
- higher launch and low spin
- stronger mid-section helps to increase ball speed
- BB – blue bullet
- designed to produce less spin with a lower launch
- designed with feedback from ENSO technology
- lower launching and lower spinning shaft
- excellent price point
I also wanted to hear Ian’s take on the new crop of drivers that have been on the market for a few months now and he had some interesting things to say. Here are his choices:
- improved design and ball speed over the 910 series
- D2 and D3 different in size, yet similar in spin rates
- massive adjustability with very high ball speed
- slightly heavier than the R11S
- highest MOI of any driver available and best paint job!
- slightly less spin and higher ball speed than the G20
I suppose my optimal driver would one that had the looks of the Titleist 913 D3, the stability and matte black finish of the Ping G25 along with the adjustability and ball speed of the TaylorMade R1….one can dream!
Please be aware that going out and simply purchasing and combining one of the above options might not be the best thing for you. I would recommend getting with a professional clubfitter who uses TrackMan technology to find the appropriate head and shaft match for your particular swing. You should be looking for the optimal launch and spin characteristics that match your swing speed.
Read THIS to know where you should be launching and spinning the ball based on your current club speed.
There are many, many different ways to control the shape of a golf shot, yet none quite as reliable as the method I have outlined below.
This formula works off the fact that most golfers spend hours trying to make their golf swing as consistent as possible. If you spend all that time ‘grooving’ your swing why, when you need to shape a shot, do you employ a totally different golf swing from the one you worked so hard on?
Do you remember your mother saying, “Two wrongs don’t make a right!” ?
Well, for shot shaping, three rights make a left! And three lefts make a right. Keep in mind that whether you are a lefty or righty the formula works the same. Here’s the explanation:
To curve the ball to the right
- Aim your body and club face to the left; the direction you would like the ball to start.
- Move the ball position to the left in your stance. (As you view the ball)
- Rotate both hands to your left on the grip of the club. This should be done in a subtle fashion.
Once you are set and ready to fire; make the same swing that you are accustomed to making and the ball should launch in the intended direction and curve to the right.
To curve the ball to the left
- Aim your body and the club face to the right of your target.
- Shift the ball to the right in your stance
- Rotate both hands slightly to the right on the grip.
With a little practice you will start to get a sense for how much the ball position or grip needs to be altered in order to produce the desired result.
Regardless of whether you are a Tour golfer or a beginner, shot shaping is a necessary component to controlling your golf ball. If it’s simply a hook to find your way back into play or a soft little cut 6-iron into that front right pin position shot shaping is something you need in your ‘bag’.
If you have any thoughts or ideas on shaping the ball please feel free to let me know or post them here.
Correct foot action throughout the golf swing is indicative of a body that is working well. A body that works well will create the opportune space necessary for the arms and the club to get into the slot – the delivery point where the club has virtually no choice but to do the right thing through impact.
Here is breakdown of what to look for:
As the club gets into the delivery position the outside of the back foot raises up off the ground – it banks in towards the target. The heel should not be coming off the ground at this point. The foot works in this fashion due to the forward, sliding/driving motion in the hips.
At impact the heel should start to roll off the ground due to the fact that the hips have driven just about as far forward as they can and now they have started to rotate. It is this rotation, and only this rotation, that gets the heel to begin ascending.
Into the finish the foot is fully rolled up onto the toe due to the hips having fully rotated to the target. Because the hips drive to the target to start the downswing and rotate to the target to finish the swing the heel on the back foot will never move away from the target.
Here is a very good drill to give any golfer a greater awareness of what the feet are doing throughout the swing. This drill will not only improve your footwork, but also improve how you shift and transfer your weight throughout the swing.
If executed correctly the finish should look like this with the bottle still standing due to the proper “bank and roll” action of the back foot.
Right Foot Action in Golf Swing by John Hoskison
Home | Swing Catalyst The premier software to track foot action!
Ben Hogan once said that he despised any ball flight that curved from right to left (a draw!). Having been a chronic hooker of the ball in the early part of his career he knew what it was like to lose shots to the left. It wasn’t until he found a way to overcome the dreaded flip through impact that the legend that is now Ben Hogan was created.
If you too struggle with untimely hooks and occasional blocks, you fully comprehend what Mr. Hogan had to overcome. Flippers have to rely on timing to make their shots go straight – the timing of the hand action through impact determines the outcome of each shot. And when impact between ball and face lasts for approximately 1/2000 of a second it’s not that easy to be consistent – especially under pressure! The better you play, the greater your anxiety level, the less you control the timing of the flip – not a good recipe for low scores when it counts.
Having studied the swings of Hogan and Snead I found that when viewed from down the line it appears that the clubhead and ball seem to disperse aggressively post-impact. The clubhead moves quickly back inside the target line, while the ball launches straight. It almost appears as if they are trying to hit slices, yet the ball flight is very straight.
Watch the following video to get a sense of what to feel while doing the Anti-Flip Drill:
To practice the drill you will need the following:
- Two alignment rods – one on the ground just outside the ball and another in the ground just inside the target line and 18-24 inches forward of the ball. Be sure that the one in the ground is leaning away from you (towards the target).
- A 7 iron with the ball teed up so you can make sure it is in the same location relative to the rod in the ground each time.
- Start small and slow, making sure you swing inside the rod with the clubhead and keep the face square to open thus launching the ball to the right of the rod.
- Patience! Give it a few goes and you’ll start to get the feel. Feel the clubhead and ball dispersing – one goes left and the other goes right. Remember that you have not been doing this “naturally” and that’s why it feels so strange and “incorrect”.
Here is the drill demonstrated in slow motion:
Here’s another good drill to help you overcome the flips:
How to Stop Flipping – Bucket Drill » John Graham Golf